A few weeks after that experience, I went home to DC and started looking for jobs there. I still felt like I was flushing my resume down the toilet but now I was doing it from the comfort of a family home. I had a few interviews with a few recruiters. I even called my old job back and asked for a position. Of course they tried to milk it for all its worth. They also tried to hire me for $30K a year. I’m still flabbergasted. No one can actually live off of such a low salary in this area. Most of the other jobs were dead ends or jobs that I didn’t want to take. One of the companies had such a bad review on Glassdoor that I decided against continuing the interview process. Another one was a receptionist position, with an interview process that made me feel so objectified, I did not even want to take the offer for more money. Took three hot showers that day(yuck). One morning I got a call from a recruiter and had a great conversation with her. I sounded so freaking chipper, she could probably hear my smile. I scored a follow up phone interview and rocked that too!
I was on to the third round which was an in person interview. It was at 10am on a Wednesday downtown. 99% of the time I’m a punctual person. I prepare ahead of time, plan out my route and schedule and make sure to give myself some time just in case something unforeseen comes up. On this day I was a hot mess. My hair, which was half relaxed and half natural at this point looked absolutely horrible despite all my efforts to tame it. My last hair band busted in my hair as I tried to put my hair in a bun and there weren’t enough bobby pins in the world to hold that monster down. It literally was all that was taking up my time. I ended up leaving a half hour later than I intended and had to frantically run for the bus, and the subway and the three blocks to the interview site, all on heels. When I got there I was a sweaty mess!
I ran past the building. I realized I ran past it and turned back. I must have looked like all types of crazy. On my way back a homeless man begged me for a dollar. I think I look too approachable for my own good. Anyway I didn’t want to screw up my karma so I gave him what I had and walked into the building. I got into the elevator, made sure I was alone and fixed my bra, took a pebble out of my shoe and made sure my hair was as presentable as it could look, under the circumstances. I got off at the floor I was supposed to at 9:57, no time to freshen up in the bathroom. Oh well. A woman came out to greet me, introduced herself and led me into a conference room. I was interviewed by three women, directors of one program or the other. They each wanted a specialist. I had originally applied for a program assistant position so I was a little bit confused. But I improvised. I talked about my experience in program administration and having experience in the “trenches” of the industry and also threw in a few abstract sounding no meaning having feel good phrases in there. Those are important by the way. I remember saying stuff like “I think in this situation, you have to silence the chaos around you and focus on the work at hand”
I got a job offer a week later. What was more shocking was that it was for a level above the one I applied for and for $15K additional in salary. Can I tell you how loud I screamed? I don’t think I can describe the feeling.