A few weeks ago, I got an email inviting me to apply for an open job position. Writing a novel is all well and good, but until that sells I need a job to pay my bills. I was more than qualified for the position and I figured I would apply as a safety net. I bought a new interview outfit, updated my resume, practiced my talking points, and then showed up. You know what they say about 99% of success is just showing up? That’s b.s.
Over 200 people showed up for this “job interview,” which was more like a cattle call. It took place in a school auditorium with terrible acoustics so everyone was yelling to be heard. The heat was turned up, so the room stank of sweaty wool suits. I waited in line for a half hour to talk to H.R. and when I finally got to the front, I was sat with 9 other people at a round table. We all had to go in a circle pitching our qualifications. One after one, I listened to the other candidates amazing backgrounds. Even though I knew I would be amazing at the job, I couldn’t compete with the 9 other people at my table let alone the 190 other people in the room. Nor did I want to.
I was herded to the next H.R. table where the person took one look at my resume, with two years of experience in a director position and three years of experience as the vice president of a company, and all she said was, “Wow, you’re really unfocused.” At which point I collected my things and left.
This terrible experience was exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling on my website for Brutal First Impressions. I am far too creative, curious, and, yes, unfocused, to mold myself into some boring job. I can’t and don’t want to compete in this kind of demeaning job market so the only solution is to create my own job market.
I’m really hoping Brutal First Impressions will be successful and I can look back on this terrible job interview as a catalyst for a great career, but for the meantime, I’m still pretty bitter.