Kind of had an up and down week this week professionally. I applied to teach at my old high school and didn’t get the job, and I REALLY should have. I know the teachers they have there and I know what I’m capable of, and more importantly, I know how my credentials stack up by comparison. I also know that two people who left positions there specifically told him that I would be their first choice to take over their classes. So that leaves the interview as the apparent dealbreaker. I was interviewed by someone whose known me since I was 14 or so. Did that make me approach the interview too casually? Perhaps, or perhaps the fact that a LONG list of people were assuring me I would get the job so that made me complacent. (In my defense, the person interviewing me was barefoot at the time. Not exactly a cue for formality. But that’s petty I suppose.) My “spies” on the inside tell me that the only clue as to why I was not hired was a comment that I was “too vague” with my ideas. I’ve been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, and sad about this all week. I originally made contact about the job early in the summer but the interview wasn’t until August. I did not get any notice whatsoever after the interview, only knowing I didn’t get the job because school started. I’m upset because I deserved at least the professional courtesy of notice, as there were other positions I did not apply for because I was unclear if I was still under consideration. Obviously this adds to the financial strain inherent in my starving artist lifestyle at the moment. But more than that I thought that the relationship I had with this person was such that if I didn’t get the gig and it really came down to a problem with my interview or something, that he would give me some feedback– “Look, we decided to go in a different direction, but I thought you should know…”– something.
So I’m annoyed with him because I feel strongly that he’s come to incorrect conclusions about my abilities, and I’m even more annoyed with myself– because somehow after all this time knowing me he wouldn’t think I would be good for his program. I know most of the people who encounter this blog at all will know that this isn’t a matter of my ego or something– this was a job that I was more than qualified to do, at a time when they REALLY need well-qualified people due to the particular mix of students they have this year. So it’s all well and good for me to say “Fuck him,” — but if under these circumstances he didn’t see my potential then I really didn’t demonstrate it to him. And if someone who’s known me as long as he has doesn’t see that, how am I perceived by people who are just meeting me?
Interviewing is a skill, and maybe it’s one I need to work on. But more than that, I think I stumble a lot in putting myself “out there.” I remember several years ago some work I did for a company got my name in the paper. And the head of the company, where I’d been working for three years, came down the stairs one day and said, “I saw that article. I didn’t know you were looking for a career in this. We should talk about that.” And it occurred to me how ridiculous that was– that I’d been working there three years, in and around this man who had a lot of connections that could be beneficial to my career– and he had NO IDEA that I had any particular aspirations of interest. There are a lot of people in my life, people I daresay have less to offer the field than I do, who would never have let something like that happen. And it’s all well and good to complain that “nobody notices me,” but what have I done lately to get noticed?