OK, the truth can now be told — I’ve signed my offer letter and I have a new job. I’m pretty excited about it — the work itself, qua work, is familiar (editing) but the milieu is new. I’m moving to the dark side, in journalism-speak, out of the newsroom frying pan and into the PR fire.
And for all that I’ve written about tapping networks and cold-calling employers of your dreams, I got this job the old-fashioned way: saw an ad, wrote a letter and sent a resume, and they liked what they saw well enough to invite me in.
That’s where this stopped being the same-old, same-old, however. Possibly because I’d had another interview earlier that week, which was a little rocky — I was a little ambivalent about the job for many reasons, and they were a little ambivalent about me, but a dear friend had referred me to someone high on the food chain and they couldn’t ignore me, and I believe it showed on both sides — I rocked it. I’ve never felt so positive about an interview in my life.
I said in an earlier post that I don’t interview well, and it’s true, as a rule. But I think I had
two three several things going for me when I walked into that interview room: 1) the earlier interview. I was pretty sure I’d blown it, but it gave me the chance to practice some of my “script” — where I’ m weak, where I’m strong, and so on; 2) the second interview is in a field I know very little about, and they told me beforehand that I would be expected to pitch two story ideas on specific themes. It meant that I spent the better part of the week doing research, immersing myself in the company’s website, and in the field’s current issues. In a word, I had to do my homework and it paid off. 3) The transit schedule gave me the option of being half an hour early or 5 minutes late. I picked the former, and I also compiled a bunch of notes to go over in that free time — my French is a little rusty and the position called for a bilingual candidate so I wanted to make sure I knew the vocabulary. But I got turned around when I got off the bus and hadn’t written down the street address so I used up all but five of those 30 extra minutes trying to find the place. No chance to review my notes, or dither, or get nervous. Did me a world of good. 4) I had nothing to lose when I walked into that room and faced my interviewing party of five. I’d done my homework, I had the credentials, so put myself in the hands of the Fates, and was, finally, just myself. And they liked me.
Lucky as hell, that.
A number of people have asked me since what will become of this blog — will I change the title, will I keep writing it. And at this point the answers are no and yes, respectively. It’s no longer my layoff, but it was, and the number of people — former colleagues and others — I’ve had asking me for advice, as if I know anything, suggests to me there’s a market and I’m happy to keep producing for it. My new employer doesn’t have a problem with it as long as I stay away from proprietary issues, and that shouldn’t be a problem. But for now I’m taking a wee vacation. See you when I get back. In the meantime, if there’s anything you’d like me to write about specifically, let me know, and I’ll take it on.