When your dream job contacts you out of the blue, it can almost seem like a prank. When said job interview is conducted by someone who is an alumnus of your obscure arts college in Chicago, you almost feel like the stars themselves are aligning. But jobs, much like relationships, are all about timing.
To give you a little back story, when I moved to a new city after college — I had all of my prospective dream employers on my radar. For a few specific companies, I had extensively researched and LinkedIn-stalked these employees to figure out what the next steps I would have to take to essentially become them. My unemployed free time was often spent editing my resume, applying for jobs on company websites, writing countless cover letters and adding recruiters on LinkedIn. I had hoped that one day this would all turn out in my favor.
Ironically, after spending hours filling out job applications online, my ideal employer was the one to contact me. I remember staring in disbelief at this person’s name in my inbox. The email was about a job that was not publicly advertised and they wanted to interview me as a candidate. I had literally applied at this company 5 times in the past and now they had discovered me on their own accord. I had finally wedged my foot in the door and had an in. I had a brief phone interview with a recruiter and now I was about to meet with someone in person.
Nothing else seemed to matter. I bought a new outfit, had my hair done and was about 30 minutes early to the interview. Like a good candidate, I sat by myself in the lobby of their building and patiently watched present employees walk by on their lunch. This was a fashion company and it was apparent who worked for them. Everyone that passed me looked like they had stepped right out of a page of their catalog. Meanwhile I tried to find a zen place for my mind to chill out before I sweated through my entire interview outfit.
About 15 minutes early I called an elevator and sat in the lobby for the actual corporate office. I did some more people watching and as I waited for my contact to retrieve me. Strangely everyone seemed slightly familiar. Turns out, half of the people I had stalked on Instagram were here in the flesh and all I could do was silently observe them as I waited for my interview. I imagined that after 6 months of working this job, my new coworkers and I would be able to laugh at the that the fact that had I known who all of them were, before actually working with them directly.
The actual interview went splendidly. As previously mentioned the head of the copy department was someone who had gone to my school, moved to New York and then had been recruited to move to Los Angeles. We had the kind of great chemistry during our talk that made me think we could actually be friends outside of work. It was incredibly exciting to feel the puzzle pieces start falling into place. I left that meeting feeling very cautiously optimistic.
After sending in my writing test, I kept telling myself that this was unexpected. That, at least if I didn’t get the position, I was on their radar. That if a more perfect job opportunity presented itself I, at least, knew the recruiter and had met the head of their creative team. That even if this wasn’t entirely a perfect fit, I might pop up when they are considering another position in the future and that I would be a shoe in.
Unfortunately none of that happened. Months passed and I didn’t hear any feedback from the recruiter or the person that I had interviewed with. After a certain amount of time passed, I finally found the person they had hired instead of me (through my own Internet detective work, of course). I wasn’t too down on myself because the person they chose made sense.
Although this didn’t change how I felt. It was like finding out someone you fell hard is dating someone else on Facebook. You know you need to move on, but first you need to grieve, just a little.
Presently as career frustrated as a 24-year-old can be, I often think about what my life could have been like if I had nailed that job interview. It’s almost been a year since that meeting and it truthfully wanders across my mind more than I would like it to.
Thankfully, I am a strong believer in fate and I am hoping that everything happened the way it should have. Maybe if I had gotten that job, I wouldn’t have been happy after six months, because maybe they were right—I wasn’t the right fit. Now I at least I know that being approached by a dream job can happen, and just putting feelers out into the world and being open makes a difference. I mean, it happened to me once. Lightning has been known to strike the same place twice before.
Moving forward, I know that the perfect storm occurs when the right amount of chance and hard work meet together. While I am still waiting for my big break, I’ve at least seen that a dream of mine can start to happen if I’m patient. And while I’m waiting for the perfect opportunity, I have more time to prepare, so that when something I’ve dreamt up decides to come true again — I will be the perfect candidate for the job.