I have never blogged about the times that I worked a full time job. This is probably because I fell ill, and that was the end of it. For those of you who don't know, I have tried to return to work and have been unsuccessful. I have recently applied for CCP Disability benefits, and don't foresee working in my near future.
However, over two months ago, I still had a wish that maybe I could return to some form of employment. So when I read that my dream job was available, I got very excited. But after excitement, comes a dose of reality, and I wrestled with the two for some time.
To best understand this story, you should know a bit of my history. For five and a half years (up until August 2005), I worked for a big box store. From here on in, I will refer to it as BB. I worked in a specialized role, so specialized, that for years, not every store had an equivalent position. I took the basic role, and customized it to be a successful selling venture. I had an enormous amount of freedom: freedom to help define the role; freedom to learn what I wanted; freedom to spend my time both where and how I wanted.
So when I left the BB, phone calls were made, and offers came to me with the hopes of keeping me in some capacity. I expressed that I was leaving because I needed a new challenge, but, I would consider returning if "insert dream job title here" would ever become available.
So let's roll ahead to April of this year...
I decided to apply for the dream job. Around the same time, I am aware that under the rules of my long-term disability contract, I have to apply for CPP. The thoughts behind applying for my dream job were simple:
If I didn't at least apply, I would always regret it.
Considering an almost two year gap in my employment, I was prepared to answer questions honestly...and focus on my abilities, as opposed to my weak areas.
I also made a rule for myself, regarding the application:
Don't sweat it.
If I don't receive a phone call, it's because I didn't put the right key words in my resume. The application process is done on-line. I have heard that the applications get run through computer software looking for particular words, and this is what makes a resume stand out.
And besides, I wasn't sure if it was something that I could do anyway. I just wanted to follow the process, ride the wave. If after being honest, I had to make a decision, then I would do so. I felt that I was in the driver's seat.
A few days later, the opportunity presented itself to speak with a BB store manager, who knows me and my work. She was thrilled to hear that I had applied for the position and wanted to figure out exactly how the process worked so that she could get a word in for me. This manager did put in a glowing word for, as did a personal friend who is in a district position with the same BB.
It is now coming close to three months later, and I haven't heard anything regarding the position. I believe now, more than I did then, that I am not able to consistently perform in my dream job, or any other job for that matter.
This would be a good place to end the story. And maybe I am close to an end, and if it wasn't for that personal friend who works for the BB, I might be there. I don't think that my friend knew the consequence of what he told me. He has routinely asked me if I have heard anything about the job, and this last time, when I said no, he had more to say. Apparently, word spread that I had applied for the dream job. A number of people that I worked with and for are employed in high level management with the BB. I was their star. Somehow, word also spread that I live with MS. I don't know which came first, knowledge of the application or knowledge of the disease, but both were used in the same conversation, and my ability to perform the job was questioned.
I no longer feel as if I am in the drivers seat. I didn't get to make my own decision. Is it a moot point because I wouldn't take the job now anyway? I wanted the opportunity to discuss with the BB if I could do the job to both of our satisfactions. I am qualified. I am experienced. My references speak for themselves. How did I not get an interview? It's beyond key words in resumes.
In conversation and in my mind, I tend to take this subject deeper. For instance, would I be more upset if I got an interview, and didn't get offered the job? What looks better for them, to not interview me at all, or to interview me and not hire me? Maybe they haven't gotten to interviews yet...
I am increasingly putting more emphasis on what is best for me, and what is best for Jason. Don't sweat the small stuff. Get rid of mental clutter. Don't take things personally. Relax. Enjoy the good days. I know that working is not best. However, I still want to make my own decisions!