Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, Here’s to Measuring Up!

It’s a new year and a new decade and consequently, I put a lot of thought into what my first post was going to be about. I have heard it said that what you do at the beginning of the year sets the tone for the rest of the year. That’s a lot of pressure when it’s just an ordinary new year but when it coincides with the start of a decade, hell, even the pressure valve calls it quits! It’s like, “This is not what I signed up for!”  Anyway, away from wussy valves and back to my writing, lest I start off the year as a wussy writer. I thought a lot about possible topics for my first post. Should I write about my new year resolutions? Should it be about how I’m older and wiser now? I did turn 30 last year and so got to a new decade, and before the world did, ha! Snooze and you lose world! But then I thought about what I have been doing a lot of lately and that is sending out a bunch of job applications – and just yesterday, going for an interview – and how nerve-wracking the whole thing is, and how much like going on a date it also is.

For starters, was the company research that I did enough? Or was there a key thing that I missed out on? How many surprises awaited me? Like when in person, your date doesn’t match their profile or the information that you got during your pre-date screening. You also worry about what you’re wearing. Am I dressed right? After going through the entirety of what constitutes official clothes in my closet, I finally settled on an outfit that I thought was just right for this particular interview; black blazer, black pants, and a mixed-colors (muted not glaring) paisley top with a clerical neck. It was raining and so muddy and I had to carry a change of shoes. I had my trusty brown boots on and carried black ballet flats to change into once I got there, so I figured I had that covered. But what about my hair?

Thanks to my barber, the sides were completely shorn and shiny. The dreadlocks in the middle looked neat enough that I could put off having them rewaxed for another two weeks. But despite the markedly vehement appreciation of my hairstyle by the random people that I encountered on my way to the interview, I wondered what my interviewers would think about it. Would they think it artsy and/or bold and so think me suited for the position that I was interviewing for? Or would they think me troubled, a vagrant, a rebel, and so write me off just because of my hair? Or was my hair of no consequence? My hair did not come up in the interview and so I’m tentatively going with the third option.

Secondly, you gotta sell yourself. Writing this has me imagining myself at a street corner, posing to show off my best assets to the cars with tinted windows that are cruising past. And if it’s a job that I’m excited about, I usually figure I’ll give them a chance first, see if they bite before giving other people a shot at the awesomeness that is me. Much like at an auction; going once, going twice, send one application, wait for a response, nothing? Send it to someone else. And finally, sold to the people who recognize and respect the said awesomeness, aka (hopefully) the highest bidders. Did someone say “ka-ching?”

And unless you’re on your way to being an established couple, chances are, you’re not the only person that your date is seeing. Well heck! They are not the only person that you’re seeing. Much like some unsavory characters and their dick pics, you’ve sent out a gazillion copies of your CV. And now, you wait to see who’ll respond.

During the application process, again, like a date, you’re wooing this person and if you’re worth your weight in gold, then they are also wooing you right back, and hopefully, proposed remuneration will match that weight. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Or is it worth your weight in salt? There’s that question about salary expectations. Is that going to be a dance too? Have they got it covered? Should I reach for my wallet? Are we going dutch? Carefully going through the check and splitting costs based on who ate what? Is this the deal-breaker? And at the end of it all, will they think that you’re too salty? Or will the salt be just right? Will they need to taste the food first, take you out for a test-drive aka probation period before deciding to add more salt? And if I’m not the one, will I then get an immediate response telling me that so I don’t keep waiting and hoping, or will I be ghosted after this?  God, I hate interviews! Take me on good faith – or is it blind faith – and I’ll totally prove myself but asking me to sell myself and be jolly, composed and smart-sounding while doing it? That’s a tall order.

And talking of interviews, will it be just the one or will it take them like four or so to see if I meet their requirements? First date with you; is this company a sure thing? I promise not to think less of you if you put out after the first meeting. You do know a good thing when you meet it, after all, you’re decisive and that’s what I like about you! Decisiveness is a virtue. Companies that I have sent my applications to, I do hope that you’re reading this last bit and are favorably decisive.

Not a closer on the first-date person? Cool. To each his own.  I won’t hold that against you. I would like to know though how many dates it will take. Will there be a second interview and will you decide then? On the third? Fourth? Fifth? C’mon give me a break, it’s my heart, sorry, pockets on the line here, well, yours as well. How long will this date dance take? How many hoops am I going to jump through? Or is this more like soccer and will we go into extra time? Or were the 90 minutes that we had together all that was needed to prove my mettle?

And in conclusion, does this post prove its mettle? Has it set the right tone, I wonder. When we go on dates and interviews, we put ourselves out there, hopeful that this will lead to something good. And as I finish off this post, here’s hoping that the new year and decade will bring good tidings. Happy new year and happy new decade to you all, here’s to measuring up!