Spring usually takes me back to the days of my teenage years. There are people out there laughing, I know. That’s okay. I know I’m just 32, but wow, does high school seem like it was centuries ago! Time really does fly, doesn’t it? This time of year, when the flowers are blooming and you have NO idea what to wear because the weather could change in a millisecond.
This time of year, when young ladies are wondering what color dress to buy for prom, and how to wear their hair. Up-do or down or curly? This time of year, when the senioritis is sure to kick in, and you think, ‘Where should I work this summer?’. And in this instant, I feel like it was just yesterday, and not 15 years ago. It was just yesterday when I, too, had senioritis, and wanted to hang on tight to my memories, and not let them sift through my fingers like grains of sand.
The summer I graduated from high school, I knew that I needed to do something for work. Growing up in Downeast Maine, it was inevitable that I raked blueberries from the time I could hold the heavy, awkward, metal rake in my hand. That’s what I did every summer for years until my first real job as a gas attendant at R.W.Mathews and Sons. What a blast I had! I worked with all guys, was outside all day, and was able to talk to tourists and locals to my heart’s content. This was also the first time I had a real interview. Even though I was applying to pump gas for 8-10 hours a day, I still showed up at my interview looking like a professional.
In 1999, my resume as a high school graduate was pretty small, but it grew. It continued to grow, and eventually, so did my confidence. I knew that I worked hard; I earned the right to list all my previous employers and references. The hardest part of a job application for me is always the ‘List any other qualities, experiences, and accolades that you think would make you a great candidate for this job’ part. But you know what? If you get writer’s block, like I often did, it’s okay. Because if it’s meant to be, you’ll get an interview, and those qualities will shine through. The employer will be able to see it. That’s also why I think it’s always a good idea to look professional for an interview. Let them know you are serious!
Interviews are something I always took seriously. It is, of course, your time to shine. It’s your chance to go in there and show your knowledge, field their questions, and ask them questions, too. There’s always that moment that you feel yourself getting a little sweaty (I doubt it’s just me!). And that is especially true if the potential job means a lot to you. I remember leaving the interview with my current employer and thinking ‘I hope they didn’t notice how sweaty I was!’. Of course, it was the middle of a hot August day, and the job entailed moving to a new state. But a little sweat never hurt anyone; I was offered the job halfway through my interview. So I knew I did something right! Last week I actually shared a laugh with my director about it, because I realized I was wearing the same outfit I wore to the interview on that fateful day in August. Those are the times when you realize all the effort you put into the applications and interviews payed off.
When you think you can’t possibly handle one more job application, one more interview, or one more sweat-stained top, just remember…one day you, too, will realize it was all worth it. Your whole life could change with one e-mailed resume, sent on a whim to an employer in a different state. And if things hadn’t worked out the way they did, I would have just chalked it up to another learning experience and embarked on some other adventure until I found the right fit for me.
All it takes is 10 seconds of insane courage and one step forward to reach your destiny.