Thursday, September 07, 2006

Beginners Mind, Beginners Luck

I just love it when an ordinary day turns into a most strange and extraordinary day. And without drugs! Its possible! Actually, today was a day that I had planned and organized to just sit. Not on my ass, well yes, in a way. I've been longing for some cushion time, and discovered a drop in day care service not far from where we lived, and decided to register Aidan for the afternoon. In my case, getting to the cushion really does involve some elaborate choreography and planning. After our initial visit and registration, Aidan was very keen, so it was all set.

In the meantime, I had matters of being unemployed to attend to. Now my employment councillor recommended that I do some industry research along with mail-bombing them with my resume. I suck at cold calling. I am flustered, nervous and generally bumble my way through things. I had to gather the gumption to start out on this, for I have a meeting with my employment councillor on the 18th to discuss my progress. Being a chicken shit and being unemployed are a precarious combination. So somehow I had the balls to make some phone calls this morning. I chose three companies in the e-learning and instructional design field, since I think this would be a good first foray into the wild and wacky world of IT. What else is an unemployed Religious Studies professor to do? I chose the company with the coolest name.

My conversation with the secretary was somewhat awkward and she seemed suspicious. Corportate espionage must be very real, and I must I have been talking to a recent MBA from Quantico. Yes, I don't want anything more than to ask about how someone would pay attention to the likes of me! And no wonder I hate cold calling. Everyone is so paranoid about being sold swamp land in Florida.
"Just a second, I'll put you though to the president", She says.

I nearly passed out.

I was not in the frame of mind to do this. I just wanted to make an appointment to come by and chat for a couple of minutes and in the meantime could muster up all the courage and questions that I had. He was actually very nice, and very helpful. He did ask for my resume, which I sent, and later he called me back to offer some constructive criticism. He even said that my school website (still hanging on!) was designed better than the university website. (Blush!). Then there were some more back and forth e-mails, more information for me, and one publication in particular caught my eye. You see, I have an interview with another e-learning company on Monday. I have been meaning to cheer about this online, but I am on the rebound from my first rejection and deciding to keep it all casual. Anyway, I say this, because I mentioned to Mr. President of the Company that the document that he sent me would be helpful for this interview on Monday.

Then came another slew of e-mails. Finding a job is much like dating. Which I sucked at too. But regardless, in a round about way, he invited me for a meeting, and then he made it known that he wanted to see me before the interview. Oi! So we have a date for tomorrow morning at 9:30. In his last e-mail, he said "you're articulate and have a great sense of humour. Probably ready to be your own Sherpa and I predict Santa will find your kids this year." I nearly fell out of my chair. How come no one told me that a great sense of humour was a marketable skill? I guess it is hard to see through this when one's degree is MA Religion and Culture.

Crazy madness eh? I kept thinking that this was beginners mind in action. Because I still have no clue what the hell I am getting into. I don't mean this in a negative way, I am just trying to emphasize that I really needed to get my feet wet in this area. And as is typical in my life, and probably also in yours, sometimes you get thoroughly drenched.

Oh, and I did sit. And despite my mental speediness, I settled and sat. And now I want to sit some more of course. More strategies will be involked, no doubt.


Kim said...

You are AWESOME! Good luck with the interviews!

Did I ever mention that I work in e-learning? (Of course, nothing related to anything as cool as religious studies! Just an online sales trainer geek here!)

Arwen said...

Good Luck. A sense of humor is a good thing...sarcasm is a bad thing. That is why they normally tend to shy away from a sense of humor ('they' being the people who do initial interviews). 'They' also don't have a sense of humor.

hotboy said...

Great that something's happening so fast as well! I've no idea what an e-learning thing is, but I hope it pays plenty if you get it! Hotboy

Umm 'Skandar said...

Smart, articulate, and funny can go a long way!!

Good luck!