After being as patient as a firecracker can be, I chose to send follow up emails to a recruiter and two of four people who interviewed me during the previous three weeks.
For the second time this year, I’m up for a position at one of the largest employers in my area.
My interviews went well.
My thank you emails were specific, detailed, and flawless.
But, I couldn’t be patient and wait to see what was next. I had to send follow-up emails the following week to ask where they were in the hiring process and reinforce my interest in the position.
Two of the three emails were pitch perfect. The third contained the following line: “Please let don’t hesitate to ask.” (Originally, I had written, “Please let me know.” And then revised it to read, “Please don’t hesitate to ask,” but failed to revise fully.)
The lingering let.
What has me stuck on this typo (besides the obvious–that it may have cost me further interviews or even a job offer), is the inclusion of the two words standing so closely together. Let. Don’t.
Let me have a new career. Don’t let me have a new career.
let don’t let don’t let don’t
I turned loose my internal conflict right smack in the middle of my follow-up email. Do I want to transition from my current part-time role as a consultant into a full-time, full-fledged, 40-hours a week (if I’m lucky) employee?
Was my unconscious asking my interviewer for her opinion? Did she pick up on it? Will she help me out? “Do I want to leave this dream schedule for what I am currently imagining to be a dream career? Do I? Please, tell me!”
Right now, I am a consultant for an organization where I was a full-timer up until last year. I have a schedule anyone with kids would kill to have, combined with a paycheck that stretches well enough. I don’t spend hours in a sweatshop. I don’t punch a time-clock. I don’t deal with unruly customers. I don’t have to taste-test processed foods or take experimental drugs.
What’s missing? An actual career. I’m free-floating. I want the schedule I have now with better pay and a smarter boss; but, I also want career opportunities. Really, I want structure. I want to go on vacation for a week and not worry about cash flow the following month.
On this most sacred day of freedom, I’m having a serious discussion with myself about my own. Has it come to this? Do I want to let go of so much freedom to feel like I am doing something?
As soon as I’m ready to buy my ticket on the full-timers train, I see quotes like this spread across my television first thing in the a.m. by way of MSNBC’s Morning Joe (from Tim Kreider’s NYTimes article, The Busy Trap):
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day…I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.
Is that what I am doing? Giving up boatloads of freedom to…hedge against emptiness?
Yes, I can schedule my days as I want, but my job satisfaction is nearing a negative number so low I can’t even count backwards to it. Do I feel grateful to have what I have or do I jump on the job search wheel, spinning my tires and begging my interviewers to give me a clue by sending them typo-ridden follow-up emails?
Let me? or Don’t?