The Ten Job Challenge - Part 2
By Tom Edwards, Editor-In-Chief, Buhner.com

    When we last left the 10 Job Challenge, I had identified ten prospective job opportunities and gotten in contact with each of them, sending each a resume, or the required information requested in the job description.  Having received the Southampton Press (the source of most of the jobs) late on a Thursday, the resumes were sent out early Friday.  All that was left now was the waiting.

    I had assumed that some of the jobs would be more responsive than others.  I knew that there would be few that wouldn't contact me at all.  But even with that thought, I felt that I was qualified for every job within the challenge, so that if they chose not to get in contact with me, it would be their loss.

    Having sent out the resumes on Friday, I didn't expect immedate responce, but I figured one or two people who got the resume via fax or email would get in contact with me.  However, there was one I didn't send a resume to, because I had to get in contact with the company myself.

    Malloy Air East (#3 of 10) worked out of the Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.  It was one of the more interesting jobs of the ten, so I actually got up the nerve to call the contact for the job that morning, as I waited for the other people to get in contact with me.  There was a little hesitation on my part, as I knew that calling Malloy would mean immedate contact and a likely interview on the spot.  Plus, they didn't know me from Adam, so I'd have to try to explain myself over the phone to "sell" myself in order to get that interview.

    I called up the contact from Malloy, and spoke to a woman over the phone, who told me that she was leaving soon (and had actually moved already), but was flying in from North Carolina in order to work and train her eventual replacement in the meantime.  This blew me away, because there aren't too many companies, even working out of airports, that are willing to fly in a bookkeeper (as the description seemed to imply).  They seemed to care about their employees, at least.  Either that, or she was really really good.  The only real question she asked me was if I had bookkeeping experience, which I technically didn't (outside of two accounting classes and that I do my own taxes).  She didn't seem overly pleased by that, but she scheduled me for an interview anyway.  As she said that she'd be gone for an extended weekend (back to North Carolina) and wouldn't be back immedately, she asked for an interview to take place in the morning Thursday.  I agreed, and boom, we're one for one.

    Job #3 - INTERVIEW

    Friday passes without another call, which was kind of depressing.  I mean, I understand that I had sent everything that morning, but I had assumed that at least someone would get back to me that day.  That wasn't the case, however, so I dealt with what I had, which was one interview, and hoped Monday would be a little brighter.

    The weekend passed, and sure enough, the phone began to ring on Monday.  The first call I received was from Hamptons Telephone (#4 of 10).  Hamptons Telephone seemed like a good company with a good amount of opportunity when I first checked them out, so I had good expectations for this one.  After a little bit of chit-chat, I secured an interview for Wednesday morning, which meant two interviews in two days.  Had I really been slacking so much with sending out resumes that all it took was a little extra effort to get someone to notice?  We'll see, I guess.

    Job #4 - INTERVIEW

    As much fun as sitting home all day to see who else would call would be, I actually had to get out of the house and run a few errands.  However, after returning to the car, I found a message on my cell phone voice mail telling me to call back American Teleconnect at my earliest opportunity.  Now I was really starting to question myself.  Here's another job, granted one that I wasn't necessarily high on, but over a period of 24 hours (from noon Friday to noon Monday, not counting the weekend), I had already gotten three interviews.  I secured the interview with American Teleconnect for Wednesday in the afternoon and went home, waiting to see who else was beating down my door for an interview.

    Job #8 - INTERVIEW

    When I got home, I saw that the answering machine had messages, but only one, and it turned out to be from Teleconnect, whom I had already spoken to.  For the rest of the day, that sky high confidence in myself and the questioning of my tenacity for going after jobs began to fade away.  The phone went silent for the rest of the day, and I quickly remembered why the job search frustrated me.  I was fine with waiting for a day or two for callbacks, but I had a feeling that if I didn't get any calls by Tuesday, I could pretty well assume what jobs had an interest in me and which ones didn't.

    Tuesday came and went, and while I did get a phone call, it wasn't one I was expecting.  While waiting for other inquiries from the rest of the Challenge, I received a call from my old friend Patrick, from Hildreths.  Patrick originally interviewed me for an earlier position with Hildreths Department Store regarding a new inventory database they were installing in the store.  It was a very interesting position, and I interviewed twice for it, and both interviews went very well.  Patrick himself especially seemed pleased, and although I tried not to get my hopes up for this job, I felt that it'd take a lot for me not to get this job.  Naturally, I didn't get it.  I shrugged it off to just "my dumb luck" and went back into the search, but the Hildreths experience was probably one of the main things that caused this experiment I speak of now.

    Anyway, Patrick gets in contact with me and asks me if I would be interested in interviewing with the person who actually got the job I interviewed for and working on the project as well, working under him.  I've got pride, but I also really liked the company and the people that worked there, and you can't always get a comfortable work environment, so I said that I'd give it a shot.  Plus, I was curious as to who the company (and not Patrick) picked instead of me.

    So, going into the interviews, the Challenge was going at a 3/10 clip, which isn't exceptional, but it is something.  If you look at the types of jobs that didn't contact me though, you have to wonder reasoning.  The Museum didn't call back, nor did Pulver Gas, the Southampton Press, or the security company.  All these positions were like administrative assistant positions, and part of me would like to think that the reason that they didn't call be back was that they felt that I was overqualified for the position(s).  But at the same time, that could also be something I'm telling myself to soothe my ego.

    So, what happened in those four interviews?  Who called me back and who didn't?  And did any of them find out about the Challenge?  Part three comes up soon... I promise.

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