Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Highs and the Lows

I'm pretty even keeled. Typically not too excitable either way. Years ago, when I was a high school volleyball coach (would you believe that?), I preached this: things are never as bad, nor as good, as they seem. Words to live by, and I do my best.

To illustrate, think of a number, between 0 and 100, that describes your emotional state right now. 100 is deliriously happy, 0 is incapacitating despondency. For added fun, put that number in the comments right now. I'll wait.

For me, I typically stay between, say, 45 and 55.* Lately, it's been difficult to stay within, as Data from STTNG** might say, "Normal operating parameters."

* - I'm told Zoloft does this to you. Not that I have any first-hand experience, mind you.
** - Google it, if you must.

Let's say I walked in to work on January 21 sporting a nice round 50. Upon hearing that IBM has decided to move on without me and 16,000 of my closest colleagues, I plummeted immediately to, say, a 5. Couldn't put two words together as I tried to call Sue on the way home. I'm sure that was a little unsettling for her. By the time I got home, I had improved to, say, 25.

Over the next day or two, this number continued to climb, even getting up into the 60's or so as I discovered the breadth of opportunities out there. Of course, I had, at the time, a poor sense of how to identify the best options, and got some quick rejections. And that is really the whole point of this post. The last month has been that way.

Aw2pp: "IBM needs a Telelogic Rep? I could sell Telelogic! Interview me!" 65
IBM: "True, the posting went up just this morning, but we already filled the position." 35

Aw2pp: "Wow, AON needs a Director of IT Infrastructure. I could do that!" 75
AON: "Call us back in ten years." 30

Aw2pp: "Hey, IBM is hiring a Sales Leader for the Distribution Sector!" 80
IBM: "If you have to look up what 'Distribution Sector' means, you're probably not the right one for the job." 25

Yes, all the above has happened. I have another half dozen just like these. And yes, in each case I truly, naively, was excited about the opportunity; and in each case, I crashed to Earth upon the rejection. Why do I tell you this? They say admitting you have a problem is the first step. I admit I need to get a grip on myself. And today is a good day to do it, because I had an exceptionally positive interview with a small software vendor, which could lead to a potentially lucrative offer some time in March. I have an interview with our #1 competitor on Monday, and they are very interested in me. My #1 customer target called today, and scheduled an interview for Tuesday. They have four openings in my skill set, and the recruiter told me I was the hiring team's first prospect they want to talk to . Heck, it was even breakfast for dinner tonight... does it get better than that?

Everything's coming up Millhouse for Aw2pp, so the temptation is staring me in the face to climb back up the scale again. So, consider this post my attempt at getting a grip, to remind myself that the most likely scenario is that, on Monday morning, I am still going to be jobless. And the job search count still shows a goosegg in the "offers" column. Here, I'll show you:

Applications: 122
Rejections: 24
Interviews: 9
Offers: 0

Still, breakfast for dinner is pretty nice.

- Aw2pp, who has yet to find a reasonable wine match for pancakes.


Michelle Himes said...

I hope one or more of those jobs pan out for you, AW2PP.

I hang out in the 50-55 zone most of the time myself. Although I consider myself to be a reasonably happy person, I've probably never gotten close to 100. I don't think deleriously happy in my nature. I don't usually dip too far below the 50-55 level either. I tend to have a "go with the flow" attitude and try not to let things get me down. The only time I got down into the zero area was the day my husband died.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It sometimes takes a while. Last time my hubby was laid off (yeah, it's happened twice here!), it took- well, longer than we'd have liked. But the job he has now is far better than any of the previous ones, so things have a way of working out.

Try a nice, dry Reisling with those pancakes!