Bumper to bumper, stuck in traffic on Flinders street, Melbourne in a December heat wave. I had about 10 minutes until I was due at the job interview one kilometer down the busiest city street of the CBD. There was no way I was arriving on time. The job interview for the dream job I never imagined I would even be considered for. I thought I was doing the right thing to let them know I was running behind.... I called in...
“Well Abby, you’ve only got 30 minutes with us so if your running 10 minutes late, you will only have 20 minutes.” Jane, the assertive woman stubbornly sniped down the line. I could already tell she was a task master and wondered if it was even worth showing up.
But it was now or now, I pulled into the next parking lot and claimed the first space I could find. In my kitten heals, suit pants and green blouse, I sprinted down the busy sidewalk until I reached the office dripping in sweat. I took a minute to find myself and walked into reception. Here I waited nervously for about 5 minutes in the foyer thinking — this must be karma.
This was the second job interview of the day and about the 12th in the last few months. I was desperately looking for the next step out of my first ‘real’ job and into my career. I was getting pretty tired of the interview process, feeling as though I had it dialed. Id applied for that many jobs and attended that many interviews, my resume was healthy but something wasn't right. I had all the experience, there just always seemed to be someone better.
During this process there was a little inkling inside of me. A guide of some sorts who kept spurring me on. Every time I got the phone call to say I didn't get the job they would say ‘that's because there is something better for you.’ I didn't know what this feeling was or where it was coming from. The feelings were not prominent they were just there, holding space for me.
Id come across this job, which at the time was that ‘dream job.’ You know the one you think, maybe in 5 years when I have all the qualifications, experience and am worth that much. In fact I nearly didn't apply for it, but there was a little voice that said, ‘what have you got to lose?’
I had been here last week for the first round of interviews so I already knew the characters I would be meeting. To be honest I was surprised I was even invited back! The entire first interview had felt awkward and I just felt like I had no connection, no click with these women. But maybe the second time round it would be different.
Let me tell you it wasn't. Nothing was getting easier. I didn't feel like I could answer the questions confidently, I fumbled and flailed and honestly felt like the biggest outcast in the room. I left in a flustered hot mess into the hot dry summers afternoon and drove to the beach for a training session.
What did it matter anyway…I had done pretty well to get this far in the process of a job which was way above me. So above me, that I nearly didn't apply. As I parked the car the phone rang, it was Jane. “Abby,” the assertive tone echoed down the line…what have I done now? I wondered. “We would like to offer you the job!” My eyeballs nearly popped out of my head as my heart exploded into a party of celebrations. I composed my voice and graciously accepted. I actually couldn't believe it.
The penny dropped for me a few days later when I was thinking back on this entire process. All those other jobs I had applied for — none of them had really made me sing. They hadn't fed my soul, they didn't REALLY make me excited, I had been playing small. There was I reason I had not gotten those jobs, there was something better for me.
The process had been frustrating day in day out hearing that I hadn't got the job over and over and over. The whisper told me every time, there's something better for you. I think deep down I knew it — I just couldn't believe it because I wasn't patient enough to see it. Not until I stretched myself far enough in applying for something I thought was our of reach.
This isn't the only time this had happened to me and this lesson serves as a big one that I always come back to. We may not know why something didn't go our way, but its not until later that we realize that it was because something better was coming along, when we decide to go that extra mile, step into courage and stretch our self.
For now I try to keep this front of mind, if I’m sad or upset or just cant see why things are not work — I know there is a bigger reason, a higher purpose that will soon become clear. Its this or something better. The universe has a better plan.