Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Surprise Job Offer

An unexpected job offer surprised me. The position had nothing to do with my writing skills. However, I can say with confidence the job was meant for me.

Five years ago, I moved back to Dallas. In the midst of searching for employment, I met two authors who inspired me to pursue my passion for writing. So, I joined a writers’ group, went back to college, and graduated last year with a journalism degree.

I wanted to pen a novel, yet many author-friends advised me to keep my day job since getting a book published might take years. Ouch. I didn’t have a day job. The old adage starving artist haunted me. Hence, I started my job search again.

I found many groups that offered advice to unemployed people about using job-search tools and networking. One online tool helped me pinpoint my top five natural strengths: connectedness, adaptability, empathy, belief, and woo. Definitely characteristics of a people-person. I also narrowed down my ultimate dream job—a corporate journalist for a company with employees all over the country.

Twelve days ago at a networking function held at a local church, a leader mentioned a job fair at Fossil, Inc. The company was hiring retail help for the holidays. A stirring in my heart began immediately. Applying for that position made no sense to me. I was born to write, not sell. However, I’ve learned over the years to heed such divine nudges.

Three days later, I walked into the company’s corporate office while asking God to close doors if this was not the job for me.

An employee handed me an application and directed me to a room with hundreds of job applicants. The overwhelming amount of job seekers blew me away. I wondered if I would make the cut since many of those applying appeared young, hip and chic.

As I looked over the paperwork, I noticed the position was for the call center and not for retail help. My four years of customer service experience made me a good fit for the job. I highlighted my willingness to work all shifts except Sunday mornings.

After I completed the forms, a company recruiter spoke with me. Once we finished, she led me to a waiting area. A smidgen of the original job seekers sat in the room.

I made the first cut.

Two other recruiters interviewed me several minutes later. I believe my confidence, authenticity, and love for people stood out. One of the interviewers, Jenna, left to go find the hiring manager. Her colleague told me temporary employees with good work ethic might be hired permanently after the holidays. She added people transfer all the time to other departments suited for their specific skills. My writing talent came to mind.

Finally, Jenna returned with the manager who commented on my desire to have Sunday mornings off.

I replied I could always attend service on Saturday evenings at my church’s main campus in a nearby suburb. When I mentioned the town, Jenna named my place of worship. My curiosity peaked. Jenna revealed she attended another church—the one where I heard about the Fossil job fair!

Stunned, I turned my attention back to the manager.

“I’d like to offer you the position,” she said.

“Really?” I’m sure my eyes glazed over in awe.

“Yes,” she replied.

Not convinced, I asked two more times, “Really?”

All of us laughed as the manager said yes.

Overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt, knowing the Lord moved on my behalf. I have no idea where this job will lead. All I know is that I got my foot in the door at the headquarters of an international company with a solid reputation.
I start work this Monday.