So recently, as people on my Facebook and Twitter will no doubt know, I have been trying to find a new job. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with my current role, but I want to find a role where I can get passionate about what I do. I like to think I am good at what I do and my stats prove that, but I was just want something more.
This all stems from a quote that I heard in an advert for Red Bull several years ago, and find then everything has changed for me. “I want to wake up every morning with a passion. I want to wake up with a smile on my face and be able to say I love what I do. You can dream about it……or you can go out and make it happen.”
Since then I have been looking for a new role and in the last two years I have probably had close on 20 job interviews for various roles and only secured one of them (my current job). Now, the reason that I chose that time period specifically is that July 2nd marks the anniversary of when I publicly came out to everyone as being transgendered.
Since that date I have noticed a considerably different experience at interviews. Now, before I start, I’m not going to do what a lot of other transgendered individuals do and blame the fact that I am transgender on my failures at job interviews. Out of those 20, I know for a fact that 18 of the 19 failures were not due to me being transgendered, and that’s the way it should be. People should be hired based on what they can do and not what life choices they have made.
You may notice that I did say “18 of the 19” in that section, that’s because I did have one failure where I know the specific reason I didn’t get it was because I was transgendered. “How do you know that?” I hear you ask, well let me tell you. I was looking for a part time role to supplement my full time job at my current employers and secured a job interview at the Postal Order pub in Blackburn.
I have worked at a pub in Newark so I had the relevant experience and over the phone the person was really enthusiastic about my application, however, the person I spoke to on the phone was not the person who interviewed me. I walked into the pub for my interview and the interviewer was the pub manager. He quite clearly hadn’t been informed I was transgendered and greeted me with a look that you would associate with a deer in headlights in from that moment I knew that I wouldn’t get the job. The interview commenced and lasted twenty minutes, and during that twenty minute conversation he didn’t look at me once, not once.
I saw this same interviewer a few nights later when socialising with friends and he was interviewing someone else, a beaming smile broadcasting over his face, making perfect eye contact. I never heard back about the role but as I say, I knew from the first five seconds I wouldn’t be getting that job. That is the only interview I’ve had where the person failed to hide their complete surprise and didn’t deal accordingly.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming being transgendered for the other 18, but I’ve come to expect that “oh” look on their face. Recently I had a flurry of interviews in a short amount of time;
1) A financial company in Leeds
2) A packaging company in Accrington
3) A car buying company in Manchester
4) An optical services company in Preston
5) An IT company in Westhoughton.
Now, I’m that disappointed about not getting number four. They advertised it as an administration job but it was actually working in a call centre, and the company in Accrington grimaced when they asked what my minimum salary would need to be and I said “£14,000”. Now, that is my minimum and I think it’s very reasonable, so the fact they were very, very uneasy about me saying that showed me there and then that I wouldn’t be getting that job.
The interview in Manchester proved very frustrating in many ways as they lead with the usual question of “What do you know about our company?” This from a company that had precisely no information about their “about us” section on the website, the Wikipedia entry is minimal to say the least and the best I could find for them is the year they formed and the list of awards they have won. I wasn’t overly surprised I didn’t get that one.
I did really want the other two, the first interview in Leeds went exceptionally well and I would say that it was probably the best interview I have ever done, I completely aced the scenario and Excel tests (their words) and nailed the interview, and according to the agency I went through, I was a virtual guarantee for the job.
Two weeks pass and I didn’t hear anything, it since turns out that they had a meeting after my interview and decided to simply promote something from within (someone who didn’t even apply for the job apparently) rather than hiring the people who took the time to apply and go for an interview. That is one piece of frustration I have found recently, the companies take their time to decide they need a new member of staff, they arrange interviews, sometimes several stages, and wait until the very end the because someone internally applied that they will get it.
I recently applied for another job and apparently they didn’t even want to interview anyone else after an internal person expressed their interest. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s their prerogative to choose an internal person, but if you’ve take the time to advertise the role, you might as well see these people.
Finally, we get onto the IT company in Westhoughton. I was very confident about getting their role, and again I thought was one of the strongest interviews I have ever had and I’ll be honest, I walked out of that interview convinced that I had secured the role. I had postponed and significantly shortened a holiday for that interview and I thought that, combined with a proven history in that sort role and a strong interview would have secured the role, I was wrong. I was informed by the recruitment consultant that I finished second in the overall process. Had I been successful I would have actually been starting that job tomorrow.
Since then I have had a few interviews, including two over the last week, not easy given that I have had a throat infection over recent weeks, and today, I had one for a telecommunications company based in the West Midlands and although I initially thought I had done very well, previous experience, as well as knowing that I only got 92% in a test they asked me to take, I am now fearing that I won’t get asked for a second interview for that role (I find out on Monday).
It’s a difficult and stressful world when you’re searching for a new job and there are few worse feelings in the world than when you get rejected for a job that you really want. The worst thing is that I am actually employed, so I dread to think what people who haven’t got a job go through. At least I have the consolation of having a job to go to everyday, granted I’m still disappointing to not secure new roles, but I would rather go into interviews knowing that at worst I will have to stick with my current job for a while longer.
Oh well, I suppose I should get back to contemplating the future and I will leave you with a recent video of Jim Carrey…..