More Than Experience

Celebrations are in order, I officially have my dream job! Let me go back a few steps. I started working for a large company as an intern last May. Like many young adults I prayed for the day I heard: contract extension. But after hearing this a couple of times I cannot begin to tell you how great it felt when I heard: end date removed. This is very common for young workers and an increase in contracts make many fearful of never securing something permanent. But in March of this year I had achieved what I thought was impossible, I had a full time permanent Human Resources Coordinator job…with benefits. Needless to say I was on cloud nine. At least I thought I was happy, things were now secure, I had a good job with a lot of opportunity and I worked with a fantastic team, but then something happened. At a monthly staff meeting it was announced that a new HR Consultant role would open up on my team and would be based in Toronto. Now I will be honest my heart sped up a little bit, what should I do? The role was seeking a 5 year experienced senior HR professional, I had one year under my belt. I tried very hard to push all thoughts about applying out of mind because I knew there would be no way and how embarrassing would that be. Finally a friend of mine suggested I apply just because the interview experience would be great and at least I could get some face time with my superiors to discuss potential opportunities in the future. So, I applied.

After I applied I called my mentor to let her know (she would be doing the hiring). She said it would be a great idea, and echoed what my friend had said about getting good interview experience. Right…interview experience, that’s exactly what I wanted… But in my head I had already imagined my new fabulous life as an Human Resources Consultant. Hello, my name is Tyson and I am a Human Resources Consultant. Damn. From that point until the interview everyone told me the same thing, it will be a good experience. I did everything in my power to lower my expectations but it was too late, I was way too excited for the possibility. I did everything to prepare and was ready to wow them with my knowledge of company policy and best HR practices.

On the day of the interview I chose a trendy yet professional outfit (Toronto right?). I even brought my pointed black kitten heel “interview shoes.” I did what I could to avoid the interviewers and the interview room all day. My meeting wasn’t until the late afternoon. Unfortunately, I bumped into the interviewers in the lunch room and they saw me wearing my crappy old flats…oh no, this isn’t the first impression I had planned.

Finally the interview, I was so ready for the behaviour and knowledge questions. But the interview went a lot differently than I had expected, after leaving I felt the smallest bit of discouragement. What was I thinking, I am not experienced enough.

The next day at 5pm, after I had changed into my gym clothes for my walk home from work I got a text from my mentor to meet me in a meeting room. Again I was so embarrassed wearing my spandex leggings and Under Armour dry fit top. They called me in and asked me to sit down because they had made their decision. My manager looked pretty stern and told me they thought long and hard and… that I was the best candidate! Tears immediately filled my eyes, pull yourself together god damnit. So there I was bawling in my gym clothes. The happiest HR Consultant in the world!

It has been a crazy ride since, the transition has been fast and challenging! But I am L-O-V-I-N-G it!

So here is my advice to anyone out there looking at applying for a job they think might be out of their league. Just do it! Especially if it is internal. You never know what they are looking for and it very well could be you. And hey even if you don’t get it, the interview is always a great experience.

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