So, about the interview... I thought it went really well. I felt a great connection with the interview panel, my teaching demonstration went well, and I felt overall I answered the interview questions thoroughly and they seemed "with" me throughout. I did wish I'd thought more about the student learning objectives and how my teaching presentation related to those. I also wonder if they saw my career counseling business as a positive or a negative... I think I presented it as a positive, giving me more skills and workforce experience to share with students, and saying I'd likely continue working just a few hours a week with clients. But who knows what they thought. In any case, drumrollllll, I did not get the position. Yep, they emailed me back yesterday the same stupid, generic email saying they appreciated me and wished me well and apply again, etc. Blech. I put so. much. work. into preparing and I don't think I could have done much better. So what does that say? Am I just not competitive in this market? Is God telling me something? or are these things just usually rigged, with the winners decided before the games even begin...
I've reflected some on this, and there are two thoughts that emerged:
- I always ask my clients what level of interest they have for a particular career, on a scale of 1 to 10, and I make the case that their interest level should be at an 8 or above to sustain a career in the long run and not burn out or lose interest over time. When I asked myself what was my level of interest for this full-time counseling gig involving teaching college classes again, my interest level was a 6.5 to 7. I don't want to work full-time at any job really, as it means basically letting go of my business in large part, at least for now. Also, teaching college success classes is not consistently awesome. Some of the topics are fun and interesting and others are real snoozers, like how to take notes, and think critically, etc. And community college students are not my fave demographic. My favorite college class had a good amount of adult learners returning to school who were super engaged and mature in their communication - and they brought lots of interesting life experience.
- Maybe I am being guided to step up to my business and take it to the next level. I've come this far. I have had 7-10 clients consistently since early this year. I keep getting consultations and I keep getting new clients, albeit somewhat in fits and starts. I feel like I've learned so much in the last year and really developed professionally in terms of how I communicate with clients and how I present my tools and resources - I've created several new tools, actually, based on my learning. I have done some brainstorming and writing about how my career counseling (for the Introvert/Professional niche stuck in jobs that don't fit them) might be packaged into Group Program content for delivery in a live event and/or by video. I'd love to take the plunge and sign up for the next programs in the high-level marketing program I did last year, called Speaking and Leverage, which are all about delivering Group Programs. Also, I know I could raise my income if I had an assistant (virtual assistant likely) to help me focus and track payments, posts on social media, newsletters, event marketing, etc. In a way, I was looking at this job I interviewed for as my savior, hoping it would rescue me, but maybe I need to be on the hot seat and stay in the game to get over the hump and make my business sustainable.
And maybe I just don't have what it takes to be competitive when applying for full-time college counseling jobs in the super competitive Bay Area market. I still would love to have a part-time counseling position not too far from home. That opportunity I would give an 8 out of 10. My career counseling business by the way is an 8.5 to 9. It does depend in part on the client - some clients I love and some are challenging, but I don't know if I'd take away all the challenges right now because it is helping me grow. Anyway, that's all I have on that topic right now...
I'll end on a high note: I finished my adoption training last week! It was rainy on Monday, which caused our outdoor trivia night to be cancelled, so I decided to go. Monday's training was on diversity and culture in adoption, basically the responsibility you take on if you adopt a child of a different ethnicity and/or culture. They showed a film with some adoptees talking as teens/20's, then talking again 10 years laters. It was good information; not a lot of new stuff but "getting it" at a deeper level. Identity is such a huge and important factor. My deepest and most moving learning was something one of the adoptees said about their parents and family and how it wasn't like they were helping her to deal with racism, but that they were a "multi-cultural family" going through life together with all that that means. Something like that. Very powerful. I still, for a variety of reasons, am thinking I would like to adopt a Caucasion, Caucasion/Asian, or Caucasion/Latino child, but the latter two would definitely require me to step up and be fully "with" them as they go through life as a person of color. The third training was a total dud, as mentioned above, basically legalese about accessing services as a foster parent. The material was not made accessible to us as trainees! lol
Now, I'm waiting to hear from them about setting up the first long interview leading into creating a profile and completing the home study. I would have felt more confident about the income piece if I landed the full-time counseling job, but we will see what they say. I'll take it a step at a time. My boss at the non-profit did say we are working towards increasing my hours but she wants to have a better sense of how many hours I need to complete my duties, especially since we've changed the intake process somewhat and they have added follow-up calls to my duties. Some exciting news: starting in November, I get to work some hours from home! We have two holidays in November, so those days can be from home (since I'm not paid for holidays) and I think she said the other two Fridays, as well, but I have to double check. Only driving that long commute two days a week will make a big difference!
That's all for now! Heading back into my super chill weekend. Plans to do some business work off and on, maybe work out later, but other than that, watch movies, take walks, surf the web, do laundry, etc. Snuggle up at home. Hope you have a good, relaxing weekend, too, especially if that's what you need.