Saturday, February 28, 2009

Interviews ... I mean ... meetings

So I had an interview yesterday. Or at least I think it was an interview -- the interviewers had copies of my resume, I brought work samples, and we talked about future work possibilities.

But it wasn't an interview in the traditional sense: there was no coveted job on the line, and my expectations were (and remain) fairly low.

Now, I have gone for many an interview. Some have been fantastic, leading to successful stints and professional relationships that lasted long after I left the employer. Others ... notsomuch. I remember one particularly awful experience in the basement of a ski lodge that left me crying, broken down by the sheer struggle of working in a field that didn't fit. Needles to say I didn't get the job.

As a freelancer I have a much different frame of reference when it comes to dealing with higher-ups. When I meet or speak by phone with editors it's mostly about content, results, projects. We try to find what will fit -- we don't try to find that elusive bi-weekly paycheque. And I've been told (I believe it was by Craig Silverman at a PWAC event last year) that face-time really counts when it comes to getting gigs as a freelance journalist.

I could definitely have been more prepared for this 'meeting,' but I took the advice of a contact who has worked for years with this organization. She said be yourself -- so I was. Doesn't mean that self -- skill set, and all -- can't change, but they should know the truth about where I am now. I don't need to fake enthusiasm or sincerity, at least with this employer. I feel it's my dream employer and I feel like I've entered some other, better world when I consume their content.

So I will do more of this, and get better at it. I will take what I've got and see what they have, and see if we can't make something fit.

1 comment:

Karen D. said...

I agree - getting 'out there' to network or practise your interview skills can produce wonderful surprises. I've recently been doing some networking for my new business, and repeatedly find myself marvelling at the interesting people I meet and the ways we can help each other out. Even a quick chat often produces a flash of creativity that I wouldn't have enjoyed if I'd stayed in my own little world.
Wishing you joy & abundance!
Karen D.