“Hi Michelle. I’m calling you about the Operations Manager position you interviewed for.”
Finally. The call I was waiting for.
I was very specific about the type of job I wanted after grad school. I wanted to manage operations for a network of charter schools. In the bay area. Of which there were only five.
My top choice employer was on a hiring freeze. One didn’t want someone with their MBA. Two of the five were not growing. And after three months of searching, I was in the final round at the last organization where I had a chance to get the job I wanted. I thought I had done well in the interviews, but when I answered the phone, something was off in the hiring manager’s voice.
“I know we said that we’d get back to you about the position by today, which is why I called. And, I just want you to know, Michelle, we have no doubt that you are highly qualified and would do a great job in this position. We just can’t say yes to you yet.”
What the hell does that mean? What do I do with that? Couldn’t they see how much I wanted this? How much I was meant to do this work? Why couldn’t they say yes? Yet? I was completely unprepared for their non-answer. Without a no, I couldn’t move on. But no matter what I offered to do- answer their questions, provide them with more references, do another round of interviews- I couldn’t move them any closer to yes. All I could do was wait, as I watched them repost the job and start the hiring process all over again. It was agonizing to be strung along for weeks, hanging in limbo. And then, just when I thought I couldn’t take it any longer, I received an message in my inbox that flipped my world right-side up.
“I am wondering if you’d be interested in a conversation.”
The email was from the Chief Operating Officer at my first-choice employer (the one I thought was on a hiring freeze), asking whether I’d like to chat about an opportunity at his organization. Three weeks later, I was hired for the exact job I had been looking for all along, at the best organization I could have dreamed to be at.
Sometimes things happen to us and we don’t know why. They may be hugely disappointing. They may make us really upset. They may make us lose all hope. But sometimes those things happen for a reason. So, the next time things don’t play out the way you want them to, know that it’s possible the universe is simply freeing you to do bigger, better things.