waiting to hear, aarrgghh
February 12, 2007 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Post-interview, waiting to hear about a job, and I'm going nuts...

I'm a radio jock who recently got taken off the air during a station overhaul in which most on-air people were replaced. I heard about another opening at a station that almost never has any openings. I applied and the guy wanted to meet with me right away, said he'd been looking for a woman applicant and also was pleased that I'd recently been associated with the format I was in, because he thought it would make moving to a classical format smoother (yeah, it's a classical radio station, I'm a lame dork, but I've always loved this music).

The program director met me for coffee over the weekend and I thought it was going well. He seemed positive and didn't ask me any tricky questions designed to make me contradict myself. He said he really liked my demo tape, and wanted me to submit another one by today. Meanwhile, I should mention, I have a friend who works with this guy who said he was elated that I applied--my demo tape was that good, yada yada yada. He apparently told my friend, "If we end up hiring her, the lattes are on me!"

So it's been looking good. So I dropped off my second demo today, and got an email back from the PD. He said not to worry if I don't hear from him for a while because they're gearing up for a pledge drive, "and that takes up a lot of energy around here."

Now I'm feeling kind of deflated. What's "a while?" I don't have another option, and I'm feeling like he's taking my availability for granted. I know I need to just accept whatever happens, that it's out of my hands, but I'm a wreck right now. This is pretty much the job of a lifetime for me, and could lead to other markets--bigger cities, better pay, a management position ultimately, etc. And the self-esteem shot in the arm from a job like this--full time morning show slot at the only station like it in our city--would be amazing.

I'm currently at another station and have been very down on myself and life in general. They recently fired my boss and stripped me of my on-air gig, and now I'm stuck doing trained-seal data entry. I could do a lot more for them if they'd let me, but it's always, "Yeah, well, you know, we're in budget cutting mode." They refuse to make me full time, and I'm very depressed.

So now I'm thinking I screwed up my interview and the PD at the new station is just delaying letting me know I'm not in the running. The only major slip-up I think I made was in telling him I was reserved. It was the wrong word to use, and he noticed it and brought it up again. I tried to explain that I find it hard to toot my own horn, but would love to be associated with, and representing, a station that I loved and felt passionately about. (That's his big thing, he wants passion.) So I'm wondering if I muffed it.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I just need to figure out a way to stop thinking about this and stay functional and unstuck from the fetal position until I hear from the guy again. The not-knowing is stressing me out. How can I accept that it's out of my hands?
posted by frosty_hut to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Apply to more stations, even those out of town in order to keep yourself occupied. Who knows, you might get an even better opportunity!
Make a podcast, maybe build some buzz, or remind old listeners of who you are. (if you have balls (well not literal ones) "borrow" the station's email list)
posted by captaincrouton at 1:57 PM on February 12, 2007

Give yourself a deadline. Tell yourself you will wait exactly one week (to the hour) from the last time you heard from them. During that one week, you won't think of them at all.

Then, after that one week, you can give the manager a call, explain that you've been looking forward to hearing from them, you're awaiting their decision. If they say their thinking about it still, then give yourself another week, where you don't think about it at all. Repeat.

If it's been longer than a week, then call them already! You don't want them to forget about you.
posted by muddgirl at 1:58 PM on February 12, 2007

Looking for jobs sucks. Interviewing sucks. Waiting to hear sucks even worse. Nothing's going to make you stop obsessing about it, but perhaps a story will help: my wife applied for a job in August of 2005. They called her in for an interview, she thought it went well, but they didn't get back in touch. After a couple of weeks, she figured that was that.

In November, they called and asked if she could come in for another interview. Then they gave her the job. Yes, that's an outlier (it's a wacky place), but it should make you realize 1) that there can be a good outcome even if you don't hear back for a while, and 2) it's nuts to sit around chewing your nails. Distract yourself as best you can, and I hope you get it!
posted by languagehat at 2:01 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'd give it a two weeks then check back in with him. it's only fair for him to give you an update, since obviously you're looking to move on from your current position. Checking in will also let him know you still care. I once pretty much gave up on a job app after a month, felt totally terrible, but called the boss just to see if they'd hired someone yet. Their main candidate had just minutes before turned the job down, and the boss man asked me right there and then if i could fly down for an interview a few days later. I had the feeling that calling to check in brought me to front of his mind again, and I ended up getting the job. Who knows how it would have gone had I not called him to check...

When does the pledge drive end, they only go a couple weeks right? After it's done, give him a ring! (or ask your inside source, the friend you mentioned MUST know if they've got someone else on the line or are truly just really busy)...
posted by Salvatorparadise at 2:04 PM on February 12, 2007

Call the PD at the dream job and offer to help with the pledge drive. Show iniative and not being reserved. This could be a test of how reserved you are. Wait too long and it confirms that you are too reserved.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:06 PM on February 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

JohnnyGunn's idea is great. That is definitely what you should do.
posted by sulaine at 2:12 PM on February 12, 2007

If they're having a pledge drive, they must be a non-profit and they might have to run hiring decisions by the board and go through other procedures. That process might take a while. My husband worked at a university in a professional, non-academic position and they took months to hire people. Everything went from the HR department, to the decision-makers and back to HR.

You might send a follow up letter or card thanking him for the interview and expressing your interest again, if you haven't already done that. Then, try to relax at least until the pledge drive is over. It sounds like everything has gone well so far and all you have to do now is wait.
posted by BluGnu at 2:13 PM on February 12, 2007

Unfortunately doing the work you resent all day-- the trained seal stuff-- gives you more than enough opportunity to mentally gripe and dwell on the new job possibility. Even if you get the new job, you need to accept that you may wind up doing exactly what you're doing now for weeks, maybe months. And that needs to be okay, as in not a destructive life-ruining drag.

Since YOU know you are not long for this current job (even if they don't), find ways to shake up your daily schedule. Bring in fun things from home, like a lamp or your slippers or other small comforts to keep you happy where you sit. Take regular breaks for brief exercise, like a walk or a run or some sit-ups to keep your energy high. Make cookies or some other fun snack to bring in and share with the poor chumps who you will soon never have to deal with again.

Slacking on the work between now and when you leave will make you feel guilty and paranoid, and provide you with extra time to worry. Throw yourself into it. Use work time to adopt a few pet projects that no one else would ever bother to, like asking people to bring in old magazines from home for the break room table, or throwing out old junk that no one needs anymore. You have a lot of secret power in knowing that you're quitting soon, and if you play it cool, you could wind up with an even better reference than you anticipated. At worst, you got to shake off some of the baggage this job has left you with and confront it on your own terms in a more lighthearted, human way.

I really, really hope they call you soon. Sounds like you've got this one in the bag.
posted by hermitosis at 2:16 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

The only thing that will make people hurry up with a decision is to call and say you are close to getting another offer.

It's up to you if you're comfortable with that ethically, but it's the only way to stop them from stringing you along forever.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:18 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also, yeah, offering to volunteer for their pledge drive would be badass. There's a ballsy idea right there.
posted by hermitosis at 2:18 PM on February 12, 2007

You people rock. Thanks so much for these great ideas! ^_^
posted by frosty_hut at 2:47 PM on February 12, 2007

I'm with JohnnyGunn, volunteer for their pledge drive! Good idea JohnnyGunn !!
frosty_hut, if misery loves company.. I'm looking for a job right now also, I'll try to send you some good vibes. :)
posted by BillsR100 at 3:53 PM on February 12, 2007

Thanks, BillsR100, I'll send you some too! Here they are: ((((((((good vibe good vibe good vibe good vibe))))))))
posted by frosty_hut at 7:34 PM on February 12, 2007

Hi frosty_hut. To commiserate, it's been almost two weeks since I flew in and had an intense 8 hour interview for my dream job. I thought I did well, and now I wait by the phone. I totally understand how horribly distracting the suspense can be!! I hope the job comes through for you!
posted by umbĂș at 11:21 AM on February 13, 2007

Umbu, good luck! ^_^
posted by frosty_hut at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2007

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