No Yes! I got the job!

My last post was about not getting the job as a Research Interviewer. Now I got it anyway!

What are the odds of being called back and offered a job after first being rejected? They called me again and asked if I am still interested. The lady said that they have more work in my area and have reconsidered what I said about being fine with the risks and interviewing people with different socio-economic backgrounds. Yay! I start training next week!

 
Preparation & probation

The preparation requirements and planning (which I have already received in writing) are thought through and fair and well organised, as everything seems to be with this organisation.

There is a questionnaire to hand in by the start of the course. It seems to be a sort of exam in the organisation’s values and the character and duties of the job. I’ll also need pass photos and a ‘fit for work certificate’ from my GP this week.

The formal job offer will be given by the end of the seven day training course. As is the norm in Australia, the first 3 months of the job is a probation period where I can get sacked without any specific reason and virtually no notice. So the job isn’t secure as such, but this is a start, and an income… which is a great improvement since last week.

 
Preliminary worries

With this success on board, I have started to worry about the training. Not the training itself, but the seven days of social challenges.

Where I expect difficulties:

 
1. The breaks: small talk and noise

I’ve always had a hard time with breaks, although I try to camouflage it as good as I can. I hate when I don’t know what to do and where to go, feel lost in noise and confusion, the pressure to small talk and hang out with (make) friends; and the negative image of standing out as a loner.

I fear it can put my new employment at risk if I fail to socialise … even though the job doesn’t involve any workplace socialising with colleagues.

Lunch breaks may involve having to eat lunch in a noisy and chaotic cantina or similar place and if I try to find a quiet spot for myself somewhere where people don’t usually eat lunch, I may brand myself as weird.

 
2. The risk of fainting

Strong physical or mental discomfort can cause somatic reactions and if it is bad, fainting. I fear that the anxiety and tension related to a new job start, the need to make a great impression, and the dislike of being surrounded by strangers can set it off. It isn’t an irrational fear, it has happened in the past … including on the first day of a new job, on a plane and at a scuba-diving course* (in the classroom, not anywhere near water).

What makes fainting so daunting is the risk of being accused of epilepsy. A suspicion of epilepsy can kill any job opportunity, and would instantly kill this one, because the job relies on driving around in my car to interview people.

The vicious loop is that the fear of this happening can develop into a panic attack, which can trigger it (under unlucky circumstances). As soon as I make it through the first day of training, then the tension will most likely decrease so much that the risk disappears.

Although there are these and other challenges ahead, it is a great win & opportunity to finally get to make some money and find inspiration in the world outside our house … worthy of celebration!

 
 

 
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*Consequence: medical clearance cancelled, and scuba-diving permanently ruled out for me.

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8 thoughts on “No Yes! I got the job!

    1. Mados

      Thank you Sam! Yes I think it will.

      My husband said that I’m like a scared cat running away from my own tail:-) I guess that holds some truth. I’ll sure be fine.

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  1. springingtiger

    Be positive, be proactive, when it comes to your lunch explain that you are not avoiding them, but that, because of your Asperger’s, you need a little quiet time.
    Congratulations on getting the job by the way!

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    1. Mados

      I don’t have Asperger’s. I do consider that it could be the case, but I don’t have a diagnosis and don’t know for sure (there are various indications for and contra).

      Even if I did, I think it would be unwise to mention it on the new job. Since the job involves approaching strangers and interviewing people and since everybody knows that people with Asperger’s syndrome lack social skills, the new employers would think that I wouldn’t be able to get respondents to participate in the survey and interact with them as required by the job.

      However, I only have problems with unstructured communication. I can be excellent at communicating where there is a clear structure and purpose (e.g., I have problems with breaks and small talk, but can be excellent in class room discussions and well organised team work). The survey has a clear purpose which I find useful, and the interview guide has an effective structure with answer codes and very particular things to do, so I think the social aspects of the job itself can work out fine for me.

      The ‘approaching strangers’ aspect is a challenge … I hate to be intrusive. However, it helps that it is a serious research survey aimed at improving the long term infrastructure situation for everybody, and not a product marketing omnibus or some rubbish like that. I am also lucky to look approachable, harmless and presentable (when dressed up); that will help too.

      Thanks a lot for your input and encouragement Rory! I appreciate your comment and agree that being proactive is the best way… I just don’t know how to do it. At least I have until next week to work out a strategy:-)

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  2. A Quiet Week

    Congratulations! I am glad this worked out for you. I wish you the best with your training. I sympathize greatly with you anxiety. I’ve been throttled by anxiety attacks at the worst moments Good planning is the key to success.

    It also helps to know yourself well. Your introspection will take you far. I struggle trying to decipher my problems continuously.

    This job will be a good fit. I see you as an excellent data gatherer. Hooray! 🙂

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  3. Aspergirl Maybe

    I wish you all the best with the new job; I know how stressful training can be. I actually have to spend part of my day training for a few weeks whenever my company hires a new customer service rep, and it is always nerve wracking to wonder how I will get along with them and how I will handle the change in routine.

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    1. Mados

      Thank you for your input. I used to like any opportunity for workplace training because I love to learn and get to see better how the daily routines fit into the bigger picture, get ideas for better ways to do things. And also to see colleagues out of their normal routines.

      Training with completely unknown people in an unfamiliar place is different from that, and I worried about the breaks. If the ‘socially acceptable’ place to spend the breaks would be noisy and overwhelming or in other ways a ‘trigger situation’, that would be very uncomfortable.

      However, the training course was really good and the breaks were easy apart from the two last days. The training was interesting, fun and relevant, my ‘colleagues’ (I will see them 4x per year) are mature, calm and happy to work alone (the job requires that). The employer is well organised, systems-oriented and fair, emphasises integrity, takes good care of the staff (although we are all casual). It looks very good so far.

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