Well, self-employment didn’t pan out nearly so well this time. So I decided to take an online assessment for a position as a field auditor for the VentureSum company, based in Charlotte (Harrisburg), North Carolina.
The assessment was pretty involved. It was your typical “rate the sort of jobs and activities do you like best” career assessment that makes you think of your junior year of high school all over again. A bit more involved but pretty similar. Except for the rejection letter I got in the (e)mail, stating I didn’t fit their candidate profile.
So instead of taking “no” for answer, I wrote back asking what they were looking for. After all, I know field utility assessors do a lot of walking and studying digital maps, which is something I have direct experience in doing. And I got a response back instead of a form letter, explaining the purpose of the assessment and inviting me in for a field trial and introduction to the position. And I accepted.
And aced it. The field assessment consisted of a whirlwind introduction to the position, what sort of utility examinations I’d be doing (the most basic form) and then a chance to prove my skills in the field after lunch by making marks on a paper map. I turned in my marks and waited to hear back – and got an email congratulating me on my 98% score (needed a 97% to advance).
The second interview, though…That was interesting because on the day I chose it turned out all of the field managers AND the owner of the company were returning from the field to discuss upcoming projects. So I got to not only meet but sit at a table and get interviewed by all of them at once. Oh JOY. I was told by the front desk staff that it was a casual interview and that they’d either not take part or not be around but it felt like “all eyes on me” for the entire thing, which was…Anxiety-provoking but far less bad than expected.
Like, way less bad, surprisingly. I mean, I got the job, so clearly I came across great. And it was very casual, with much laughter to be had. During it I was able to feel mostly okay ~ I think what helped was giving myself permission to feel anxious. I thought to myself “you know, an interview for a good job is something most people feel anxious about. It would probably be weird if I didn’t feel anxious. So that’s okay.” Can’t say that it magically made my anxiety go away or that I was okay with being anxious and on display because I wasn’t…But I walked out pretty confident I nailed the interview.
Aaaaand received the job offer that same day.
One thing of interest: the big boss said he was concerned because I broke their assessment tool. That they occasionally get folks who question the results and they’ve always invited those people to try the field assessment. But I was the first person who passed the field assessment despite flunking the screening survey ~ so who else might they have missed out on over the years? That made me feel good ~ like I can’t be contained by any mere survey…
$40K/year with paid travel expenses like hotels, flights, and a meal allowance, what seems to be good medical insurance ($41 per month first year, $0 per month afterward), dental & vision ($0/month)…I spent some time today talking with Kent my therapist about it. And we both agreed that this need not mean I’m giving up on my dream of being a travel photographer. That if anything, it could help it by allowing me to invest in more gear, and treat my photography a bit more lightly since it won’t be my main source of income anymore…And have a serious gear list to invest in.
This way I can build more on my plan over a period of years maybe, without the crushing anxiety of making it my work. And just make art in the meantime. And I’ll be getting paid to travel to places so I’ll still be making art. They mentioned a big project right now’s in Chicago, and I’ve always wanted to do some architecture photography there.
You know, when it’s not -100 degrees.