Rejected For A Dream Job After 8 Months
It seemed like fate
I thought the timing was, shall we say, more than fortuitous. It was fate! It had to be a sign from the universe. It was the perfect next step in my career, and I really couldn't believe the post was open. This was it!
This was why I'd leaped from a sure thing, without a safety net.
At first, I told myself that there was no way I'd get this dream job. That it was too good to be true. That I was ridiculous for thinking otherwise. I submitted my resume but put up a website where other potential employers could easily find my work.
Still, in the back of my brain, I kept saying maybe -- just maybe -- I could get this NPR dream job.
The stars seemed to align
A couple of months later, in February of 2013, I had a preliminary phone interview with the show's senior producer, whom I liked immediately -- he seemed to get my sense of humor. Another sign! A couple of months after that, NPR asked if I would meet for an in-person interview with producers here in Los Angeles, where they are moving the show from its current home in Washington, DC.
Yes, the show was moving to LA, where I live. Another sign!
On an emotional roller coaster
In between those fantastic developments, I experienced complete crises of confidence, once again trying to convince myself I'd never get this dream job. I thought maybe the disappointment wouldn't be as bad if I didn't have any expectations to begin with. But I was just trying to fool myself, and it didn't work. In the back of mind, I couldn't let go of the idea that I would be the next host of WATC, as we call it.
And It went better than I dreamed for
In June, they asked me to fly out to DC to host Weekend All Things Considered for a whole weekend -- an audition for the nation.
I had the Time. Of. My. Life. It was surreal to sit in that host chair at NPR. Did I mention I interviewed John Mellencamp and Stephen King? I thought I'd nailed it. I really did.
And no one said otherwise.
Then I was rejected
Three weeks later I got the call. I would not be the next host of Weekend All Things Considered. I cried in the shower. I tried not to see it as a rejection, when clearly it was. I'm a stress-eater, and punished my body by consuming large numbers of calories for several days.
I even felt tinges of humiliation because the failure was so public. I knew in my heart that there must've been something I could've done -- and didn't do -- to push myself over the top as a candidate.
Then after all the self-pity, the real ramifications started to settle in. Now I had to find a new dream. And I'm still trying to figure that out.
How have you dealt with rejection and disappointment about your dream job?