Most of you follow me on Twitter so you’ve seen my panicked updates recently. OMG, I have a job interview and a presentation to give ON THE SAME DAY!!!
It’s all Bippidee’s fault. She’s the one who bullied me into applying for the job, it’s two rungs up the ladder and I ruled myself out as soon as I saw it. But as I filled out the application form I got quite excited because actually, I totally match their criteria and would be bloody perfect for that role. What I’m lacking is experience. One particular weak spot was ‘presenting to a wide range of stakeholders’. I have a lot of experience with convincing ‘stakeholders’ to do things, presenting a bunch of stuff, teaching new stuff, but not what I think they were getting at. I’ve never stood in front of a large group of people and presented something.
The day before the application was due I got asked to present in a lecture theatre to a bunch of academics. I’ve been managing a pilot scheme for nine months and I was asked to tell something about it and inspire academics to use it as the project gets rolled out across the whole university in September. The woman who called me was very persuasive and I agreed, thinking the whole time how good that would look in the application.
So I submitted the application, agreed to do the presentation and then promptly buried my head in the sand. Didn’t expect to even get an interview. New jobs don’t crop up very much in my uni so everyone and his dog would apply for this position, many of them far more experienced than me.
Then I got an interview. Blimey.
Of course I freaked out about the presentation. I didn’t have spare freaking-out energy for the interview so I was relatively calm about that. But standing up in front of people and using powerpoint and telling them a bunch of crap and convincing them to use it when I don’t even know much about this stuff myself? *Shits self*
I really wanted to back out but didn’t have the guts, feeling too guilty about letting the organiser of the event down. So I continued to torture myself by imagining the other speakers giving amazing, flashy presentations and me stumbling through the worst pile of crap ever. Whilst shitting myself at the same time. Eventually I got down and did it, spent ages doing my powerpoint, adding screenshots, planning bad jokes.
So I rocked up on the day, in a skirt and heels (a challenge in itself, having not worn heels for about six years) and totally smashed that interview. I actually enjoyed it! I did get nervous beforehand and couldn’t eat so the worst thing was my stomach rumbling halfway through. I was honest with them about the things I have no experience of but I got on really well with one of them. Three people interviewed me and he kept interrupting the others to ask more questions. We got quite excited actually and the exuberant part of me that I had been determined to keep hidden popped out. I had to rein myself in because my arms kept stretching out across the desk as I talked. Didn’t want to seem like I was trying to grope them.
A couple of hours later I walked into the lecture theatre and smashed that too. I had them eating out of the palm of my hand! They laughed at all the right places, asked loads of questions after and then some of them came up to me when I’d finished and told me I’m a natural. Public speaking! Me! *Guffaws*
Anyway, I got the job. One slightly awkward thing happened when I came out of the interview – my old line manager was the next one in. And I got the job over her. Wow. I feel guilty already. Sometime early next week I’m going to have to tell her.
I feel guilty but I also feel AWESOME. I got the job! This is a new position, for a new school in the uni. And they want me to manage it. Nothing has been set up yet. They haven’t even finished refurbishing the building. I’m not sure how much to say because I usually try to keep Real Life specifics away from the blog. But I’m too chuffed to stay completely silent. Basically, this new school will promote more research, which the uni badly needs if it is to stay afloat now that the government has screwed us over. I’ll be working with two people particularly. My line manager is the head administrator for the postgrad research section of the uni and the other guy is a professor who will be head of the school. He’s already been emailing me, telling me he’s delighted and excited and inviting me to view the premises.
Part of the reason I got the job must be because I’ve spent the last two years, and this year particularly, instigating new things and not simply maintaining current things. And my real personality showed through in that interview. I wasn’t sure how me to be. I can be a bit much sometimes. I should be cool, calm, professional. Instead I grinned a lot, stretched out over the desk, gesticulated wildly and told them how exciting this new venture is.
Yay for just being myself!
So. Sooooooooo. The little cogs have been ticking slowly around, prodding me about something. Narky, what’s the lesson here? Hmm. Could it be that I should stop panicking about ALL THE THINGS?