Sometimes events occur in such elegantly ordered fashion that you can’t help but trust that Someone Up There has taken charge. Getting my dream job was like that.
When I finally graduated from the university at the advanced age of 46, I realized that the company where I worked would never give me the opportunity to put my degree to use. As a supervisor, I had reached the glass ceiling.
So I started applying elsewhere, to no avail. At one company, I was told flat-out I was too old.
One evening, I decided to take a long walk to sort my thoughts. The weather was beautiful, and before I knew it, I was at the park about half a mile away. Up drove a high school friend of my daughter, come to visit her mother who lived across the street. Several years ago, I’d hired this young woman because the company was having trouble finding reliable employees. She’d been promoted to another department, where she was trained in skills that landed her a good job with a large corporation about 40 miles away. When I told her I wasn’t having any luck finding a better job, she said, “Send me your resume. I’ll give it to my supervisor.”
Several weeks later, I was called to the corporation for an interview. But after half a day of testing, I was told that although they were impressed with me in spite of my lack of experience in the field for which they were hiring, another applicant actually had a degree and experience. I told them I understood, but that they should keep me in mind in case they needed someone else, because I learned fast.
Several months passed, and I was at the end of my rope with my job. And I finally had two prospects: one at a community college and one in sales. The sales job offered the better likelihood of good earnings, but I knew that as an introvert I would be miserable even if I managed to do well. I decided to accept the job at the community college. When the phone rang Friday night, I was sure the community college was calling to offer me the position, though I thought it an odd time to call.
It was one of the interviewers at the large corporation. The person they hired hadn’t worked out. Was I still interested? I managed not to shout, “Hell, yeah!” Monday I was offered both the jobs I’d been considering. I trusted I'd made the right decision.
Thus started a two-year period of learning. I took classes in my (new) field and everything else I was offered. When my department was downsized, I volunteered to go to another (entirely different) department, where I took more classes and read from their extensive library during my down time. It was fun. But it still wasn’t my dream job.
Two years later, the young woman who had carried my resume to her supervisor stopped by my desk. “There’s a job posted that is meant for you.” The writer/editor of employee communications had decided to retire early, and his supervisor convinced human resources to post the job internally first on the outside chance someone already working there was qualified.
I had the degree in communications/journalism. I had been a newspaper staff writer for several years and had boxes of clippings to show. I had knowledge of the workings of the company gained over two years of varied experience. I was positioned perfectly to take the kind of job I'd wanted ever since I graduated from high school, and I trusted it was no accident.
That job was meant for me.