I have always been terrified of opportunity.
I always run the opposite direction when I think a dream is too big or an opportunity is too great.
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to be an intern at Southwest Airlines. I applied for a technical writing position for the summer in their central publications department, because my best friend at the time worked there and raved about how wonderful it was. I rambled my way through the phone interview. They liked me and we scheduled an in-person interview. The day of the in-person interview, I bailed. I got so scared and called to cancel, but was left leaving a voicemail saying I would not be coming to my interview. In my fear, I drove all the way home (at the time was my parent’s house that I grew up in), hoping to find some kind of clarity or strength. No one was home, so I cowered inside when my phone rang. The interviewer did not get my voicemail in time and was calling to see where I was. I was mortified and absolutely embarrassed.
I was so ashamed at my behavior, but justified it by believing that everyone has these moments of terror, that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my summer, and that I wasn’t ready. I told myself over and over that other opportunities would come around that I wouldn’t back away from.
After that incident, I made it my goal to have a full-time position by the time I graduated. I applied furiously in the hopes that I would not become part of the overwhelming majority of college students who graduate only to be unemployed. I got a call back from one of the companies I had applied to. I made it through three rounds of interviews when I was hired on as the newest associate project coordinator. My dream had come true and I was so excited to get to work. When I figured out what it was I was actually doing, it wasn’t anything that I thought it would be, but I was glad to be getting a paycheck.
I have been working in this position for a little over three months and I have to admit that telecommunications isn’t the way I thought I would go and I am a little nostalgic for writing and editing, but I was not brave enough to start applying to new places yet. I wanted to stick it out plus I am just now starting to feel comfortable. Well, apparently God had other plans, because late last week, I received an email from someone at Southwest who had found my resume from two years ago and thinks I would be a great fit with a new position they have opening up. I read it over and over again and couldn’t believe it was real. I mustered all of my courage and called the person who reached out to me… after hanging up I realized that was my initial phone interview.
Well, after a whole weekend of waiting, I was contacted yesterday about setting up an in-person interview as well as a writing/editing test. The nerves are finally settling in, but I am determined to show up and wow them!! So, here’s to having a fantastic interview today!