By Suha Abdulqader
A year after voicing out my employment covering letter via this platform, I received a call for an interview the next day. I wish I could’ve told you that it was due to my immaculate letter, but it wasn’t; it was from a previous boss of my mine who still remembered how skilled and efficient I was. So there you go; first lesson learned: a good track record surpasses a well written and heart felt letter.
A hurricane of “I can’t believe he remembers” and “how fantastic it is to still be appreciated after all these years” lifted me way up high- because let’s face it, you don’t come across these words often. Once these feelings subsided, the big question came to my mind, yup! You guessed it: what am I going to wear? I opened my closet wide and started my desperate scavenger hunt for clothes that would put the mommy and auntie charm aside for a while. Now where did all my work shirts, blazers and formal trousers go? And do they still fit me? Panicking much? Not really; I was freaking out. I had to sound the alarm and get my teen daughter on board for this fashion crisis. I knew the situation was bad when she looked at a couple of shirts with awe and then generously volunteered some of her shoes. So without further ado, I hit the shops. The shops!! When did professional work clothes get so tight, short, and transparent? I needed a working woman outfit not a working girl for goodness sake. After an extensive shopping afternoon, I managed to get a decent blouse. One dress for success: check.
With a bouncy step, well not too bouncy I was in heals after all; I got on to my interview. I congratulated myself on being punctual and confidently walked in. It went really well and it was as if i had never left work! A young enthusiast started explaining that they are using a new approach called impact and then went on alternating the words design specifications and impact like some teacher was asking her to put them in a sentence; until she finally showed me an example of her work. It turned out to be good old management by objectives, aka management by results and now they call it impact- these consultants never get tired of buzz words. A few of these words started popping right there and then along with ghosts of those who lived by them: amalgamation, transparency, 360, reform, and knocking down walls (and I am not referring to Cyrus here). Whenever you mentioned one of these buzz words in a meeting you were safe; just like answering “world peace” for a beauty pageant question. So lesson number two: basically, if there’s no new management theory to market, just give an old one a face lift and a new name and fly with it.
Everything went on pretty well: I got a good job offer. But did I take it? Well, let’s just say that interviews go two ways; so remember the next time you are interviewing a candidate that while you are sitting there scrutinizing, judging and checking away your long list of requirements, the interviewee will, in turn, be doing the same thing. And since I left a real good job for my kids’ sake, the job I come back to needs to be worth it. May be I should consider free-lancing, although I’m quite sceptic about the word free in there; but I guess that’s another story.