I lied in order to get a job interview and I don’t feel bad about it.

Anyone who’s applied for a job online in the past couple of years knows that, at the end of almost every job application form there’s a question along the lines of “Are you presently living in ________ (location)?”

Here’s the truth: that question in there because said company does not want to pay to relocate an employee. If you select ‘No’, your resume/application is automatically being submitted into the ‘do not consider’ pile. They would rather only consider professionals already living within their city then branch out. Even if it means they’re not getting the best candidate for the job.

If you select no, they won’t even review your application. You might as well not spend the time in sending it, because you’re only wasting your time.

Story time:

I wound up in this city that I am presently residing because I came here to help my mom through her cancer treatments. That being said, this is not where I want to, or plan to, stay. I’ve been applying for positions in Calgary. And, probably will continue to do so until I find the right one.

Last week, whilst on holiday, I got a call from a company in Calgary asking for a phone interview. I distinctly remember applying for the position with this company and checking ‘Yes’ where it asked if I presently resided in Calgary. A lie, yes. But, I knew that all I needed them to do was read my resume and I would stand out from the pack.

I did the phone interview and they loved me, naturally. I’m pretty fucking amazing (and I don’t say that to be cocky, I say that because I know what value I could bring to any office). During the interview I was upfront and said ‘Calgary is a city I would like to be living in by the end of 2019’. Shocked and confused, the woman conducting the interview asked where I was presently living. When I told her where I was she admitted ‘we really don’t interview candidates that don’t live in Calgary’. Somehow they’d read my resume and loved me based on content provided, but had ignored the address listed on my resume.

When I hung up the phone, I really didn’t think I’d hear from them again. Though I’d nailed the phone interview, I didn’t live in Calgary and that seemed like a deal-breaker for them.

To my surprise, I got an email later that afternoon asking if I could have a phone interview with the boss the next day.

Of course!

The next day when I was talking to the boss, I nailed it. He loved me. I could tell that he loved me by the way he was responding to what I was saying. I once again mentioned my wanting to move to Calgary and he said ‘Oh, you’re not in Calgary?’ I explained to him what I had said the day before and the woman I’d spoken to the day before let it slip that she liked me so much she didn’t tell him where I was living.

Nevertheless, he liked me so much that they’re coordinating a video-conference interview for me to do this week. And honestly, I’ll talk to them as many times as they’d like, because the bottom line is that I know I’m qualified, I know I’m willing and they need to know that discounting an application based on someone’s geographical location is stupif.

If you’re looking for work, please LET THIS SERVE AS A REMINDER: if you are not selected for a position, it is not because of lack of qualifications. It can very well be something as stupid as checking ‘Yes or No’ on a questionnaire.

I’m willing to relocate to Calgary on my own dime. And if a company would bother to talk to me, they’d learn that. So counting myself out because of location isn’t a fair step of the process.

Don’t ever let ‘the process’ keep you from your destiny. If you need to fudge the truth in order to be heard, do it. The process is an extremely convoluted and, at times not even fair, series of events. I don’t see anything wrong with taking control out of their hands and putting it into your own. If you’re a badass, count yourself in, check yes and let them see just what they could have if they opened their eyes beyond a narrow scope.

On the importance of standing up for yourself.

I cannot stress enough how integral it is to stand up for yourself. Too many people in this world lead a life of conformity because they’re afraid of rocking the boat.

I think that there’s a negative connotation when it comes to ‘standing up for yourself’. People immediately take the defensive and they believe you’re in it to start a fight, when in all reality, it’s not about starting a fight at all.

Standing up for yourself is about speaking your truth, and about making someone understand your perspective and why you believe what you do. You don’t need to be rude, you don’t need to be angry, you don’t need to insult. If you’re really aiming to prove your worth to someone with respect to anything at all, your message is going to be much more well received if you do it in a calm, well thought-out, discussive manner. (Yeah, I just made up discussive)

Don’t pout. Don’t fight. Don’t be rude. But also, don’t settle. If you’re worth more and you know it, advocate for yourself. If you believe you’re being treated unfairly, advocate for yourself. Lastly, if you think something is wrong, advocate for whoever it affects.

Please don’t ever be afraid to advocate for yourself and your value. If you have a fair and reasonable request, anyone worth their weight in anything will be willing to hear you out. And if they’re not, there’s plenty of room in this world for someone who will.

ROCK THE BOAT. Do not be afraid to rock that boat. Show someone the value you possess, in the process reminding yourself what’s been inside of you all along.

Context – I ABSOLUTELY went in and advocated for myself to a potentially employer this morning. Like a boss, I strategically formulated my words and talking points ahead of time, was heard succintly and it worked out in my favour. DON’T EVER SETTLE for something just because it’s something.

I have a job interview today.

To clarify, when I speak of my anxiety, it’s because the coping mechanisms that I usually use to work through my anxiety aren’t working.

I have a job interview today. It was 95% of the reason why I was anxious last night and is 100% of the reason why I am anxious today.

On the one hand, I’m thinking ‘hey, potential job prospect, this is great!’ And ‘I really hope this isn’t like the scam I walked into, and wasted my time at, in May’.

On the other hand, I’m thinking ‘hey, this is nowhere near Calgary and I have goals and plans for my life. If I accepted a job like this, would it stray me from my goals?’

And then there’s a nagging insecurity in my brain saying ‘Don’t just think you’re going to get this job, no one else wants to hire you so why would they?’

Realistically, the only thing that I can do is go into this job interview with an open mind. If I hope for the best then I can figure the rest out after. It’s just dealing with these nagging feelings of anxiety inside that I struggle with. I haven’t quiet yet figured out how to tackle all of my triggers, so there are times when I let my fears see light.

Speaking of good news (smooth transitions only, right), my mom went to the cancer clinic today for her follow up appointment. She’s required to do follow ups ‘x’ amount of days after finishing treatment and then every six months for two years and then once a year for five years following that (just to make sure that the cancer doesn’t return). Anyways, in her follow up appointment today they told her that she’s healing remarkably well, there’s no sign of recurring cells and they’re very impressed with her health at this point.

So that’s great!

It’s a rainy, gloomy day here. I’m trying to stay positive though.

There’s a lot to be thankful for. Mainly my mom’s health. I know not everyone gets so lucky when it comes to cancer, and our family is eternally grateful.

Adventures in job hunting: I just can’t make this shit up.

This morning I got a response from a position that I applied for last night. This is odd to me. I get an iffy feeling about companies that respond to resumes in less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, I continued reading the four paragraph email in hopes that something positive would come from the words they’ve written me.

It didn’t really wasn’t worth my time in reading.

Firstly, I would like to state that this position was listed as being in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am currently in a small town in Northern British Columbia, Canada.

It was a four paragraph email to which they explained the importance of my transferring them $4,000 dollars as a security deposit. They apparently use the security deposit in place of signing a confidentiality agreement. So, I was to send them $4,000 for a security deposit, that could be returned to me upon six months completion of work (the probationary period).

The letter stated that, if I sent them the money today, I could be working as early as this afternoon. They’d provide me a list of errands to run and I could hop in my car and go do them and the company would reimburse me for the gas costs after the fact so long as I kept a log of miles travelled.

The letter went on to state that the company operates under a policy of ‘trust, but verify’ and their means of verifying is through the transfer of this $4,000, and that it’s a perfectly normal request that everyone who works for the company does.

To sum it up: If I pay $4,000 to this company, today, I could have the job and be working as early as this afternoon, running errands in my car, in a city that’s 12 hours away. Utmost discretion is required and, I am not to discuss this position with anyone else and we could work on salary and payment arrangements after I’d started working.

I reported this posting to LinkedIn today.

There’s no need for people to deal with this shit. It’s clearly a scam and I don’t want someone who doesn’t know any better to fall for this.

YOU SHOULD NOT EVER HAVE TO PAY MONEY TO AN EMPLOYER TO GET A JOB (I feel as though capital letters are necessary to proclaim my tone in the sentence).

I’m struggling tonight.

I’m lamenting over opportunities missed, opportunities passed and opportunities forgotten.

I’m having trouble just… existing right now. I feel bad. We all have our days, and I know this will pass, eventually. I just… wish I could avoid times like these. I wish that I was happier with where I’m at with my life.

Honest thoughts: all I want to do is crawl into my bed and cry.

I’m not even anxious. I’m just… doubting myself.

How do I make an employer see the talents that I possess could be of great benefit to them when several hundred people are applying for the same job? How do I make myself stand out? I know that in person I can stand out, but somehow, I seem to keep falling short.

I’m trying to not beat myself up. I really am. I’m just trying to figure out where I am lacking. Why do I keep making it to the final step and falling short?

I didn’t get the job.

In response up to: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow – I didn’t get the job.

I’m not really sure what to say on the matter. It’s obviously not the outcome that I wanted. It’s obviously not the outcome that I thought was going to happen. I got my hopes up for this. I really thought this was it, this was my opportunity for growth, for a my next career move, to work for an organization that didn’t break the law and ask me to cover it up. There were so many bonuses to working in this office and I’m kicking myself right now because I don’t get any of them.

I can’t even be mad. I’m not mad. It’s an incredible company and I know they’ve got to do what they feel is right for them. I just can’t help but feel as though they made the wrong choice. And, in their making the wrong choice, I’ve lost out.

It sucks. It really does.

All of my worst fears seem to be coming to fruition. I’m too qualified to work in retail, not qualified to work at these jobs that I’ve been working towards for a decade. Job hunting sucks. It really does. I’m squandering all of my talents and there’s nothing I can do about that.

I don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m not qualified to work at Wal-Mart.

That’s right. Sounds a little ridiculous, no? It’s Wal-Mart. How hard could it possibly be? What exactly are the skills required of working at Wal-Mart that I am lacking? Or am I just a really shitty person and that’s why they won’t hire me?

Throughout this job-hunting process, one of the things that I wanted to do was apply for a cashier/retail position. I wanted something that I could work in the mean-time, until I find my next career position. And, I thought if I were so lucky enough, this mean-time job – being a cashier in a store, might be able to be my ‘side-hustle’ so to speak… once I landed my 9-5 again.

I thought this plan might have been coming to fruition when I landed an interview for a role as a cashier at Wal-Mart. I thought ‘This will be perfect. I can work it full-time now (or part time, whatever hours they provide me) and then when I land my full-time job I can scale back to part time’. I thought being a part-time employee at Wal-Mart was a good thing. After all, don’t they like that? They don’t have to pay employees as much, or offer as many breaks, etc… if they’re part-time.

I’m somewhat-not-stupid in the intelligence department. I can count. I can multiply large numbers in my head and would absolutely be able to complete my job even if the power went out and the register was not working. I can scan products through the till. I have a pretty solid memory, for the most part, so remembering things like produce or bulk food codes won’t be hard for me. I tend to work well under chaos and am used to people yelling at me. My mom tells me that I have a nice smile… how could I possibly fail at this role?

Well, apparently Wal-Mart didn’t think I was the right fit for their store.

I went to the job interview – which turned into a group interview… that they did not tell any of us about ahead of time. During the hour in which the interview occurred, the only actual question the manager asked me about myself was what my name was. We proceeded to spend the next hour running through ‘what would you do if…’ scenarios with respect to the store.

I completed each of these scenarios and, after going in order of left-to-right for each candidate to present their completed findings/suggestions, myself and one other girl were quickly cut off and not provided the opportunity to present ours as the one hour of allotted time for the interview was up and they were done interviewing candidates.

The manager promptly let each of us know that he would tell us within 72 hours whether or not we were selected to work for Wal-Mart via email.

Within one hour of leaving my group interview at Wal-Mart, to which the only question I was asked about myself was what my name was, I was sent an email that read the following:

Dear Miss [Insert Last Name Here]

At Wal-Mart we receive many applications from people on a daily basis who wish to work in our store and we have to do our very best to select the most qualified candidates who will be the best additions to our team.

At this time we have found qualified, suitable candidates and will not be hiring you for the position of cashier.

Please do not get discouraged. There are still plenty of career opportunities to work with Wal-Mart, so we do recommend that you keep your account active, remember your username and password, and apply for any future positions to which you may be interested in.

Sincerely,

The Hiring Team at Wal Mart Store [Insert Wal Mart Store Location here]

Since, at this time, they’ve found qualified and suitable candidates for the role of cashier, does that mean that I am not qualified? Or does that mean that I am not suitable? Either way, what is it about my telling you my name that makes me not qualified or not suitable for your team?

This whole process was a bit of a let-down. To not even really be given the time of day in an interview was frustrating, especially considering I sat on my computer one night and completed their 30 minute personality assessment test, to which they reassured me at several points throughout the test that there were no wrong answers. Did I actually get the answers wrong?

What was it about my interview that lead you to believe I am a bad fit for your team? I wore dress clothes – it wasn’t as though I came looking like a slob. I’m an educated woman, it wasn’t as though I couldn’t string sentences together… not that I even got the opportunity to do so anyways.

I can’t be the first person in the world who’s been through the process of changing careers. And I know that I’m definitely not the first person in the world who’s considered the option of a cashier role as a ‘side-hustle’ to make money. Maybe that just doesn’t work for them. Or maybe the manager who interviewed us is telepathic so he knew what I was thinking with respect to the scenarios we were supposed to present and that’s why he didn’t provide me the opportunity to present. Yeah, that’s it. He already knew my answers.

Here’s to being unqualified, or unsuitable, or whatever… (I’m not really sure what they were thinking) to work at Wal-Mart. I’ll drink to that.