How do you lose a job in one day? I can now tell you. You can lose a job in one day by being overqualified. Trust me, the pain is no different than losing it in any other way. However, what I realize is that just like any life experience, it’s all a matter of how you deal with it.
I had put in a full day, stayed late, and prepped my boss for the next day. I got myself quickly acclimated and learned a lot more information than most even before my first day. On my first day I assisted with processing new hires and even shocked one of them when I informed her that it was my first day. I was even told to make myself at home and personalize my workspace. Imagine my surprise that within less than an hour I was told, in a roundabout manner, that I was overqualified.
Here’s the thing, I was overqualified when I applied, overqualified when I was interviewed and overqualified when I showed up and worked my shift. I wasn’t insulted by the rate of pay because I am not afraid of starting from the ground level and working my way up. I’ve amassed a large skill set and feel dumbfounded that doing so would work to my disadvantage after obtaining the job.
When I got the call informing me that my first day would be my last, I’d just arrived home and was prepping for the next day. I sat for a moment in a state of complete and utter shock. Having been the one on the other side of the desk for so many years I’d actually been surprised when I got the original call offering me the position. I thought that I was chosen because of all the bells and whistles I brought with me and yet, they were also the very things that got me let go.
It’s hard not to take it personally. Any form of rejection is still rejection. It hurts. I took some time to try and pull myself together. After all, I was feeling like such a failure. Imagine being hurt by being told I’m basically too smart. It’s like being in grade school all over again. I remember being ridiculed because I was one of the smart kids. Having that feeling as an adult was not much different from when I was a child.
Being back in that place emotionally reminds me that there are some things you just don’t get over. I honestly thought that being in a situation like this was long behind me. Even my family assuring me that I am clearly meant for something else annoyed me. Yes, I was upset that I wasn’t more average.
Sure, I know that things happen for a reason, that we all have to experience pain and that it’s up to us on how we allow it to impact us. But life doesn’t expect us to immediately rebound from a disappointment. It’s okay to be upset and it’s okay to feel bad. I admit, I was teary-eyed for a moment. You just can’t allow yourself to be dragged down by the negativity. It’s easy for it to do so. Having struggled with depression for all of my adult life I know that things generally hit me a lot harder than most.
In the aftermath of this experience I’m trying to take the time to better assess who I am and what I really want to do. I’m in a unique position in my life, one that I’ve never been in and despite its occasional discomfort, I’m okay with it. The company may not realize what it is that they lost but I’m certainly more appreciative and understanding of what I’ve gained. Would I change anything about it? Would I take back what I said in my last article? No. Since then I have had two interviews and I used the same principles when being interviewed. I know that honesty and fortitude will persevere in the end. It’s as the old adage says, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
Try not to be discouraged by having to do a lot of trying.
This article appeared on page 5A in the 2/26/14 issue of The Union-Recorder. The article appeared under the title, Overcoming Defeat — Try, Try, Try Again.