So God gave me a new job.
When this all started I didn’t even know I wanted a new job. Back in November or so, a competing education consulting company started pursuing me to join them. The head of their high school consulting team frequented a lot of the same events as I, and we kept running into each other. I met with him outside of those events several times to talk about what kind of a role I could have at their company. We were talking management, we were talking VIP clients, etc.
That was the first time I seriously considered leaving my company. I spent several weeks writing out the pros and cons, and what it would look like to pass off my program/responsibilities/students, and to leave my friends.
I was frustrated with the lack of support my program was getting, and generally bogged down in the stress of client expectations and being responsible for each of these kids’ futures. I was ready to join a company that had a whole team set up for high school consulting, and where we would support each other, instead of me, myself, and I dragging along.
By February I was ready to sign with them, but then the guy let it drop that they would be interviewing other people for the position as well. That bummed me for a minute, but then I realized it would be silly of them to put all their hope in me when I hadn’t even been sure I was looking for a change. No worries, I told them, confident that they would pick me anyway. Days and then weeks passed and they still hadn’t sent me even the job description, nor asked for my resume. I checked in again, and the guy told me that they were going to need to wait until after March 10th (when their application results came out) to see just how successful they had been, so that they could estimate the amount of clients they would sign and thus how many new people to hire. I asked if that meant it was possible that they might not hire anyone, and when he said yes, I felt like I had been strung along, so I removed myself from their hiring pool (if I had even ever been in it).
By this point I was super frustrated. I had already detached myself emotionally from my company, and suddenly couldn’t bear the thought of staying another year, going through the same motions, the same struggles. I thought I would have to stay and stick it out since I had no other options.
I was falling back into my age old habit of needing to have everything mapped out from now until forever. I talked with my parents, I talked with God, and I talked with Hallie. I knew I needed to let go of the control, and seeing as how I didn’t have any control left at that point, it was easier than usual to let God do his work. I decided to put out feelers for new jobs in new industries, and if nothing panned out, I would go travel and apply for grad school (in what area I still don’t know lol).
I applied for a whole retinue of jobs, some that interested me and some that didn’t really but I felt I was qualified for:
Managing editor of one of the local expat magazines
Sales and marketing at a new magazine app for expats
I went on this great website called EscapetheCity.com and applied for exotic jobs like:
Sales and business development in Trinidad and Tobago
Volunteer business development for an app serving refugees in Europe
The only one to follow up with me after the interview was the Trinidad one, and I was nearly convinced. I mean, come on, live and work in the Caribbean?
I began thinking if I was ready to leave Beijing. It’s funny how this place that seems so far and foreign to all of you would become my comfort zone, and that leaving it for a country far closer in language and culture to the US would seem like a risk.
Around this time I saw another job description for sales and business development that carried a much higher pay range than the Trinidad one, and it was based in Beijing. A high paying job, working with high paying clients, for high level bosses. I was intrigued, but intimidated thinking I wasn’t entirely qualified, and nearly passed over it to the next email until my coworker told me to apply for it, or he would apply for it himself. My competitive nature took over and I sent in my resume. Turns out the guy who had put out the ad was already an acquaintance of mine, and we set up a call for the following week.
After learning more about the job, I realized I was exactly what they were looking for in terms of being able to aggressively make sales, network, be detail-oriented and responsible. I wasn’t sure I had entirely convinced my acquaintance of this, but suddenly I had an official interview with the company who was hiring. When I showed up, the woman who would become my boss hadn’t even really looked at my resume yet, but trusted the judgment of my acquaintance, to whom she had outsourced hiring.
It seemed to go well, but suddenly I was nervous about what it would look like if they actually gave me the job! I couldn’t possibly be as qualified as someone else, who they would surely want more. Hallie told me to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, who mentions that men usually apply for jobs if they feel they are 60% qualified, while women wait until they are 100% qualified. The man may end up getting the job, while the woman won’t because she probably didn’t apply for it! I “leaned in” instead of leaning back, and an avalanche of interviews continued, next with the woman’s husband who is an advisor to her company, and then with the man whose position I would be replacing when he goes back to school, and finally I got the offer.
It all played out once I let go and let God. The job came at exactly the right time for them and for me. And funny enough, the competing education consulting company has come back around asking if I’ll apply for various management positions with them. If this job hadn’t come through, I might have thought about it. But now that I have this job, and a different future ahead of me, I’m so glad I’m not going back into education. I’m tired of those conversations. I’m ready for a new challenge. And oh the contacts I’ll make at this new job!
This was a good example of letting things pan out in God’s timing. I’m glad that this didn’t drag on and on, but grateful for the little lesson, so I can trust again next time.