So, I have my first job interview this week. Well, the first one in 20 years anyway. For the past two decades, I have been a stay-at-home mom. But now, the time has come to carve out a new path for myself, and that involves joining the 9 to 5 grind.
First, I had to tackle another new endeavor…creating a résumé. I vaguely remember typing up a mock résumé back in high school. In 1987. In an actual typing class with typewriters, not keyboards. The world has changed significantly in the past 30 years, and I’m doing my best to prepare myself.
Fortunately, my years of running a business with wasband (the man who was my husband), coupled with my modest writing career, makes fairly impressive credentials. So, I found a résumé template, put it all down on paper, and emailed it to a couple of places.
Next thing I knew, I had a phone interview. I didn’t realize at first that it was going to be over the phone, so I immediately started stressing about what to wear. The last time I was interviewed, I wore a shaker knit sweater (backwards due to the deep V-neck), a pair of mom jeans, and fake Keds. That was perfect when applying to be a waitress in 1992, but this is an office job in a downtown skyscraper, and the year is 2016. I’m not even sure I could fit into that shaker knit sweater anymore.
The phone interview went well, so now, I get to be interviewed face-to-face. For a person who hates shopping, and lives mostly in jeans, updating to a professional wardrobe is a bit excruciating. I texted my sisters from the dressing room.
“How important are suits in the business world these days? If I wear a nice dress to an interview, is that acceptable?”
The sisters offered helpful advice, and I left the store with bags of clothing and shoes to don each morning just before continuing through my wardrobe and into Narnia.
I’ve always been curious about the professional world, and since my family’s trip to New York City in 1988, I’ve wanted to work in a downtown setting. As a teenager from small-town Tennessee, I was mesmerized by the waves of professionals crossing the six-lane street in front of our ’82 Oldsmobile. They all looked so important and self-assured.
But for me, it was one of those things I had been taught women shouldn’t really pursue. I wasn’t even certain how to go about pursuing it. My attendance at a small Christian college was for the purpose of preparing to be a wife. That was the only goal I knew, and one which was easily obtained.
At 19, I received an engagement ring and dropped out of college. By 21 I was a mother. Twenty-five years and five kids later, I am hearkening back to the tug I felt in my spirit the day I watched thousands of professionals crossing the street.
I am both terrified and eager, so whether I get the job or not, I will feel a mixture of relief and disappointment. Mostly disappointment though. I’ve got a lot of new clothes that won’t look quite right in my blue jeans world.
Ginger Lumpkin is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.gingeretta.com or contact ginger.columnist@gmail.com.