Selling Myself

No, I’m not talking about selling feet photographs on the internet…. I suppose this is a bit of a random topic but it’s been consuming my life recently and I actually feel like I’m constantly selling a part of myself – aka, I’m looking for a job.

The problem with this job search is that I found a company that I enjoy working for and petcare is my passion so I want to stay if at all possible. However, I also want to transition into data science, which seems pretty reasonable since I work with data all the time and I know Python.  I knew it would be hard to make a career jump like this but I didn’t really think it was impossible- it’s still not but it’s starting to feel like it.

My company is all about the culture, the language that you use, the way you work, the principles, the competencies…. basically, you have to drink the Kool-Aid if you want to stay. This is the stuff I don’t like- I feel like I’m always rewording what I would say just to sound like a company drone. I don’t feel genuine or authentic. However, I also know that I’m part of a machine that produces very good products and research. So I have three options: continue looking in my company, work for a different company, or create my own company.

For right now, I’m choosing the first option and looking in my company. There are no jobs open at my site, so that means I have to find a remote work position which limits things a bit. It’s exhausting though, I have meetings with different managers in the business a couples times a week. I’m trying to create a network of people that can point me in the right direction and also bring up my name if a position opens up. Which so far, has not gotten me anywhere. Sure, I know a ton of people in the business now and maybe if I had another year, that might pan out. I don’t though, I have less then 90 days now to find something.

I had a really promising couple interviews for this awesome data science position though. They were really interested in how well I knew the R&D side of petcare and seemed really interested in my ability to teach myself coding and such. We emailed back and forth a few times about remote work and then I had the big interview with their managers…. I did everything I thought I could do to prep for this, I had practice interviews with data science managers, I emailed everyone I knew for advice, I did all the research I thought I could do… and none of that mattered.

They gave me a business case interview, I had 15 minutes to solve this big problem using data science and then a half hour to present it. The position was presented as newbie spot, they were taking applicants who had no prior experience and then upskilling them. I wasn’t expecting to have to do an interview like this.

So I tried my best, but it was the worst interview experience of my life. Four people just drilling me about all these different things and I could tell they were trying to guide me towards an endpoint they wanted, but I just wasn’t getting it. Everything I would say, they would ask me to explain and defend. It was like I was back in the forensics world again. Then I got out of the interview and I had the entire office asking me how it went. Now 3 weeks later, I still haven’t heard anything but I still get asked every day… “did you hear anything???”.

I know interviews suck, I’ve had plenty of them before but for some reason, this one was a huge hit to my self confidence. I’m also extremely gun-shy now about going into another one. I’m all for solving business problems, but I’m a researcher at heart. I take a question and analyze it, research the background and then come up with a solution. My strength is not coming up with a bull crap answer out of thin air with no time to do a little research. Everyone I talked to said that was just an interview to see how I do under pressure though. Which apparently isn’t very good as it’s been a little too long to remain hopeful about that position.

Anyways, now I get to sit here at work. Watching my team slowly dissolve. The worst is that I don’t even have much to do at work anymore. I mainly take Udemy classes and work on building my data skills. Which is fine, that’s great and I’ve learned a lot. But I’m not useful to anyone, I just sit down here in complete silence with nothing to offer and all the time in the world to contemplate my unknown future. It’s driving me absolutely mad.

I’m still looking for other positions and I’m waiting to hear back on a couple jobs that I applied for in the company. I know that I have God on my side and I do trust in Him but like always, it’s a constant battle. Taking every thought captive is extremely hard. Even when you think you kind of start to figure out how to let it all go, your body will start to rebel.

My sleeping has been getting worse and worse over the past few months. My sleep has been the one things that I’ve never had issues with and now I just lay in bed and stare. I’ll accidentally fall asleep on the couch or the hammock outside for a few minutes, but the second I get into bed, I’m 100% awake. I don’t know what else to do, I eat stupidly healthy, I only drink a small amount of tea in the morning, I exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and I spend time away from screens before I go to bed. I’m hoping once I find another job that I feel at least useful in, this will go away. It’s really hard being motivated and confident though when I’m tired all the time. We will see!

Update on the juggling front… I’ve bought a skateboard….. I can skate pretty well now at the skatepark…. Next goal is juggling while doing a kickflip…. It’s really hard though, I can almost land a kickflip but I keep smacking my shins. Skateboarding is really painful it turns out. Anyways, stay tuned.

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