let's fly

I'm supposed to be asleep right now. That was the plan. The plan was to fit a nice long nap in between the interview I just had and the festival I'm going to in a few hours. 

That plan flew out the window about two thirds of the way through the interview, when I realized there's a very real possibility that my entire life is about to turn upside down, in the best possible way. 

Let's back up.

Of the now 25-ish applications I've sent out (11 of which are for actual open positions), I received three callbacks.

Company 1 wanted to interview me for exactly the position I've been hunting for. But since this particular company is extremely famous, and very well funded with high-profile clientele, taking the job would be the equivalent of jumping up about five steps due to how much I'd have to learn on the fly to keep up. It would be a TON of high stress, fast-paced work doing a lot of things I've never really done (LOTS of event planning) but if I survived, I could pretty much write my own ticket after a year there and go anywhere I wanted.

I was mildly terrified but nevertheless totally down, until in my research I found out this company has some ongoing PR and legal issues, to put it mildly. Terrible Glassdoor reviews. And considering that I just got out of a company with some problems, I really don't want to go that route. So I canceled the interview.

Company 2, which is small-scale and very chill, appears by all accounts to be awesome. I met most of the team on a group Zoom and would be happy to work with all of them. They're looking to hire for their Culver City spot, but they're about to launch the DTLA location any minute. The position would be a low level role in Culver City, but I have a suspicion they want to pull me in and train me up quickly, so I could take over DTLA when it opens. We were set to have a second interview when they said, "Actually, do you wanna just come in and meet the founder and hang out for a day and see if we all fall in love?" 

So that is happening next week.

Company 3 meanwhile, snuck in while all of the above was developing. Company 3 has ~20 locations in the US, is fairly corporate, well funded, lots of opportunity for growth, and with a great Glassdoor profile. They invited me to interview for a low-ish level role in West Hollywood, but I did let them know I'd be interested in relocating to another city, should that be a possibility. After my first interview, they said, definitely expect to hear back from us, but probably not until after Thanksgiving. But then an hour later, they said "Actually, the Director of Operations wants to talk to you Friday."

So that is the second interview I just had. 

Funny thing, real quick. Right before the Zoom, my former former boss, the last Director of Operations I reported to, just happened to reach out and check in. And after we spoke, I did a quick search on the Director of Ops I was about to interview with. And I swear to god, it was like the Handing Off of the Ellie. Both are East Coast guys with very similar career trajectories. Both have the same superficially intimidating exterior, very professional, but solid, down to earth East Coast personalities underneath.  

Anyway, I prepped hard for this interview. I mean, I am really proud of myself for how well I prepared. I boiled all of my work experience down to a handful of key anecdotes (successful/meaningful guest interactions, problems solved, solutions enacted, stuff like that) that showcase the qualities I know the company is looking for, and how my actions in those instances reflected what they want in an employee. And when asked, I was able to easily draw on these anecdotes and talk about them. 

I also learned everything I could about the company, and had awesome questions ready to go. And I made it a point to illustrate I'd looked two or three steps down the road, and had already been thinking of ideas on how to fulfill the responsibilities of the position another two rungs up the ladder. 

It all paid off. The Director of Operations more or less pivoted midway through the Zoom and started interviewing me for a different role altogether - a higher up position, in another city. Specifically, the city that I have been trying to get to, and that I thought I was gonna make a run for when my company closed (but then I was like, this is dumb, I don't have a job, that's too many unknowns to take on at once). This position is at a location they are opening in a matter of days. It's brand new, it's gorgeous, and it needs a manager, like, yesterday. 

Sooooo, I am now in the running for that, and the next step is for me to interview with the company VP next week. What. The. Fuck. 

To review: after deciding three weeks ago to leave the food industry and see if I could break into an entirely different sector, and after realizing I was most likely going to have to start at entry level or near that due to my inexperience, I am now a contender for the role I so optimistically struck out for in the first place...in the city I want to move to. All of a sudden, what seemed like a "someday' quite possibly could be a "now".

It's one hour at a time around here. I still have to convince the VP and then probably the CEO that I'm their girl...but how many candidates can they possibly have with zero commitments keeping them from starting to pack tomorrow? No kids, no partner, no mortgage, no lease (I've been month to month with no penalty, presumably because my building is just happy to have anyone paying rent). I can't imagine they have anyone else with my immediate, unqualified availability. 

So that's what's happening. There is a real possibility that I'm about to escape both restaurants and California in one fell swoop.

Two birds, one job. Let's fly.