Applying for a job I didn’t get, and why you should too!

Are you thinking about applying for a better position but don’t know if you should make the leap? Read on why I applied for a job I knew I wouldn’t get and the experience I gained in the process.

Within the last few weeks, my boss was promoted internally to a position freeing up her director position. I knew applying for the director position would be a long shot as I have only been a manager for less than a year. Nevertheless, I thought I would show initiative in applying for the position. One major glitch, I didn’t meet the minimum qualifications to even apply for the position. The job posted and it read, a minimum of three years manager or above experience plus a bunch of other things I did have. I thought about not applying at all, but I have made significant waves in my current position, and the worst that would happen is I wouldn’t advance to get an interview.

A month passed and I got an email from recruiting. I was set up for three interviews. Two were with medical directors and the last was with a director of the non-clinical side of operations. I did standard prep work for an interview such as thinking about strengths, weaknesses, contributions, describing the team I currently manage, how I drive my team and so forth. As my interviews approached I felt ready. I wanted this to be a true indication of my own merits. Interview one came, and it didn’t feel odd. In fact, we had a pleasant conversation, and he was interested in my work as a manager. Interview questions we much more about implementing new projects and the strategies behind it. The second interview came and again much like the first; it was about the global processes of driving a team. I felt comfortable, and the conversation was very natural.  The last interview came, and this one was I think the hardest interview. It wasn’t difficult in subject matter, but I felt off of my game on this day.

I know my description is vague, but I will have to admit I go into this interview mode where things become this out of body experience, and I forget the scope of interview questions.

Weeks had passed, and I knew the other manager had also interviewed along with a handful of outside applicants, all with impressive credentials. I got a call from recruiting last week where they said the position was extended to the other manager and she had accepted. I wasn’t crushed, I wasn’t upset, in fact, I was over the moon because she is a fantastic nurse and we will be in great hands. I was also excited because I know her work ethic and mine are very similar and I wouldn’t have to learn some outsiders habits. The recruiter provided me some feedback stating that all of the people I interviewed with felt I would be a great director one day but I have already moved up very fast within the company and some time in the current position would be best at this time. I agree. I have been a manager for 11 months and felt like I need 3-5 years under my belt to have a better appreciation for the position. I thanked the recruiter and told her I am happy for the opportunity to interview.

A few things I did learn were, at a minimum, I gained a sense of the interview process for a director level position entails. I gained exposure to medical directors, directors, and recruiters. I put myself in an uncomfortable situation to gain growth, experience, and knowledge.

Everyone should try it at least once in your career to advance through the corporate ladder. Even if you are not qualified this time around you will gain insight into what you need to strive for to keep growing. You will be your worst critic yet the best supporter. Strive for goals you set for yourself because opportunities just land on your lap. With failure comes strength and knowledge only you will know how far you can go. I am the type of person that is always seeking growth and career advancement. It wasn’t my time to advance, and it may not be my time the next time, but I do know that no matter what job I am doing I pour myself into the role 100%. Notice I didn’t say 110% because if you are giving 110%, that means it was really not 100% the first time around. So what are you waiting for? Go for it, apply, the worst that can happen is they say no and you still have a job!


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