The Job Interview (aka The Great What If Spiral Of Doom)

Ah, the joys of your entire future spinning on the head of a single one hour snapshot of your life. How fun. How exhilerating. How absolutely-not-stressful-at-all.

Ha. I’m fine. I’m fine. 


In case anyone hadn’t guessed it, I’ve just had a job interview!

*waits for expected applause and congratulations and well-wishes*

Why thank you, that is incredibly kind.

It is for a job at the charity where I currently work, and I am absolutely desperate to get my teeth into the role. I have tried for a couple of other roles in the organisation since I passed my probation period in my current position nearly a year ago, and they’ve all been just slightly out of my reach in terms of experience. I have interviewed for all of these roles. I have been so close, and yet the jump was just slightly too high.

This one? This one I can use my current role as leverage to reach up and grab it. I can balance on the head of my experience, catch this position between my fingers, and use it to start the long climb of the career I long to follow within this organisation.

And I want it this job. I want it desperately.

In the twenty-four hours or so that have passed since I was sitting in that room, no doubt gesticulating wildly to cover my shaking and emphasize my points, I’ve travelled the metaphorical rollercoaster of emotions. From pride in my performance, to the heart-thumping anxiety of running back through every sentence and breath; if you can imagine an emotion, then you can guarantee that it’s been a temporary tenant in my head at some point since my interview.

I actually prefer the lead up to the interview. In fact, I feel as though at that point I have an element of control firmly in my hands. I have the preparation. I know exactly when it is. I can plan for it. I can actually be constructive and do something in the run up to the event.

Once the deed is done, however, I am a mess.

The complete loss of control; the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing at all that I can do in the process; it puts me in a twist. The direction of my professional life – and, by default, a large portion of life as I know it – is utterly dependent on those sixty minutes in that room with those two people. And all I can do now is cross my fingers, hug my dogs, cry into a pillow, eat a sickening amount of chocolate, and wait to see whether this is another misstep or the first tiptoe into a new era.

I adore my organisation. I adore the work, the message, the people, and, most of all, the absolute support they have given to accommodate and bring out the best in me. I do not want to be working for anybody else. I am supported, I am uplifted, and I want to go further and build a career within it. I have to hope that this time, in this place, with this role, my best is enough. Otherwise, I am not entirely sure of what exactly my next steps will be.

Now I’m sitting in bed, buried in duvet, with my phone turned up full blast and sitting beside me, my whole body jumping at every buzz only to realise that it is a social media notification or some other such inconsequential nonsense.  Someone should take a picture of this moment and place it in the dictionary to illustrate the term ‘anxiety’.

*insert stock photo of a blanket burrito*

Please pretend this picture is actually there as I can’t afford actual stock photos. 

Let’s take a peak through the keyhole into my brain, shall we? I would recommend you hole on tight. Are you ready? 1…2…3…

*unlocks the door*

What does this mean? Has it been too long? Is it normal for me not to have heard yet? Does the fact that I haven’t heard yet mean they’ve made an offer to someone else? Should I check my emails? But what if I look and it says no? What if it’s a no and I fall apart? There’s no one at home to bring me down! What if I am stuck at my current level forever? What if I should forget about all my dreams? What if I am kidding myself? What if I actually suck at all things? What if my existence is futile? What if, what if, what if, what if gaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

And I think that’s enough for now.

*locks the door again and takes a deep breath*

There’s no real conclusion to this that I can muster, as I am currently living in a world of half-formed realities and paradoxical make-believe futures. I am wallowing in the ‘what ifs’, and the longer I wallow the more I get drawn to the deep end of the negative space.

All I can do is hold on tight, resist the pull, and try and keep just a finger or a toe in the positive.

And if anyone has any spare chocolate, please throw it my way.


Author: QueerlyAutistic
Erin Ekins is a queer autistic writer, speaker and attempter of activism. She has an interest in all areas of autistic social justice, but has a particular passion for improving understanding and acceptance of the intersection of autism and queerness. She runs the blog and is the author of the upcoming book 'Queerly Autistic: The Ultimate Guide for LGBTQIA+ Teens on the Spectrum'. By day, she works in campaigning and influencing at a disability related charity, but, by night, she is inhabits a busy space between angry internet person and overly-excited fangirl.

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