I have been living in limbo these past few months…
As soon as I submitted my thesis, I applied for a part-time job in the public sector. This job, a therapeutic role in adult mental health, would help me build up my clinical decision making skills, pursue endorsement and ultimately work towards entering private practice. At about the same time, a friend of mine name dropped me to another service who had mentioned they were looking to hire someone. As a result, after submitting my CV, I was offered some intermittent therapy work with children in the new year. I was still waiting for my registration paperwork to come through though and to hear back about the outcome of my other application, so we agreed I would check in with them again in January.
Weeks passed. I found out I had been accepted for a panel interview with three psychologists for the public sector job. I was ecstatic! At the interview, I was given fifteen minutes to read through a series of interview questions and make notes. As a veteran public speaker used to responding off the cuff, this felt like a luxury! And, the questions they asked me were nowhere near as tricky as the ones I’d predicted they would ask. Better still, in contrast to the panel I sat before to gain entry into my postgraduate program, they were welcoming and supportive. I walked out feeling like the interview had gone well.
More weeks passed without news. Soon it was almost Christmas and I was nervous. I’d been told I’d be notified by this point. Out of the blue, I was also offered a part-time job, for one or two days a week doing disability assessments. I couldn’t believe it. It was the type of clinical job that 17 year old me had always planned for myself and I hadn’t even applied for it. Have you ever heard the like of it in your life?!
Receiving this new job was simultaneously wonderful and stressful. I had a lot of weighing up to do. Did I take the job outright or wait to hear back about the public sector job application? Was I willing to risk having to turn down the public sector job if it were later offered to me because the assessment job had specific days that might well clash? And, what was the likelihood of me finding other part-time therapeutic work with adults to fit around the assessment role if the part-time public sector job fell through? AAAAH!!
After a lot of angst, I was honest with the assessment employee and they were unbelievably kind and accommodating to me. They allowed me to wait and see what the outcome of the public sector job was to figure out how I might be able to make both roles work round each other.
And so I waited, and waited and waited. And I hated it, mostly because it did not sit well with me leaving two other potential employees twiddling their thumbs. I also hated the uncertainty of it all. What if the days in the public sector job were incompatible? What if that job ended up being full-time and nor part time (as was beginning to look likely at one point)? When would they tell me what was going on either way?!
Right before Christmas, I received some information. I finally knew I was in the running, but, because the range of the available roles were caught up in HR, they weren’t sure what they could offer me. So I had to wait. Again.
And so more weeks passed. Before I got The Phone Call and was offered a part-time role in adult mental health. I remember saying aloud to myself after the call. “That actually just happened!” I just couldn’t believe it. Stranger still, the role was within a team I had previously been involved in. Talk about coming full circle! I accepted the job with the assurance there was some flexibility with days but I still had to wait several days to confirm that the role would fit beautifully round the assessment job. The relief was palpable.
And so now I am leaving limbo land behind. I am no longer routinely checking all my job alerts and job search engines. I’ve politely declined the child therapy opportunity. I have a firm idea of what I will be doing professionally this year. And I even have a start date! I am so very grateful.