One thing being a sports fan teaches you is how to deal with disappointment.
Only one team per sport gets to be champion each season. Everybody else is a loser.
In that reality, being second-place -- or "first loser" -- is pretty tough for a fan to take. You make it all the way to the final, only one win away from ultimate glory -- only to watch someone else be crowned champion.
This is akin to what I've experienced in my job search the past two years. Granted, I've actually had some freelance activity, won a part-time job that I could have kept indefinitely prior to the move, and after the move landed the substitute teaching work.
So technically, I've had some employment. But nothing that was steady, nothing that stabilized not just our family finances but the gnawing worry that goes along with being unable to seal the deal.
What's really hurt has been the near-misses. The job editing the alt-weekly that should have been mine and instead went to an underqualified flake who bailed after nine months. The California jobs that I came so close to getting. Those three stand out, but there were others.
It's not like pro golf or tennis or other sports where you can win money without ever winning an event. Finishing second in a job hunt pays the same as finishing 20th -- zed.
Against this backdrop, I'm not letting the successful first two steps make me too giddy. But oh how I want to win this time.
A business here that matches my ideology needs someone with my skillset. I'm 90th percentile, at least. There is a Web component that I'm confident that I can master, but, it will be new, so I honestly have a potential issue there. But otherwise, I'm perfectly suited for this job.
After seeing my resume, they agreed, and mailed me Monday about setting up a preliminary remote interview.
That happened today. And at the conclusion, I was told I will be invited for a face-to-face downtown.
Everyone's process is different, and I've heard of long dances consisting of up to three direct interviews. I've been a part of something like that myself. But this situation seems to me to be one in which if I ace the next test, I'd be within perhaps only one more hurdle of getting the job.
Like the sports fan hoping for the best but guarding against the worst, I am doing everything I can not to be too hopeful, not to agonize over every possibility. Don't count your carp before they hatch.
And of course now I have to wait for an unspecified number of days before I not only know when the interview is, but then wait for it to actually take place.
To stay level, I will keep applying for good jobs, keep my head down and my spirits up, and hope for the best.