It happened! I have a new job!After 2 months of interviews, a background check, and multiple reference calls, with and through a domestic staffing agency, Mahler Enterprises, I am now the new Personal Assistant to a kind and busy family in Manhattan! I’ll be writing more about this as the role unfolds, but for now I thought it would be interesting to recount the Woody Allen-like anxiety that accompanies the wait leading up to a new job!
The Waiting to Hear Back From the Interview Anxiety
I started writing a post a few days ago about how I wasn’t anxious waiting to hear back about this position – about how I only get anxious about things I cannot control – but the truth was that I hadn’t been so anxious about landing a job in 5 years! – back when I was waiting to hear about whether I would be landing the job with the mysterious producer, who would became my employer for the last five years.After the last interview, a week ago now, I went to bed wondering whether I’d hear back from Joel Seeger, my recruiter at Mahler, and then I’d wake up the next morning wondering whether this would be the day that I’d hear back about the job. Time was passing, and it turned out the thing holding it all up was a reference call between my new and my last employers. It took some stepping in on my part to arrange, as they are both exceedingly busy people, but they were able to connect Saturday and share an hour discussing the role and my fit. He then called my second reference from my research position at the International Academic Alliance.
After the Reference CallMy old employer is so good to me and the next morning filled me in on the details of this call. It was reassuring to hear from her questions as to what I envisioned getting long-term out of a rule like this. As much as she wants to see me go forward on to other roles, she wants to make sure that this is a logical step in my path.
The Weird Relationship You Sometimes Build When You’re Not Just Someone’s Employee
As much as she has been my boss this last set of years, my last employer, her daughter, and some of her extended family have become my own zany NYC family as well. We are so deeply embedded in one another’s lives. When she is anxious about something, she calls me up, and we chat. I like to be able to be a sounding board for her, or to try and allay her fears when she is overwhelmed. It’s only quite natural for a single mother, with three jobs!, to be anxious at times. As a result, our relationship has often extended beyond “employer-employee.”
As a result sometimes emotions run high when we disagree, or more usually misunderstand, one another.Right now we’re in a tiff because when I told her I was offered the job, instead of offering her congratulations, she immediately became concerned that the new employer’s request of a June 12th start date would conflict with my caring for her and her daughter post knee surgery. I know it is her anxiety that drives this level of upset, rather than a disregard for my excitement at a new job. However, it leaves us both hurt as we navigate the idea that I’ll be more and more removed from her life as I take on this job full time.
It’s going to be tough extricating myself from their lives. It’s been a piecemeal process over the last year, as my position there shifted first to part time, then on call as needed, of my own accord. With the prospect of her daughter going away to boarding school the next year, I wanted to encourage them to spend more time together, and I knew that cutting my hours would force this conclusion.
I know it’s going to be tough on them, as I start this new position, but I look forward to staying a part of their lives, more as a family friend, rather than a moving piece in their busy ever turning wheels. It will be fun to reflect back on what life was like when I first met her and her daughter, at age 8 or 9.
And now I will have so many new stories and relationships to create with this new family. There is so much to learn as I start all over again, learning the ins and outs of how others lead their lives.
Being a Personal Assistant is Not EasyIt won’t be easy, this new job. You are there amidst all the released stresses of one’s day, or chaos that reigns in a world not ordered with work structures or societal norms.
However, it is exactly in this environment that I thrive. I love the challenges of understanding each person’s psyche, arrangements, while helping them discover an order they never knew could help them be happier and feel more organized. It is exciting and daunting. It was nerve wrecking to build up to this point, and if I’m honest, even at 31, I’m a bit anxious to start and embrace all the changes this new role will bring, but that’s for an entirely separate post.