2015 is getting closer. New year brings new possibilities and fun traditions like New Year’s resolutions. In Finland we have an old saying that states New Year’s resolutions being promises you don’t have to keep. But not all the old sayings need to be true, right!?
Whether your resolution is losing weight, quitting smoking, getting back in contact with long lost friends or starting a new career, every single resolution and dream is worth pursuing. If you face a debacle, so what? A little setback doesn’t mean you should give up. Sometimes you might feel like you have failed completely, but the outcome is something absolutely different. Yep, it’s time for a story:
A few years ago my biggest dream was to move to Spain, even for a little while. In autumn 2011 I found a promising job advertisement by an English employer and my application was convincing enough to get a job interview via Skype. I wanted to be sure my interview will go perfectly, so I was extremely careful with the preparations.
At the time I was working in Olkiluoto, a construction site half an hour drive from home. The interview took place in the early afternoon, so I had agreed with my employer to have a bit shorter day compared to normal. The distance was a bit challenging, especially when I didn’t have my own car and the bus was going only a couple times a day. Thanks to my boyfriend Daniel, I got to borrow his company car to get back to Rauma early enough. Besides the car I took the keys to his flat cause he had a lot better internet connection, just to make sure my Skype interview will go smoothly. I wanted everything to be perfect, as I knew that I might need to wait a long time for the next opportunity.
I left my office early. Luckily I did that. You know Murphy’s Law?
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong!
Misfortunes started to happen already at the parking lot of Daniel’s office. The car I was supposed to borrow (the car that had been functioning perfectly until this day) didn’t start. Even with the help of four guys the car just didn’t start. I was glancing at my watch and panicking. The only bus to Rauma was just about to leave and I was 15 minutes walk away from the bus stop. Even if I managed to get on the bus, I would be late from my interview. My only contact with the interviewers was an email address and Skype. And I did not have a smart phone equipped with an internet connection back then. So besides Daniel’s home keys I also took his phone that I didn’t even know how to use. Thanks to a quick briefing I was pretty sure I knew how to send one needed email message.
Daniel’s colleague drove me to the bus stop and I barely managed to get on the bus. On the way home I wrote an email apologizing that I might be a little bit late from the agreed appointment, but I would be next to Skype as soon as possible. Once my bus arrived to Rauma, I ran the one kilometer journey to Daniel’s house as fast as I could. I was absolutely out of breath and my face was screaming red, so I tried to rinse my face with ice cold water while my computer and Skype were starting up.
When the interview started I was more nervous than normally, because I knew being late wouldn’t give a great impression for the interviewers, and there was three of them! At least I had Daniel’s fast internet connection, so I shouldn’t face any more problems. Or so I thought. However, about 30 seconds after the interview started, the next door neighbour decided to start drilling behind the wall!
Not only the drilling sound on the background, but also a barking dog who didn’t like the drilling made me feel even more nervous. No matter how careful I had been with my preparations, I didn’t realize to equip myself with a headset. Whatever the interviewers asked, I had to ask them to repeat what they just said as I couldn’t hear a thing. My every second comment was “I’m so sorry, I couldn’t hear what you said. Could you repeat, please?”
I bet they were extremely impressed by me.
After the painful interview I walked directly to Daniel’s fridge and opened a cold beer, that’s how depressed I was. I was 110 % sure I would never ever hear of those guys again. No matter how well I had prepared myself, absolutely everything went wrong. I would be doomed to my boring job on a boring construction site until the end of my days. (Normally construction projects will end eventually, but if you have ever heard about OL3, it’s not one of them!)
Back to my story, what do you think happened next? I was informed the interviewers want to meet me in person in London. I could not believe it, as I had had the worst job interview of my life. The company provided me with flying tickets to London and back and I met my interviewers for a lunch in hotel Victoria. Again I was properly prepared, wearing my best clothes, having my job certifications and references organized in my folder. Would you like to have a guess what was the only question I was asked during our meeting?
“Is it true that Father Christmas is from Finland?”
(In case you are interested in my answer: “Of course he is, don’t be silly!”)
After moving to Spain about a month after the trip to London, my English boss told me they flew me over to London just to meet me face to face. According to him they already knew after my Skype interview that they would want me to work for them, so there was no need for additional questions. Obviously I shared the whole interview story with my boss, and we spent so many evenings under the Spanish sun having some Sangría and laughing about it. Even today I am still amazed how my worst job interview was such an experience for my bosses that they knew immediately they would hire me. Life can be surprising sometimes, right?
I spent an amazing year in Spain, as I have written about it on this blog every now and then. But how I got there is such a funny story that I wanted to share it with you guys, as an encouragement for other dreamers. Whether it’s about a New Year’s resolution or a lifelong dream, little mishaps don’t mean a certain failure – at the best they could mean a fresh new start!
May the 2015 be full of fulfilled dreams!