Going through the interview process is stressful. Searching for a job, when you don’t have one… is completely taxing. I decided to approach looking for a job this time around, differently. Which is to say, I know what I have to offer employers, I know my worth. I have a basic list of wants from my next employer, which includes a salary range, benefits, and opportunities that I wish to accomplish in my next role. To be completely frank, I’m not asking for the world on a platter. I’m being extremely realistic, I have a family that I need to support — but I also have goals I want to accomplish.

With all that being said… I feel completely lost. I’ve never been this selective for a job before, and have been on more interviews these past few months than I have in my entire career. I’ve always taken the first job offered to me, because I was solely trying to survive (i.e. feed my kid and pay rent). I don’t think there is shame in that. I don’t think that I have to feel bad about living paycheck to paycheck, it’s something (sadly) that most Americans do. And we are fortunate that we can, there are so many people in our country and the world that don’t have what we have. Having been a contractor for so long in my career, I’ve been underpaid for the work I’ve done. My skills and experience have never matched my salary. I have zero savings, zero assets, and can only dream of vacations. I should have been more selective in the beginning, I should have done better homework, I should have known how to save, etc… Those are regrets that I have, and I’m trying to get back on a course where I can have things like savings, and a house, and disposable income to take a vacation with my family.

It’s become very apparent that being authentic in an interview, can sometimes backfire. There have been jobs that I’ve wanted, and I’ve been myself — but that still wasn’t enough. I fight the feeling that I wasn’t enough, though I try to convince myself that it just wasn’t the right fit. Previously, maybe I omitted mentioning that I’m a mom, or that my passion is for Diversity & Inclusion because I wouldn’t get a job — in the interview room, people usually have their poker faces on. But I’m committed to living my truth, and I am authentic, so when asked what my passion is — I’m going to tell you. When asked what I do outside of work — I’m going to tell you that I like to help my son with his homework, and give him a sense of self and talk about though issues with him as a ethnically-mixed child. Because at the end of the day, that’s what’s most important to me. And if you don’t hire me because of either of those things, you are not “committed to Diversity and Inclusion” like you state on your website. Which so many companies say, but don’t do. Because I just had this conversation yesterday with my six-year-old… sometimes people say one thing and do another… and that’s not right. Speak your truth, speak with conviction and meaning.

So, even though I feel lost, and like a failure for not being able to provide right now for my family — I have hope and am holding out for the job and company that really does what they say. Like I do, and I don’t have to take personality tests, to “prove” to you that I was 100% authentic in my interview, but I will do it, but if you would have offered me the job — I wouldn’t have accepted it. Because I live my truth, and I don’t have to prove that to anyone.