How I Landed My Job

Hi! (Whenever I say that, it makes me think of this vine).

I hope you guys had a good 4th. I went to Atlanta with some friends from Elon, while my husband headed to his mom’s to help her move some stuff. It was really cool to see my friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since Elon Homecoming last year. Everyone seems like they’re doing well, and we all get a huge kick out of giving each other a hard time.

Elon ReunionPeep how cute this high-waisted bikini I snagged from ModCloth is!

ModClothI appreciate the vintage style, and I snagged this bikini because I saw this style on a few girls at the beach last week, and was impressed by how forgiving it was.

How I Landed my Job

First off, I totally stole this from Kristyn at Chits and Giggles, who took us through how she landed her gig at Coca-Cola.  It was really interesting because I too came to my job in a fun way, and I’m always interested to see how other folks land their jobs.

So, I am a Group Fitness Director at a Y here.  The job is amazing, incredible, and I feel often like I’m living a dream with the position.

So the way I got it.

I’m not sure I even quite realized that being a Group Fitness Director was a thing until I worked for UREC at NC State.  Suddenly, what I wanted to do started to become clear.  My heart was in group fitness, teaching, weight loss, nutrition, and counseling, and I wasn’t really sure how to do it.

One of the best things I ever did was to get a job with Fleet Feet Raleigh shortly after I graduated, and I’m so grateful that Bob (owner) took a chance on me, and I’ll tell you why in just a minute.

So, in the summer of 2012, the woman who was in my position moved on from the job, and I applied for the position a clueless 20-something with not a whole lot of job experience.  I think I remember the interview going well, but not having networked a ton around Raleigh, and not having a ton of job experience, the position went to another candidate, and I was devastated.  For a few days after I got the news that I didn’t get the job, I took the hit extremely personally, and cried for days.

After crying, I think I wasn’t entirely sure what my next move should be, and I asked people around me what I should do.  A few people were angry on my behalf, and told me that I should quit teaching my classes and sever all ties with the Y.  And I think deep down, we all have that desire in there, but the thought of not teaching my classes anymore there was really even more devastating.  I made the conscious decision to stick it out there, stick with Fleet Feet Raleigh, and begin applying to jobs, learning about the field, and networking with the hopes of eventually becoming Group X Director.

Fleet Feet Raleigh

I’d like to take a second here to talk about my time with Fleet Feet Raleigh (FFR), which I really need to credit for a lot.  Fleet Feet Raleigh is a running specialty shop, specializing in running.  Running shoes, apparel, nutrition, and hydration is our bread and butter.  I have to credit FFRal with helping me to grow as a candidate.  In my time there, Bob (our fearless leader), encouraged and supported my foray into this blog, provided me leadership opportunities, allowed me to learn and play with social media, and really provided me the tools I needed to become more marketable in this field.  He and his wife, Kathy, are truly the bomb.

So, last year, in the thick of us preparing to get married, I received word along with the monthly schedule requests that our Group Fitness Director was moving on elsewhere.  I wanted to go for it again, but I was honestly afraid of how humiliated I might feel if I didn’t get the job again.  One night, walking around the mall parking lot, I asked Austin about what he thought.  He was supportive, told me to go for it, and reminded me that if I didn’t get it for whatever reason, that I shouldn’t beat myself up, and that it didn’t mean that I wasn’t valuable.

So I sent Matt, my current boss, an email, and explained that I had applied for the position once before, and hadn’t gotten it, but was still interested.  He responded, and called me within the next few days, and asked if I’d like to set up an interview.

!!!

I really don’t remember a ton about that first interview to be honest, because I was trying to approach it as chill as possible.  Matt called me a few days later and asked me to come back for a second interview, this one an interview with maybe four people there.  That was was intimidating, but I really tried to speak from my heart.  I talked about my passion for group fitness.  I talked about not getting the position before and the grown I felt like I’d had in the 2(ish) years since.  I just was really honest.

Again, a few days later, Matt called and asked me to come in to meet with our branch director.  This interview was really more like a chat, and Dan was really warm and welcoming to me.  Again, I was really trying to be chill about this whole thing, so I tried not to get too excited, and with each meeting, I made sure to send a thank you and remind myself that if this didn’t go my way, there was probably a reason why it wouldn’t work out.

Matt stayed in touch with me.  He assigned me to evaluate a class one weekend.  He checked in with me regarding salary.  And finally, one day when I was at work, I recognized Matt’s phone number.

“Hey Cheri!  Is now a good time?”

Is that a trick question…

“We just want to thank you so much for going through this process with us..”

Oh dammit.  He’s breaking up with me…prepare for it…here it comes…

“…With the passion and the growth you’ve demonstrated…and…we just wanted to go ahead and offer you the position.  Now we don’t want you to answer us today, I want you to take a day or two to think about it..”

!!!

One fist went up in the air.  But I had to keep it together so I wouldn’t look like a jerk on the phone and so I wouldn’t distract from the regular day going on at my job.

Needless to say I took the job.  And I have not looked back.  I truly feel like I’m living my dream.  I get to teach classes, schedule classes, supervise a large staff, and develop my skills at a nonprofit – all things I feel truly passionate about.  I actually enjoy going to my job, and can see myself there for a long time, and hope that they feel the same about.

So all that great big long post aside:

What do you do (work-wise)?

How did you land your job?

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4 thoughts on “How I Landed My Job

  1. I love your job story! Most of my jobs have come from being on email lists (listserv) from my Professional Association or from my Professional Association’s website. My current is the first one to date – this is starting from 8 years ago – for which I was quite sure I could do it, but I wasn’t positive about moving from in person to online. I started my job just over 3 years ago and I have learned so much. Every job has its challenges and the tough times truly make you think about what is important. Or maybe that is just me. Now, can you move to a YMCA that is closer to me? I would be willing to try Zumba with you as a teacher. I relented and purchased home PiYo workouts that I do in the back room of my house, where no one sees me making mistakes. 🙂

  2. My technical title is “Distance Support Librarian” but I usually refer to myself as an Information Professional. I work primarily with students and faculty in the health sciences (health administration, health education, public health, kinesiology, health sciences) and I am now, since October, working with our dental school. Essentially, I try to keep track of questions, provide assistance, and steer about 1500 people into using the library. I will use anything from a webinar, video tutorial, PDF, phone call, email, IM, etc. to make the connection, assess the problem, and (if all goes well, provide a solution. I am moderating a free webinar on making video tutorials next Tuesday at 11:30 CDT, if you are interested.

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