When it Rains it Pours

CrossFit internships jobhunt

Success at Last!

Today, I filled out paperwork for my new job at a clothing store and within hours I was offered an internship that will hopefully lead to a well-paying job in a field I love and am already passionate and knowledgeable about. I am amazed at fate's capricious nature. All this comes on the heels of my new involvement with Farm to Table. In the span of about two weeks, I went from having nothing to do, to having way too much.

The job at Zara was like a corporate American dream come true. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and, viola, employment. I was at the mall, not actually for the purpose of filling out job applications, but thought I might as well while there. I applied at Abercrombie & Fitch (not proud of that one), the Apple store, and picked up an application to Zara, but was told they weren't hiring until the spring. Nevertheless, I filled out my application and brought it back, handing it directly to the store manager, who looked it over and immediately asked if I had management experience. Turned out there was an opening right now, and she got me in touch with the men's department manager. Completely out of the blue on that one. I guess you just look and keep putting yourself out there.

Except, there might be something more to this. I didn't even know about Zara before my trip to Italy. My sister loves the store and likes to dress the men in her life with their Euro-global fashions. She got me hooked and I eagerly started exploring the possibilities of a new, more stylish me. I actually made friends with two of the salespeople there, and the store and its style of clothing became quickly associated with a lot of the personal growth and change I was trying to achieve in becoming more outgoing and confident. Of all the retail jobs I would have considered, Zara was the only one I was really interested in (other than Apple). It seems significant to me that there was some connection; my relationship with Zara did not begin with the application process, as it would have with any of the other jobs I applied to.

The CrossFit internship offer came up rather unexpectedly, but was something I had been trying to get for a long time. I had eventually given up on it, and was enjoying my relationship with the associated community as a regular, if over-involved, patron. A lot of hard work, research, self-education, and dedicated contribution eventually led up to the offer, though the fact that it came up on the same day is more than a little shocking after so long with nothing.

It seems difficult to rationalize the idea that I planted all these seeds some time ago and now is simply when they are all maturing and bearing fruit, all at the same time. A more interesting hypothesis is associated with theories on attraction. When a guy has no girlfriend, other girls are generally less attracted to him. This is for two reasons. The first is that girls are looking for guys that other girls have demonstrated an interest in already, in much the same way that employers are always looking for employees with experience (another employer has demonstrated interest). Second, the guy will come off as a little desperate when looking for a girl's attention, which begs in girls the question, "if he is so desperate, is it because he knows his is so poorly qualified?" I think this dynamic comes into play with the job market as well, as I discuss in my post on jobs and charisma.

Lessons Learned

Needless to say, I am extremely relieved to have finally found some potential sources of income, one of which ties in with my passion for extreme fitness which I could see myself pursuing for some time. I don't really know what lesson to glean from this experience, other than: be willing to work for nothing. I am reminded of the Miyazaki film, Kiki's Delivery Service, in which Kiki, a witch-in-training works as a simple but dedicated delivery girl, despite her specialized skillset. She eventually finds acceptance and meaning in her newly adopted community. Actually, a lot of Miyazaki's young protagonists follow similar paths. In Spirited Away, for example, the main character works for free at the spirit bath house when her parents are turned into pigs. Despite her ulterior motives and desire to escape, she does her job well and with full investment, eventually winning over her enemies and carving her own place in the world. I pretty much did the same at my gym, helping out with coaching when I could, taking opportunities to contribute in order to pay my way, and educating myself on the philosophy and techniques we use. It was known that I wanted to become a CrossFit coach, but it was all I could do to afford the membership. But I did my best to help out, approaching my assigned chores with diligence and passion (I like to think), and CrossFit Stamford quickly became my community, my main source of meaning and support.

I had, however, all but given up on the idea of eventually coaching. Just when you have accepted your life, you get exactly what it was you wanted. How very Zen...

Image source: Leandro Martinez on Flikr