Friday, October 16, 2009

Scariness Ahead

One thing I occasionally do out of habit, even though I've been comfortably ensconced in my job for about 10 months, is check the employment opportunities at other places where I'd think of working later in my career. Since people typically stay at the job I have for only a year or a year and a half (sometimes 2 years, but that's rare), I had been planning on ramping up a job search come December.

On Friday, however, I saw something moderately close to a perfect job. It's a policy analyst position, in my field, and they're looking for someone with pretty much exactly my experience and education. (Although they do say a BA or MA in economics, and I only have a BA. So, I don't mean to suggest that I'm a slam dunk for it, but I do fit the requirements. This think tank is also one of the rare few that will hire policy analysts without Masters degrees, although there's sort of an understanding that you'll pick one up eventually.) I'd get to publish my own research, and self-direct my own projects. It's also not short term, and I wouldn't feel pressured to look for another job two years down the line. It would be perfect. It's the sort of job I've dreamed about, and it's the sort that doesn't come up all that often. After hemming and hawing a bit on whether it would be rude to apply when I've only been here less than a year--general consensus was that it would probably be close enough to the year by the time they actually finished the hiring process that I could go ahead--it seems like what I ought to do is apply for the job. And I will, probably tonight or tomorrow, assuming I can get over myself long enough to do it.

The issue is, basically, I'm petrified. I wasn't expecting to be looking at jobs when I was still this heavy. And yes, I'm less ridiculously fat than I was when I interviewed for my current job in December of 2008. But I'm still, well, ridiculously fat. I'm morbidly obese. I'm just not even close to where I wanted to be when I started doing interviews.

Being fat makes me less likely to get hired and more likely to get paid less even if I do get the job. That sucks. But honestly, there are so many ways in which I'm just not ready for this job yet. I don't want to be extremely fat in front a whole new group of colleagues, and colleagues I'll be around a while at that. If I were to get the job they'd likely take a picture of me to post on their website, and I'm so not ready for a photo of what I look like now to be the first thing someone who does a google search for me finds. There are so, so, so many ways I'm not ready for this.

But I think I should try to get over myself and apply anyway. It's likely I won't get the job, but if I do it would be great for my career. Sure, there will be fears and challenges and it will suck to start my next job fat, but it's worth it. I just need to face my fears and do it. There's no harm in trying.


  1. Don't rely on statistics for how this opportunity plays out.
    Just bring your best self to the table.
    Project yourself as a confident, intelligent, *perfect for the job* woman and kill em with your Badass self.
    Please don't let your size dictate your worth for this job opportunity.
    Best of Luck!!!

    Congratulations on your 100 followers btw!

  2. Don't be so hard on yourself Miss Hadley. I agree with Karen, just bring your skills and best attitude to the table and your confidence will show through.

    You will kick yourself more if you don't go for it because of your weight. Shoot for the moon Hadley. Even if you miss you will still land among the stars :-)

    P.S. Look at you with 100 followers! I also like how you made a slide show of your awards.

  3. Apply already! You sound like a shoe-in. I agree with both Karen and Katie J. Bring your best!

  4. Considering like 65% of people are overweight/obese, I think the times of fat prejudice are dying quickly. No one can point a finger anymore, not even celebrities who are fattening up. I went to a party once and I was embarrassed, thinking I'd look ridiculous and be ignored. It ended up every single person was overweight, a lot overweight. I felt stupid when I realized that if you stand in any given store and look around you, there's almost no one who isn't overweight. So, you're actually in the same boat as your peers. Go for it!

  5. Woman, do not let your fat keep you from applying for this job!!! The fat is temporary - but if this job is as perfect as you think, then it will give you years of satisfaction, challenges, money....
    Believe in yourself, and they will believe in you, too. I think many times we all sell ourselves short because we're embarrassed by how we look. But your BRAINS are what's being interviewed, not your body!!! You can do it!

  6. Definitely get over yourself Hadley and apply for that job! What's the worst thing that could happen? Once you analyze that, then I would be surprised if it were so bad that you won't apply.

    If you don't apply you may be mad at yourself later for not at least trying!!

    Go for it.


  7. If you don't apply, you'll always wonder what might have been. If you apply and don't get, it will be for the usual reasons all people have: another candidate was a better fit for whatever reason, not because of your weight.

  8. I think you're focusing too much of the negative, Hadley. You said yourself that you've got the chops for this job and that it's right in your wheelhouse. You're working on the rest of it (and making spectacular progress, I might add). Go for it!

  9. I agree no regrets!! Go for it Girl! I think you are amazing!

  10. Hadley I do think you should apply....I remember when I was at my heaviest (457 lbs) I had just graduated from college. I did feel like many times I was discriminated against during the job hunt. You won't know until you try though! If they don't hire you based on you being heavier then other applicants that might not be as qualified as you then you wouldn't wanna work there anyways!

  11. Definitely go for it!

    but I understand your fear...

    There are very few women at my workplace and the need to look good, hair done, makeup done seems sometimes overwhelming, but that's life!

  12. Apply, apply, apply.
    And then come over to my blog and get your award!

  13. Well, of course you're going to apply. :-)

    One thing I've noticed a lot in the process of hiring in various fields is that fat women always give the best interviews. I don't know if it's overcompensation for the fat, but more often than not they dress up more than other folks, come better prepared, answer the questions well, and are often overqualified. When I was in grad school I was the research assistant for a professor doing research on this, how successful fat women tend to be super-overachievers. I don't know if one needs to be a super-overachiever in order to succeed while fat or if we internalize our fat shame to such an extent that we feel the need to prove ourselves, but either way it's interesting (and has nothing to do with your post, I know, but your post made me think about it). :-)

  14. Apply! You know you want to, and you sound perfect for the job! Good luck :)

  15. Apply and be a winner. That job is for you so go get it. Good luck!

  16. Um, Hadley? STEP AWAY FROM THE NUMBERS WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. I mean this in the most loving way, of course, but seriously. Get over yourself, reread the posts about the other people in various stages of body transitions in your current job environment, or may the one about your new suit jacket, or heck, even the one that brought us together - the whole not eating at lunch thing. And after you read them? GET OVER YOURSELF AND APPLY FOR THE FUCKING JOB.
    Thank you please.

  17. Apply! Do not worry about the other stuff! You are obviously an intelligent, well-spoken (written), and passionate individual and if you think this job would be perfect for you than don't let anything stand in the way of going for it. You can do this!!!

  18. I agree with the concensus here, apply for the job! Don't let your current weight status mentally prevent you from an outstanding opportunity!