If ever you are looking to leave academe and find work in the “real world” (I hate that mentality, but…), let me give you one piece of advice. Interviewing for non-A work is really, REALLY weird after having spent four job cycles on the academic market. It almost feels like a let-down. But let me go back to the beginning.

I woke up this morning in a panic because I’d forgotten to go print up my transcript as they’d requested. I dashed over to Kinko’s before 8 to print, and ended up getting to come home for another 20 minutes before heading out for the interview. I still managed to get there way early, but it did allow me time to decompress and zone in.

The written portion was simple enough: Write an essay on the 3 strongest job-related assets I would bring. Then I had to “present” my essay to the interview panel at the end of the interview. Kind of weird, but obviously I had no problem with that. I am good at writing and speaking on the fly after 4 years in the collegiate classroom!

It was kind of weird sitting across the table from a fire deputy chief and a police deputy chief in uniform during my interview. Fortunately, they were nice, professional people who put me right at ease. There was also an HR person there, too. The whole interview (written and spoken) lasted all of 50 minutes. It felt so easy compared to the some of the firing squad-style interviews I have faced. They asked decent questions, and I felt like I gave good answers and established a positive rapport. They must have agreed, because I got a call 2 hours later asking me to come interview tomorrow afternoon with the head of HR.

Is it possible that I could get the first job I interview for? That almost never happens in academia, but I welcome the possibility. There are other good jobs I have applied for, but if this works out first, so be it. I’d make over twice what I could on unemployment, I would have benefits, and I could move on with my new career. Good, positive thoughts, por favor?