I’m sitting in the Crisis Skylight Café near Brick Lane, running through the presentation in my head one final time. I’ve got an interview in fifteen minutes, where I have to give a ten minute talk. I can’t quite get my head around it. A week ago I’d submitted three applications in as many days, bringing the total to fourteen applications to date.
On Friday I volunteered at an old people’s home, tidying up the gardens in the morning, then having afternoon tea with the residents. As a result it was a rare day, when I didn’t look at my mobile phone until around five o’clock. When I finally did fish it out of my bag, on the bus home, I saw I had two missed calls, a voicemail and an e-mail.
The third of the job applications I’d completed that week, the one I’d clicked “send” on just two days ago, had got me shortlisted for an interview. The first one since I began working my notice! I ran home and literally jumped up and down with excitement.
Back to reality with a bump, though. The e-mail told me I’d have to give a ten-minute presentation to a panel of three senior staff, managers and the charity’s CEO. With just under five days to prepare, I sent out a call for help on Facebook. Over the weekend I researched for hours, and badgered family and friends for ideas and facts to include. They came up trumps; my uncle and dad in particular spent a lot of time and energy helping me. By Saturday evening I had all the information I needed, I just had to write it up as a talk, and get used to presenting it. That’s what I spent Sunday, and Monday and Tuesday evenings doing.
Which is how I’ve ended up here, one week later, psyching myself up. I’ve just noticed that I’ve got toothpaste on my skirt. Great. Just what I need. I’m thinking back to my A-Level French oral exam, when I had an asthma attack midway through my presentation. What if I have a panic attack again, and completely forget what I’m supposed to say? My throat is dry. I look up at the clock. Ten minutes to go. Time to make a move, and head to the interview. Wish me luck.