Parenting and Family Life

What a Phone Interview Taught Me

I recently had a phone interview with a large scale freelancing company.

Not only was I nervous for my first phone interview, but I was going to be interviewed by the owner of the company.

Before our arranged phone call, I had provided my potential employer with information about my strengths and all I could offer as an employee.

I’ll admit, I was even more anxious about complimenting myself.

I left college after three years to follow my husband in the army, and then I became a homemaker. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son to death, but I always worked multiple jobs. I thought I would have a college degree in hand and a corporate job by now. I am embarrassed by the fact that I don’t. 

The reality of things?? That isn’t how my life was planned out for me. 

Telephone left off of the hook
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Does a college degree ALWAYS matter?

I had mentioned to my potential employer, when I applied, that I do not have a college degree. 

She didn’t care. She offered me an interview anyways. 

You see, you are NOT defined by your college degree. 

There was a time when degrees were highly favorable, but now employers are seeing the value in experience. 

All you need is that one person to give you the opportunity to prove yourself, and you need to give it everything you have. 

It is estimated that just 27 percent of college grads acquire a job that is closely related to their major.

Are you defined by a college degree?

Similarly to in-person interviews, we discussed her company, and what the position she created would be used for. 

She said she was seeking someone to help carry the burden of her company, and make it where she loved her work again. She had created a number of new projects, and had her hand in too many pots. She wanted someone to help organize and manage all her thoughts. 

Wait– You’re telling me that this woman, who owns this incredible freelance company is burnt out?!

Here is the cold hard truth about the workforce:

Employers need blue-collar trade workers as badly as they need white-collar college graduates.

I didn’t have a degree to offer her, but I had an array of experience.

Silhouette of a person standing in the sunset with their fist in the air
Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

My phone interview

Near the end of the interview when we were discussing a potential salary, she asked me if there was a monetary value that I was hoping for. I was honest with her, and I told her that I didn’t feel like I was in control of my salary because I don’t have a college degree. 

She laughed at me and told me that needed to change. She then offered me a number much higher than I ever expected to hear from an employer. 

She said the most important thing she ever learned was this: If you don’t ask, then the answer is always no. Sometimes even when you ask the answer will be no.. But it will always be no if you don’t ask. 

That has resinated with me ever since I heard it. 

I had questioned my worth based on my lack of degree. I had questioned whether I was wasting my time applying for the position she posted.

As it turned out, the answer was no.

Sure, I was a little bummed about not being offered the position, but that wasn’t the end for me!

The phone interview really resinated with me, and gave me a new found confidence in all I had to offer as a freelancer.

My confidence pushed me to start applying for jobs on a freelancing website, and I have since landed a number of short-term positions. 

I’m not completely happy where I’m at. I’d love to go back to school and get my degree just to prove to myself I can do it. 

My whole point here is that I was leaving myself in the hallway when a number of doors were unlocked. I was too afraid to knock.

Be confident. Everyone has something valuable that they can offer an employer, you just have to convince them. Your degree does not define you.

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My little corner of the internet where motherhood & military mix. Full-time wife & boy mama. Part-time content strategist. All the time chatty Camille.

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