So after a bit of a career break it is time to start to look for a new job, in a new city. Not a major challenge – I am a confident, well-spoken person with great experience.
I had an interview last week for a great job, in a fantastic organisation. I was prepared, I felt good, and I looked professional – I thought the interview went well. But the feedback was interesting.
I came across nervous!
I don’t think I have ever heard that since I was a child. My immediate thought was no. No way, me I was not nervous – I must have just talked too quick because I was passionate. It was a couple of days later that I realised I was in denial. I was nervous, and I was beginning to know why.
For the last ten months, I have been living as a woman, but still in transition. Hair growing, boobs growing, dressing casually and going out every day meeting friends. I have gone past the point were people stare at me every day as I walk down the street – but it still has only been ten months – and I have gone past the point of caring when they do. My life is positive. Really positive and I am very happy.
The previous 15 years of going out presenting as female from time to time– looking amazing, being the centre of attention and loving it. Confident, outgoing. friendly and socially in the zone, simply does not prepare you for interviews. No matter how many meetings I have had with senior executives from large corporates to help get funding for LGBT organisation – it does not prepare you fully, to be out there, on your own – exposed.
From being trans making a positive impact on my life and career – it helped me build my confidence from some amazing experiences and friendships. My inner trans was always a boost, but now my outer trans let me down.
The last ten months of getting use to my ‘new’ gender did not prepare me for an interview like I thought it had. In an expensive smart dress that I don’t normally wear day to day, in an environment that in my previous incarnation I ‘owned’ with my maleness and three-piece suit. This time it owed me.
How stupid was I? Of course I would be nervous. Regardless of how talented, confident, experienced I am in life and work – it has only been ten months of transition versus the twenty-five years of wearing amazing suits and calling the shots.
So where does this leave me now. A nervous wreck, washed up 42 year-old trans-woman? No, it leads me back to my old mantra from when I was applying make-up with a trowel in 2001.
Practice, practice, practice.