Interviewing for a job when you're employed is a lot like having an affair when you're married.

I disappeared for two hours over my lunch break - I usually do an hour for lunch at 11 or noon. I walked home, got my laptop, and debated taking my name badge off.

"What if it leaves a bad impression? Like I'm disloyal or something?" I asked myself.
"Well of course, that's what you want to do here," I surreptitiously replied.

Minutes later, as I walked toward the cafè, I saw my hand slide the badge out of my belt loop and into my pocket.

At lunch, I talked about her - my old company - extensively. I talked about what we had done together, the memories we'd shared, the responsibilities she'd entrusted me with, and lately, how everything I do for her feels boring - out of habitual duty rather than for the sake of creating art. I told him - my suitor - that I had learned a lot in our relationship, but it was time for me to move on - and that I had known it for a while. He showed me his software and how beautiful and fast it was.

After a demo of the product's capabilities, I asked him: "How can I help you?" My closer. It was the end of the interview, and my interviewer was beyond impressed. Companies (and people) love it when you ask how you can help them.

"Well, we need a JavaScript developer. Are you free tomorrow to come into the office to talk to my technical lead?"
"Play it cool," I told myself. "Yeah, I'll send you an e-mail around six tonight with my availability. I think I'm free - let me just check my calendar when I get home."

I walked him to his car and dropped my bag off in my own car's trunk before walking back to the office. I grabbed my water bottle from my desk, walked around my team area, refilled my water, walked back to my desk, put my headphones on, and nobody said a word to me.

Business as usual.

Published March 14, 2015