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what i learned from quitting my job with no plan - part fiveRead part one Here.

Having interviews lined up was reassuring. It gave me something to focus on that meant I wasn’t just sitting around the house all day. I had something to do. I could be productive again.

Having some to plan for and work towards has always been good for me. Embracing a project keeps me on track and gives me something to keep me occupied. I like being focussed.

Although I was trying to live on a budget, I knew I’d have to spend money to make money.

To start with I had to look not only employable but desirable to a company. I had to impress my interviewers with my professionalism from their very first sight of me.

I got a more sensible haircut and dyed it a more reasonable colour. While I wasn’t entirely sure about the rules of all the organisations I’d applied to, I thought it was safe to assume that at least one of my potential workplaces would frown upon bright purple hair. I changed it to dark red; unusual enough to be worth buying dye, but not so unnatural as to look off-putting. I also bought new shoes. Shiny, black sensible shoes that I actually tried on first. Because I had to be a grown up now and I couldn’t afford to get this wrong.

I walked around in my work-appropriate trousers the night before my first interview, getting used to the feel of them, making sure they still fit properly.

I knew I was lucky to have secured a good handful of interviews so soon into my job search. I know I was especially lucky that the interviews I did have were for good jobs – secure jobs – jobs I could commit to gladly. Jobs I could be proud to say I did. I wasn’t prepared to risk any of them over something as small and insignificant as appearance or under preparation.

Of the interviews I had, I was most excited about the first and the last ones on my schedule, which were due six days apart. This gave me time around my other appointments to prepare more fully for them.

I was grateful that both had sent me emails comprehensively listing what was expected from me. so it was easy to know where I should concentrate my revision.

I read as much as I could into the aims and attitudes of the organisations I wanted to join. I looked into their partners, familiarised myself with their goals. I had to go into their offices and convince them I would be a benefit to their cause, that I would fit well into their working environment. I tried to learn as much as possible about the companies overall, always to those aspects that pertained directly with my role.

I only wanted to be as ready as possible.

Most of the time, though, I just stared terrified at the job description and wondered how I’d managed to convince anyone that I was appropriate for a job with the word ‘Senior’ in the title.

That night, I set four alarms for the morning so that I didn’t miss my 8.30am interview. I set out my professional clothes for the morning. I told all my housemates I was going to bed early.

I stayed up half the night trying not to overthink things anyway.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.

Read part six Here.

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