The Unexpected Retirement – Part IV – Going Out On Interviews


After filling out numerous applications, and taking civil service tests, I finally started getting requests for interviews.  I was nervous because I hadn’t gone out on an interview for quite some time.  It had been over a decade.  The first 3 interviews I lined up were as follows:

  • Postal Carrier – This was the result of my testing with the USPS. Salary was decent as were the benefits.
  • Sales Administrator – This was a salary + commission job for a Real Estate Firm.
  • Department of Transportation Dispatcher – This was with D.O.T. in Pennsylvania. Another result from filling out a government application.

The Interview – What Happened?

The interviews turned out to be far easier than I anticipated.  They all lasted about an hour.  I dressed for the part, meaning that for the Real Estate Company, I wore a suit.  For the Postal Carrier and PennDOT position, I wore a nice sweater (it was the middle of winter).  I received 2 offers out of 3 jobs.  The job I didn’t get the offer for was the Postal Carrier.  I believe they had concerns about my ability to haul a heavy mailbag considering my age, which they determined by asking when I first got my license (1976 btw).

Went on an interview but did not get the job

The PennDOT interview went well.  I hit it off with the Supervisors who were eager to offer me the job.  But… and there’s always a but. The job paid $13.00 per hour, it was a temporary position, and the worst thing, the hours were based on a swing shift schedule.  One day I’d work midnight to 8am.  One day I’d work 4pm to midnight, and so on.   I wasn’t quite desperate enough to take a position that would probably kill me, or at the very least, deprive me of oodles of sleep.

Onto the Real Estate Office

At the onset of the interview, these folks seemed nice enough.  They had advertised that the position paid 30 to 40k per year plus commissions.  I went in figuring I would get the 40k salary considering my experience.  I did say the owners were nice; however they certainly put forth a fraudulent ad.  The pay was $11.00 per hour, and weekends were required.

With the low pay being offered, I started feeling that I was looking for work in a bona fide depression.  I knew the economy had been a bit of a see-saw, good for some, terrible for others.  But, I really wanted to know, where do these people get off expecting someone to take a job paying less than unemployment?  Truly, both positions were made for 17 year olds just out of high school with absolutely no living expenses.  You won’t be surprised when I say I refused the offers and once again, began to reassess my situation.

Could I semi-retire?

Between the struggle of looking for work and getting few responses, and the wrestling with low paying job offers, I became fed up.  Going out on an interview seemed like a huge waste of time. It was time to change tactics, time to figure out a new life/work strategy.

Was it possible for me to semi-retire?  Did I have the resources necessary to supplement my income?  Was there enough savings?  If I shifted my job search to part time work, could I make ends meet?  Was there an opportunity to work on my terms, meaning no nights, and no weekends?  I was surprised to find out that the internet was a viable source of alternate and legitimate income, and I’ll talk about those in the next blog.


Next up: How to make supplemental income online – a step toward semi-retirement.


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