Tuesday, 23 September 2008

On Not Getting What You Want

I didn't get the job. I am gutted. I've been in floods of tears. I cried myself to sleep and as I woke up I had this feeling that something was horribly wrong, before I even knew what it was, before I remembered.

I didn't get the job is that I performed poorly at interview. I performed poorly because I was sick.

My answers were vague and imcomplete. My mind kept going blank. I started wishing for the damn thing to be over. I was exhausted. I hadn't realised how much energy this would take.

Here are some learning points for myself re: Interviews.

1) Never go to an interview when you're sick - it's a waste of time!

2) Deal with anxiety by being prepared. Come up with a list of interview questions. Spend time preparing your answers and then practice with another person as interviewer (ideally in the same field) who can give you feedback on your performance.

3) Warm up by talking to someone before you get there.

4) Use formal language where possible - the vocabulary of your profession.

5) Smile, breathe and make good eye contact. Your performance is part of what you will be judged on. If there are a few of you with similar qualifications/ experience, this could make all the difference.

6) Get there early. You are going to be a bit nervous anyway - you don't need to be stressing about traffic or directions.

If the worst happens and you don't get the job, remember that you're not the only one to be hit by disappointment - it happens to all of us sometimes.

If this is what you really want, it won't matter too much that you didn't get it straight away. So what? Someone else got the job? Good for them. It will be your time before long.

Gently pick yourself up, gather strength and try again.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Keep On Trekking

So, now that I'm single, I am free to focus on areas of my life I have had on a back burner.

For a long time now, I've wanted to earn more money by working as a counsellor. Finally, an opportunity has arrived at the centre that I volunteer at. It's a really exciting time. The job is part-time, only 10 hours a week, but it's something that could lead to more work or could be supplemented by private clients and other work.

What do you do?
I'm a counsellor.

That's what I want to be able to say, instead of: "I earn my money as a support worker, but I'm also qualified as counsellor and I'm trying to build up by client base and get a job so that can become my main thing."

It's easier to say, for a start.

Well, as great as it is to focus on my career, I find it quite hard being single. It's hard not to feel lonely. My friendships seem more important; my job seems more important; my happiness seems more important. Otherwise, I don't know. My life is in flux, I guess.

There's this little voice that pipes up sometimes saying, You're 30 soon! What are you doing with your life? I get this sense of panic rising, that I should be in a loving relationship, that I should be having kids, that I should have a mortgage, that I should have my career path sorted!

I have to remember to stay calm and think of all the other folk I know who are making their way through life in the best way they know how, just like me. I have to remember that few people get to a point where they can say to themselves: this is 100% where I want to be.

It is better to be open to finding the right path than to be on the wrong one and too stubborn or frightened to change!

I need to get out for a long hike in the wilds, go canoeing, climb a mountain. Maybe that will remind me that I am strong and that there is great beauty in the world. It will also remind me that life is not always about what I did or what I'm going to do, but what I'm doing right now.

I need to remember to savour the moment. :-)