Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pushing myself

I've had back to back freelance projects lately. This is on top of applying and interviewing for jobs. I'm feeling great about the freelance. It's really a positive change for me to take on more writing and even make some extra money. It's the job search that's killing me emotionally.
In my field, you apply for a job with your resume, a cover letter, and usually a job application. If they like what they see, and for me, they usually do since I'm in the senior level of my field, they call you for a phone interview, followed by two to three in-person interviews. These interviews are usually panels, and the questions range from the basic (what are your strengths) to the irritating (tell me time when something went wrong. how did you solve it?). I have been reading about how companies are asking more questions to gauge your emotional intelligence (how do you handle conflicts with co-workers?) I'm not the most eloquent speaker. I'm a writer who requires time and thoughtfulness to create smooth, clean, and interesting copy, and even then I'm pretty technical. Face to face, I end up coming off as flaky. No matter how much I prepare, I seem to always be holding myself back despite my experience, best effort, and intentions. Afterward I drag myself down thinking what I could do differently or how I could have answered that question better. No amount of wine, chocolate, or Starbucks can usually make me feel better. I can only sit with the feeling long enough that I become indifferent. Today I began to wonder if I'm just not cut out for this line of work. Do you do that? Do you give yourself enough praise or do you critic to the point of exhaustion?

Another step in this process is writing post-interview thank you notes to each person in the panel. That means today I wrote five thank you notes. What's more, I caught errors after sending them. Don't worry, I proofed them—apparently. There is no margin of error in this field when it comes to grammatical mistakes. So I'm sure that will go over well. Hmm, I think I have another bottle of wine in fridge.

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