Recent Reflection

I recently had a telephone interview; it was nerve-racking to say the least.  I think the most stressful part about the interview, beside the fact that I was being put on the spot, was that I hadn’t interviewed for a job in five years.  Stress can always be found hanging around the fear of the unknown, and being out of practice did not help to ease my uneasiness.  After I hung up the phone I felt a weight was somewhat lifted, but then I began replaying every single word that came out of my mouth, and I began hoping that the recruiter liked me.

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Simple DIY housewarming gift. Flour sack dish towel (these are awesome), Mrs. Meyer’s, Lavender scented kitchen hand soap (love!)

Later that same day, the Coastie’s duty section had a cookout.  Spouses, significant others and children were all in attendance.  I would be fibbing if I said that I had been looking forward to the cookout as I am a shy person who can’t seem to utter a word until I feel comfortable in a situation.  So, needless to say getting together with the Coastie’s co-workers and their family members- most of whom I had never met- was anxiety inducing.  We showed up with a small housewarming gift (the hosts arrived to the station just two months ago), and a vat of baked beans.  We were trying to put our best foot forward so we’d be accepted by the crowd.

In the beginning the co-workers talked amongst themselves as did the spouses and significant others who already knew one another.  For me, it was uncomfortable and I’m not ashamed to say that I ‘hid’ behind my daughter- absorbing myself in what she was doing.  As the afternoon went on and the drinks started flowing, so did the conversation among “strangers.”  One of the Coastie’s co-workers introduced himself and his girlfriend to me.  They were very friendly, and during our conversation I found out that they were both from Michigan- see, we had something in common that I wouldn’t have known from staring at them from across the room.  I am embarrassed to admit that I rarely walk up to someone and introduce myself.  I have been told that my shyness comes off as being aloof, and that is a nice way of putting it.  Simply put, this is something that I need to get over.

The cookout went well, and I actually ended up enjoying myself.  Later that evening, when we were relaxing at home I got to thinking about my day.  The interview, the cookout… maybe I wasn’t as out of interview practice as I had thought… we all participate in informal interviews all the time.

When I was on the phone with the recruiter, I wanted to shine.  I wanted her to like me and I wanted her to want to talk to me again- so I owned it.  When I was at the cookout, I wanted to stand out in the crowd.  I wanted the other Coasties and their significant others to like me, I wanted them to want to talk to me again.  It took me a bit of time but once I got comfortable, I think I ended up doing just fine.  Sadly FIRST impressions are just that and many people do not offer a do-over.  I went into both scenarios prepared for get-to-know-you questions.  In a job interview the recruiter is gathering background information to see if you will be the best fit for the company.  In an informal setting, the small-talk can also be quite revealing.

Whether you are formally interviewing for a job position or informally interviewing for a position as a new friend, as odds have it, not everyone will make the cut, but it is still important to put your best foot forward and make a good impression.  I have decided to challenge myself… the next time I meet someone for the first time, I am going to try to approach the situation as if I was about to interview for a job.  I am going to introduce myself first and hold a strong presence.  As usual, I will treat that person with courtesy and respect and I will be the person to engage in a meaningful, in-the-moment conversation.  Wish me luck getting out from behind myself.

~ Lauren


 

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2 thoughts on “Recent Reflection

  1. Liz says:

    I feel like I could have been the writer behind your pen. I love how you are going to challenge yourself in your next encounter. Gives me the courage to do the same!

    Like

  2. Linda Beamon says:

    Oh my Lauren. The stories I could tell you. Do you have any idea how much you are like your mother. You may look like your Dad and Babe, you may have that all Italian heritage written all over your face, but I can tell You, YOU are your Mother. Your Mom was so shy, never realized how beautiful she was. Would stand behind anyone just so she wouldn’t be seen. She was (and will always be) my little project. Bringing Lizzy out of her shell was a labor of love. But YOU my dear Lauren, learned to do it yourself. I have to think that somewhere in time You learned it somehow from her. She was my best student and she paid it forward. Your turn my love

    Like

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