Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning know that I’ve been quite unhappy in my full-time job for quite some time. It was a contributing factor to my mental breakdown of 2017 when I sat around questioning daily: “Is this it?”
If you’re close to me, you also know that I have been applying for jobs daily for the entire summer. After completing my master’s degree and building a strong resume over the last five years, I thought my job hunt would be so much different than it was in 2013… y’know, coming straight out of college and my only tangible skills included shot-gunning beers, dominating in flip cup, and taking multiple naps a day. But now… I have a master’s degree, I have a resume that shows progressive advancement in the last five years, and I have a fancy title that should catch someone’s eye immediately!
So you can imagine my frustration when nearly 60 job applications later, I haven’t received a single bite from future employers. This past Monday, I had a complete meltdown about it, crying to a friend, “I don’t know how many more jobs I can apply for and not get a callback!” That was the first day I didn’t apply for a job because I was so defeated.
The next day, I checked my e-mail and had a request for written responses to five follow-up questions intended to get to know me better. I spent four hours perfecting those answers and submitted them the same day. The next morning, I had a missed voicemail and a follow-up e-mail inviting me to a phone interview TODAY.
I felt the universe speaking to me, considering this invitation had come on the heels of my emotional meltdown on Monday. So naturally, I’ve spent the week preparing for this phone call conversation. Of course, the best business publications will give their ideas about how to prepare for a phone interview — some examples include:
1. spending time researching the company’s Web site so you can familiarize yourself with their mission, values, etc.
2. reviewing the job description and highlight keywords that you want to mention when speaking about your own skills and experience
3. being ready to answer questions about what you want in your next job, why you’re leaving your current job, and what your anticipated salary is
4. setting an alarm 5 minutes prior to the phone call to ensure you are ready and waiting for the call
5. preparing to wear business attire as if it’s a face-to-face interview, even though the person on the phone will not see you
Of course, I’ve done all these things and plenty more. However, today, and the day of all interviews, I practice self-affirmation.
First, I always remember my dad’s simple advice before my first major interview. He told me, “The only advice I have for you is to show them who you are by being yourself. You got this far in life by doing just that.”
Meanwhile, because work is as stressful and crazy as ever (my blood pressure has been sky-rocketing all week long), I was venting to Roommate #3, who ended up helping me draft the perfect affirmation for today:
“This is not my life’s calling. I have a much bigger purpose. I cannot control this place, I can only control myself and my actions. I will make shit happen and move to my dream location. In every other aspect, my life is great. This place is temporary.”
So simple, yet so powerful.
Read it. Replace the parts that don’t apply to you with messages that do. Now read it again. Write it down. Speak it out loud. Repeat.
This is how I’m preparing for my phone interview. Because at the end of the day, I can do all the research in the world, highlight all the key words and key phrases, and dress the part; but, if my mind isn’t in the right space to talk about my strengths, my passion, my education, my experience, then I’m doing myself a disservice.
I will only be able to show them who I am if/when I am in the right mindset. Stay mindful in whatever you do — and the world will be yours.