Yesterday, I shared that I had a potentially-life-changing-interview.
Well, I am happy to report that I did well enough on that interview that I have another one this Friday. This time with more managers. I will have four interviews total. (I’m trying to remain detached from the process, else my heart will explode from the ever-increasing percussive beats.)
I don’t really share much about my paythebills job (social media guidelines, you may get fired, blahblahblah), but I do want to say that it’s a fabulous company to work for, and I’ve said before in a previous post, of all the paythebills job at which a full-time dreamer like me could work, this is a GREAT place because I set my own hours (nights, woohoo!), and I still get to work with people. (I manage a team AND work with customers. Hello, fodder for my muse In My Face, 24/7!) The position that I am interviewing for is still within my company, but will be an entirely new concept. New reporting structure. New market. Just, new.
Anyway, I didn’t want to make this post about my paythebills job, or even about my interview (though, I got mad skillz, yo!), but about my learnings from that interview.
What Are Your Strengths?
I didn’t really tell anyone about the interview, Just In Case I didn’t make it past the first hurdle (how lame would I have looked then?) So, when I did update my facebook status (you know, to make it official) that I would proceed to the next interview, my friends and family’s responses were basically the same: We knew you could do it; Didn’t have a doubt; Of course you did; etc.
Seeing it like that I realized something(s): clearly, I’m more competent at my paythebills job than I give myself credit for. And, that my strengths are more obvious to others than to myself.
You see, I can lead change very quickly, and can align a team to the ever shifting world of retail. I can motivate a team to work hard for me. And, I’m highly competitive (especially against myself) and can’t stand the thought of missing any challenge that I’ve set for myself. (Even now, I had trouble writing that. But, that’s my sickness to bear.) Plus, I think in short random phrases like, “Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the behaviors that get to those numbers;” and, “What are you going to do today to ensure success?”
Which led to a great mindset changer for me in terms of my writing: I realized that I was so focused on my weaknesses that I never celebrated or exercised my strengths. For a while now, I’ve been creating obstacles for myself. Obstacles that really any writer encounters, but I used them as crutches for not moving forward in my writing. Sure, I said common-sensical-sounding phrases like “I’m creating an action plan” so I felt like I was taking control, and overcoming my obstacles. But ultimately, all those (little) obstacles kept building up, and I eventually asked myself, “Who am I kidding?” (Insert your version of self-deprecation here. You know you have one.)
However, if I did a self-assessment for writing like I do for my business, I would ask: ” What are my strengths in writing, and how can I leverage that to get to my goal of a finished novel” And, from there, create my action plans.
Since we’re playing this game, I’ll give you one of mine: I like planning. I use my Franklin Covey planner and iPhone to basically keep my life on track and in order. I also have a ridiculous work ethic, and can go go go without much sleep. I also can pinpoint the root cause of a problem, and create solutions for said problem (along with ensuring that said problem never happens again.)
When I decided that THIS time I will finish The Novel, I threw all those strengths together and came up with:
- a fully plotted scene by scene outline of a novel
- complete biographies of the main characters
- a schedule of word counts that I ensure I hit each day
- permission to flip the switch for my internal editor to “off”
- permission to let my muse play as he/she would like
- have lots of fun while I work
- (all these points being hindrances in past projects that led to nowhere.)
Now, I don’t have to worry about missing word counts, or uninspired writing. Everything is planned out, even my inspiration. On Monday, I didn’t put down any word expectations, knowing I had to work a long day. Wednesday and Thursday, they are 5-7,000 word days. I wasn’t worried at all, because I had a predetermined to-write list for these days. And, I went above and beyond my expectations. (That’s how I roll.)
Be The Someone
“When you can’t walk, you crawl, and when you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” – Firefly.
I was so touched that my coworkers, colleagues, peers, friends cheered me on and reminded me of my strengths when all I can focus on were my weaknesses. Which brings me to the other thing I didn’t just realize but am grateful for: my support system.
Sure, YOUR work (at your job, or writing, or whatever) is something only YOU can do, but other people are also going through their own work. And, it’s nice to sit and share (read: gossip) and take the time to invest in other people, and in general, feed the muse. Because those people, your circle, your village, your squad, etc, will be there for you to carry you through those times when you can’t even crawl back to your work/computer/etc. Also, in encouraging someone else, you may unlock some kind of learning that you didn’t realize you needed to learn.
So, my fellow dreamers, focus on your strengths. Gain a support system to cheer you on and keep you accountable to your work. More importantly, have fun. The more fun you’re having, the more enjoyable the work, any work, will be.
Since Melissa’s Truths Tuesdays, and my coworker’s misbehaving child, my internal voice keeps squawking, “I do what I want, yo!” Thanks for that, you two.
Oh, I just thought I’d throw this out there. The reason I want this new position in my company? I’d be transferred to Hawaii. Yeah, you know. The place that I referred to as “home” in my previous blog post. Yes, that one. So think of me tomorrow, 12pm EST, as I will be jibber-jabbering away for my second out of four interviews. Thanks!