Two different people in the last 24 hours asked me “so, what happened with the job?” A couple of weeks ago, in a post titled “Failure,” I wrote of interviewing, receiving an invite for a second interview and meeting with the company CEO. All of those things happened. I heard this past Friday that they went with another candidate.
I really liked this company. I appreciated that they value people as their most important resource. I enjoyed meeting them and interviewing with them. They liked me too. I am not mistaken in that. I was surprised not to be chosen if not for the role I interviewed then for another position within the company. Receiving the call left me disappointed and questioning myself.
The day before, I met with another company and left feeling strung out and anxious. It went well until the last half hour when the site director said “I’m not sure this job is going to be enough for you.” He may be right. I am interviewing for admin jobs for which I am over qualified. Yet, I am getting interviews and I am confident that each company will be better off because they employ me.
Interviewing feels like coaxing a bird out of the bush onto your hand. At any moment, it could fly away and you have to start all over. With that bird, purpose, community, income, and benefits fly away. It becomes difficult to think of a future because you know that the future can go in infinite directions at any given moment. So I focus on today. What do I know right now.
I’ve lived this type of moment before: Sarah’s cancer treatment, my divorce, searching for a house. Each of those contained a scary level of uncertainty. The future could go in infinite directions and some of the paths were not ones I wanted to tread. I would pull it back to the day at hand.
What did I know Friday afternoon? I was exhausted. I would receive no new news over the weekend. Applying for more jobs crossed my mind, but I held off. One does not make the best decisions while drained, anxious and disappointed. I needed to fill my time in a way that would allow me to keep occupied and recharge. I slept in, read, watched TV, took a nap, and cleaned. I downloaded and listened to Rising Strong by Brené Brown specifically because I did not at the moment feel like I was rising strong.
Is it faith? It is maturity? Is it hard earned wisdom that allows me to sit with uncertainty? Not really. For me, it is purely the fact that there is not much else I can do. Trying to plot an unknown future is a recipe for high anxiety. Wondering if and what I could have done or said differently is discouraging and fruitless. This leaves me in what Brené calls “the messy middle.”
Maybe I’ll put that on my resume. I know how to manage the messy middle. I know how to avoid the avalanche of what if’s. I know how to navigate uncertainty. That’s not bad. I might just use it.
Blog Post Outtake
My sister: I’m thinking about these things happening at work. Can we talk through it?
Me: Sure. I just listened to Brené Brown for 40 minutes. I am now nearly an expert.