If I could go back in time, with some kind of amazingly clever time machine, and SMACK myself, then I would. But I can’t, so my punishment will be mocking myself in front of hundreds of you.
You should try this sometime. Embarrassment is a powerful motivator.
January 1987 – Claire goes to her British Airways management trainee interview, and they ask her “when did you last fail at something?”.. She says (cringe….) “Actually, I make sure that everything I undertake is something I can succeed at”.
I thought it was true and clever, whereas in fact it was arrogant and thoughtless. It also suggested that I never tried anything outside my comfort zone. FAIL!!
April 1993 – Claire travels specially to Paris to meet one of the world’s top headhunting firms. She is doing the final interview and really really really wants the job. Not just because she thinks they are a great firm, but because she and her husband need to make a massive payment on a house, and she really needs the money. Before the interview was even halfway through, she is asking, “so, how much, exactly, will the salary and bonus be?” She broke a golden rule, and she even knew it while she was doing it, but she just could not stop herself! FAIL!!
February 2011 – Claire is interviewing with a local events company that wants her help with developing its business internationally. She is pretty certain that they want her to join, and will pay her properly, but this time, she has ASSUMED that they will be happy to let her work from home. While, this time, she did save the situation, there was a horrible ten minutes of really awkward communication in which they must have thought she was some sort of terrible, pretentious person.
Ahhhh, goodness! All of those make me so embarrassed.
But you know what?
I’m glad I went through it. At least I kept on trying to do new and different jobs. And this all built into experience that I can now use to coach others to have the best career for themselves. And the feedback I got in those crappy interviews helped me to be a better interviewer and communicator, to get better in general at what I do.
Since then I have:
- Written tens of articles that have been read by tens of thousands
- Authored a book on career transition
- Booked an interview next fall on national TV
- Coached more than 1000 students and graduates towards their greatest potential in their careers
I could have waited around until I was perfect… or I could have just kept on trying and doing, working and improving, every single day.
PS – how do you try things out and get outside your comfort zone? I have a magazine that can help you to do this better: BecomingGlobal. Click here to subscribe to free information to help you in your career