Fishes in the Sea

Have you ever been in a situation and there is this moment that the gentle, nudging voice from within suddenly snaps at you and says, “Who the hell are you?” because you are no longer acting like yourself and have suddenly become this unrecognizable crazy person?


If you have ever been in the race for a certain job or heck even in the dating world then you, my friend, know exactly what I am talking about.  For those that haven’t a clue what I’m talking about let me illuminate.


Anticipation, the unknown, dependency on the decisions of others – these are all maddening factors that contribute to our own self-created craziness.


When you are interviewing for a job and the process seems to be dragging along these factors all seem to creep in and take over.  Because of your lack of control and the doubt that starts to creep in and make you doubt yourself, your skills and abilities you find yourself changing.


You go from mildly interested in the position to really wanting it and hoping that it comes through even though when your friends ask you about why this job is so great you really can’t answer them.


As the interview process continues and becomes negotiations they start to make you doubt your worth and even try to get you to lower your asking price or wants just so you can take this position.  When you get to the point that you think those are good ideas then let me officially welcome you to crazy town.


I often compare dating to job searching and this is ripe for the comparison.  But in my case my little voice inside was my best friend.  God love her.  I have a client that I am trying to lead out of crazy town and it reminded me of a guy I used to know.


Me and this guy were involved last year and for a few months it was really kinda nice, very easy going, very natural and I was very okay with the fact that even though we were together we weren’t making a big deal about it.


Then he did the guy thing – freak out and bail out.  Somehow a title was assigned and this flipped him out and all of a sudden he couldn’t be in a relationship but for the next couple months he still acted the same way with bouts of freak outs.


Typical girl I started wondering what I did that changed things and started allowing for bad behavior which ultimately lead to some very uncomfortable conversations, unpleasant situations and ultimately being snapped at by my best friend.  I actually opened the door for her to do this so it is all good.


Here’s the thing – we were in a relationship and it was all cool until we actually said it and well, let the games begin.  But I’m not putting this all on him; I was along for the ride and even started to throw some luggage out the window to lighten the load.  My fault.


But here’s where crazy crept in – games led to me starting to question myself and if I was truly asking for too much or coming across as thought I was expecting things.  Oh, I went to crazy town and along the way traded my own self for a poor imitation.  Bad me.


But when your best friend or little voice asks you who the hell you are because they don’t recognize you and admonishes you for apologizing or questioning who you are or what you want you know – right then and there – you gotta hop in that time machine to get the heck out of crazy town and back into your world.


When you are interviewing for a job know before you even step foot in the door what you want, what makes you happy, what you can and can’t deal with, what you hope to accomplish, what you want to receive and a general idea of your career path.  Knowing these things helps you make sound decisions as to if this is the right job for you.


Just because the job is available and offered doesn’t mean it is the job for you.


It is a great feeling when you are a contender for a position, and even more so when they fawn over you and pursue you.  But when it begins to drag out and they start throwing the monkey wrenches of lower salary, less vacation, reduced benefits and increased responsibility this is when you have to go back to your original plan of action.


Don’t settle and for goodness sakes don’t apologize for it.


Going back to the guy – I liked him and I really think we could’ve been good together, goodness knows his friends thought so but whatever.  But his neuroses are not my issue, it is not my place to take them on; for crying out loud I wasn’t asking for a ring and I wasn’t going to be treated like crap – well, anymore I wasn’t.


When I realized it was a game of catch and release and I had gotten ok with being treated like crap and jerked around I had to do a little butt-kicking on myself and a little came out.  I let him know I certainly was not going to apologize for who I am and what I wanted, no substitutes, no good enoughs, no games and no more period.


At this point I know he could have given a rat’s behind about what I said, but I said it and damn I felt good.  Karma must have loved me for getting out of dodge in crazy town because two days later I met a great guy.


When you are interviewing for that job know your worth and stick to it.  It isn’t like you are asking them to break the bank or give you half the year off.  If concessions can be made and they fit within your original “be okay with and not be okay with” plan then by all means go for it.


Maybe right now they can’t afford you or give you the opportunity that you deserve – don’t take this on personally.  It isn’t you – the operative word here was THEY.  Thank them, review your interviewing to see if there are any areas that you could improve and move on.


You never know what is right around the corner.  It might be a good job to learn new skills, it may be a job that defines your entire career, it may be a job that takes you into a new industry or career path or it might be a job from which you retire – you just never know.


What if the first job comes back and says they can offer you what you want now – well, that is a personal decision that is a whole other conversation….



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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