I Screwed Up – Now What Do I Do?

I love my friends and I consider it an honor when they choose to confide in me and ask my opinion; I see that as a trust and respect thing. I respect them enough to be honest, kind and listen more than speak. I try not to offer an opinion without being asked because I have a tendency to be rather blunt. I get this from my dad. He had a reputation as a very honest and straightforward person, in fact on more than one occurrence I heard people say if you don’t want to know the truth don’t ask Tim, because he will tell it like it is. I loved that about my dad.

So the other night I was listening to a friend bemoan. I say bemoan because the story is one I have heard for a while now and we are past the point of reliving it – it is time to either do something or shut up, I say with all respect for my friend of course.

He was dating a girl and freaked out; this is my assessment. I’m not really familiar with boy-world so I’m going to have to explain this as it was explained to me. He really liked this girl, was hanging out with her a lot, and they basically were a “couple” and that is when his meltdown happened. According to him, it felt too comfortable and he didn’t know if he was ready for that.

At this point I’m going to just let any man out there know that every inhabitant of girl-world in reading that last statement has become an instant warrior ready to smack him over the head. But anyway…..

So he basically cut it off and blew her off. Well, guess what happened, she started dating other people. One word: duh. And now he’s been bemoaning that he made a mistake and doesn’t know what to do. Woulda coulda shoulda….

Sometimes in job searching we pick the wrong opportunity or worse yet are passed over for the right opportunity. When the realization hits it hurts, it hurts our pride, our feelings, our ego – it just hurts all sorts of things. We can bemoan or we can take action – it is our choice. Even if we take action it may not change the outcome but at least we know we tried and we do not have to wonder.

So what if you pick the wrong job? Oops. It happens. The best thing to do is to reconnect with the contact at the right job and open that line of communication. You need to find out if the opportunity is still available and go from there. If it is then you have the ability to go for it. If it is not then you have the ability to keep the lines of communication open to be ready if another opportunity presents itself.

This communication will be much easier if you handed their rejection to them with grace. Oh, and by the way – do not be surprised if you have to jump through some hoops. You did not pick them first, they may not trust you to stick around. If the job is worth it a few hoops should be no problem.

What about if you are not chosen for the job? Ouch. Take a day or so to lick your wounds then go put your big people shoes back on. It is pretty common for there to be a trial period – a couple of weeks or 30 days. This is when the company and the employee will know if it is a right fit. During this time give your contact a call, let them know you are still very interested in the company and if there are any other opportunities that become available you would appreciate the chance to speak with them about it. This happened to me once and when I made that follow up call it turned out the one they chose was not working out and they offered me the job.

As for my friend, well, he opened the door by saying, “I screwed up – now what do I do?” I told him to man up or shut up. Decide what he wants – does he want to be with this girl because he really likes or because she looks more attractive because others are interested now? If he truly likes her than swallow the pride and (novel idea here) talk to her. Be honest about where he was, where he is and where he wants to go – even if he really isn’t sure. She may think he’s a self-serving bastard or she may want to give it another go – with or without hoops, you just never know.

Life is comprised of choices or excuses; excuses leave a trail of “what ifs” where as choices present action opportunities. With action you have knowledge; with knowledge you can make informed decisions; decisions lead to actions which lead to forward progress.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

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