I had an interview last Monday. I went into it feeling very confident and relaxed which is something that, as I’ve said, never happens unless I don’t really want the job. Except I did. The fellow had called me the week before and we’d chatted for something like a half-hour on the phone. He was very easy to talk to and everything he was describing about the position seemed to be exactly what I was looking for; it was the missing piece to fill a void I’d been unsuccessfully trying to cram other jobs into. He said he was excited to meet with me the following Monday and I could hear in his voice that he was. I was giddy when I hung up the phone, like a thirteen year old girl who’d just talked to the boy she liked.

I have this bad habit of putting all my eggs in one basket, as they say, and I kept trying to rein myself in. It didn’t work and I went to the interview feeling like I’d already gotten the job. We talked and talked—for over two hours. It didn’t feel like two hours and I was shocked when I left and saw the time. In closing, he’d said he was still interested if I was and of course I agreed. I asked if he had others to interview and he said yes. I asked that he let me know about the job either way and he said he would.

I was making dinner the following night when he called. Somehow, all the confidence I’d been exuding melted away when I saw his number on the caller ID. At the same time I was thinking that he couldn’t possibly have interviewed that many more people in one day, I was also considering that he’d had time to think about my interview and decided I wasn’t a good fit. As he spoke, I felt myself getting electrified. He offered me the job. What was more flattering was that he said he didn’t interview anyone else after he spoke with me. I thought I might spontaneously combust when I hung up the phone. I still feel like a live wire.

I start tomorrow. I feel really good about my chances of doing big things from here out. For so long, I’ve been spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I wouldn’t know where to go even if I’d had traction. Now, at least I have a direction to go in, a path to cut and shape where previously there wasn’t one.

the path untraveled


Learning to Live on the Island of Confidence


I had an interview this past Thursday. I wouldn’t have applied for the job if I didn’t think I could do it and might have a slight chance of enjoying it. However, once I started talking to the gentlemen conducting the interview, I started to feel my sureness slipping. With every word they spoke, I drifted farther away from the Island of Confidence. By the end of the interview, I’d floated miles away, couldn’t even see the beach, and I felt bad for wasting their time. I also felt like an idiot because I knew what they’re probably thinking. Why did that girl even bother? Wow. What a waste of time.

This happens just about every time I go in for an interview. If it doesn’t, it’s because I really don’t want the job in the first place. The questions asked I approach calmly, coolly, and almost always get a job offer—an offer I always turn down. I know. I don’t make any sense to me either. I mean, I get why I nail those interviews where I’m relaxed and feeling like nothing important hangs in the balance. But why do I even apply if I know I don’t really want the job? Maybe it’s because I need the ego boost of knowing that someone still finds me employable, but more likely it’s that those jobs lie within my comfort zone. When I apply for something outside of my comfort zone, that’s when I flounder and sink, miles from shore with the Island of Confidence a mere dot on the horizon.

Unfortunately, I have a comfort zone that lies in the least lucrative positions. My bar is set low. But how do I get comfortable with bumping that bar higher? How do I build myself a house among the trees on the Island of Confidence and live there? Well, I’m doggy paddling through the waves, heading back toward land. It will take me a while to get there. I’m not a good swimmer. But I can see the beach and I know just where I’ll set up residence.