There are times in my life where I feel that all I need to become a fully fledged witch is a mole and a broomstick. Looking myself in the mirror at 5am in the morning, hours before my interview I already had this chilling gut feeling that things weren’t going to go my way. I got dressed slowly and carefully applied my make up not being able to shake that feeling I usually get when I shouldn’t leave the house!
The bad omen continued with the plane ride. Due to strong winds and heavy clouds, the plane shook to such an extent that the airhostesses held onto the overhead compartments and the Italian lady in front of me prayed as if her day to die had come. Although my soul was at ease, I felt that perhaps the stormy weather might be a forecast of what I could expect… and I couldn’t have been more right!
The lady who would be interviewing me was tied up and didn’t pitch up at the hour set and an hour and a half later I was told that her colleague would do the interview instead. Not quite prepared and perhaps even a bit annoyed to be given that responsibility, the substitute interviewer wore an expressionless look of someone who didn’t look very impressed. Nervous and anxious I did my best to respond with sincerity and create some kind of empathy but I realised that I wasn’t being understood when I was told that my motives for wanting the position weren’t to their satisfaction. I realised then that my study ambitions had spoken louder than my ambition for that specific position and even though I tried reinforcing my interest in the creative and systematic sides of the job, it didn’t seem enough to convince the person in front of me. I was later reminded by a good friend that I didn’t respect the P.I´s of my interviewer. If I’d thought more of his P.I´s (Points of Interest), I would’ve spoken more about what I could contribute to the position instead of my personal ambitions to study. I chided myself later on because I knew better and it was a stupid mistake to make, however by the end of the day I was reminded that life has a way of writing the right between crooked lines and that perhaps things happened for the best.
Friends are the brothers and sisters that God forgot to give us…
Fatigue and disappointment can be a heavy dose for depression and the way I was feeling, any dark room or corner would be great to just sit down and cry. Exhausted from the nights I’d lost sleep, the stress building up to that interview and the disappointment of having things go wrong… I was about ready to bury my head under the first blanket. However, I’d have to wait to lick my wounds… for I was surrounded by colleagues. And not just any colleagues… the kind that you always hope you’ll find. Greeted with caring smiles and optimistic words, the strong support I felt from the people I don’t speak to everyday was overwhelming. So much so that it contributed to all the courage I needed to maintain my strength and faith. What strikes me as most surprising is that they themselves don’t realise the strength of their support, being the speech given before the interview or the quick wishing of “good luck”.
During lunch, surrounded by some of my favourite people, it occurred me how lucky I was to be sitting in midst of such amazing individuals. I sat next to a bold personality who seemed to me as someone with very interesting opinions, one of them being: you shouldn’t eat bananas with the veins. Beside me was my favourite cowboy who was amused at playing cat and dog with a sweet friend who had taken great pains to organise the lunch… we still don’t know which of them is winning or losing… all I know is that I love them both to bits. Then there’s that shy friend with few words but a lot of in the soulful eyes behind the glasses who made me wish I travelling by bus instead of by plane. These special people make you want to stay indefinitely. Even though I felt broken inside, they still manage to retract sincerely joyful smiles from my face.
By the end of the most exhausting day of the year, I sat alone at the airport in the same chair that I waited to see my father just five months prior to that day. Not being able to concentrate on my book nor having the strength to talk to anyone, I fought back tears and consoled myself with the fact that I was exactly where I should be. I’d had just found my inner balance when I saw my boss walking towards me with the director of Azores in tow. I summoned all the strength in me and managed a smile, but it fell away pretty quickly when my boss asked me how my interview had gone. I expected him to agree with me when I told him about my mistake, yet he seemed supportive and even cheered me up with his good humour. I found myself enjoying his company seeing as it’s not often we speak as merely two people as opposed to two professionals. And it’s not everyday your boss turns to his peer and says “Sunshine speaks a different language but I understand her when I want to”… I couldn’t resist agreeing “That’s right boss, we generally only understand each other when YOU want to”
What did I (re) learn from this experience?
1. Worrying is the most fruitless effort made by man
2. At interviews, stick to talking about what you can contribute to the company… after all, what you’re selling is yourself and not your ambitions.
3. As long as you give it your best, life has a way of making things work out exactly how it’s supposed to: Have Faith!