The 6am Job Interview

14th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame.

Facing challenges, overcoming some, learning from all, has been a central theme in my writing. Earlier this month, I wrote about my journey of recovery from chronic pain and living with depression (Discovering Hope). I won’t repeat myself. So, I’ll share with a you a simple story about the challenge I faced this morning and how I approached it. Life is not always about the big challenges and events, sometimes its just about meeting the little challenges of the day.

At 6am this morning I had a job interview. I’ve got a good job already, and this company had reached out to me, so it wasn’t a high pressure situation. However, this was my second interview with them and the during the first interview I kinda started to get my hopes up about the potential opportunity. I really liked the line manager and, if there is one thing I’ve learned after a quarter century of working in industry, a line manager can make or break a job experience. There is nothing worse than having to go to work everyday and face someone that doesn’t trust you (or you them). Anyway, I started to get excited about working for this new company/line manager and it got my mind speeding up, building up expectations, and stress.

Last night I tried to calm my mind by jotting down a few key points that I wanted to make during the interview, but I still slept restlessly and awoke at 5am tired. What to do?

I did the same thing I’ve done every day for the past 30 days and off-and-on for the past few years. First, I rolled out the mat and did a simple 20-minute yoga session to wake my body up. Starting the day with a self-care activity is the best way for me to remind myself about my priorities. Starting off today, like any other day, helped remind myself to keep the day ahead in perspective.

Following the yoga session, I sat for a 10-minute guided meditation to get my mind in synch with my body (doing the yoga first is key for me as otherwise I’ll tend to fall back asleep when I try to meditate first thing in the morning). This morning, my mind was on fast-forward and I really struggled with staying present. I was so fidgety that I laughed out loud at myself at one point. But I sat and did my practice. It’s more important for me to do the work, than how well it goes on any given day. In fact, I would say that the practices that are more rough tend to be the most valuable for building my emotional resilience.

At this point, it was about 5:40am and I only had a bit of time before my interview. Not enough time to take my coffee, but too much time to just wait. I decided to try something to release my nerves. There was an exercise offered on my meditation app (Calm) called “Daily Move” and today’s movement was focused on dealing with strong emotions such as anger and fear. While I wasn’t feeling these emotions, I thought it could still release some of my nervous energy. The guide had me in horse position punching the air. I really got into it. Maybe I was feeling a bit of anger after all? Haha. Not sure, but it felt great.

With 10 minutes left, I needed to get set up and take a quick look at my notes. I logged onto the video conference at 5:59am. I felt energized. I felt calm. I felt confident. While it will be some time before I know the results of the interview, it doesn’t really matter for today. Today, I took care of myself. Today, I’m feeling good. I’m ready to face the next challenge of the day.

“Namaste” by Monty Vern

Be well,