I guess this is kinda turning into a “things I’ve learned” series…Lord knows I’ve sure as hell learned a LOT over the last year.
This morning I woke up reluctantly after a rough nights sleep knowing I had to get ready to go to a second interview. You could say I was less than excited. Not because I don’t want the job, I actually really love the company and hope I land it, but because I wasn’t in the mood to get “girled up” and impress anyone today.
Then it hit me…I don’t have to.
I took the time for my first interview to make sure my hair was perfect, my makeup was flawless, my jeans were starched and pressed and my shirt was really nice. I mean, it’s important to present yourself well, right?
Today, however, I took a different approach. Knowing the available position had been narrowed down to myself and one other lady, I had an “all or nothing” attitude. If they don’t like me for plain ole me, they don’t want to hire me…because I’m not that starched jeans and red lip girl all the time. If my personality, attributes and experience don’t get me the job, but red lips will, well…I don’t want it anyway.
I took about 15 minutes to enjoy getting ready the way I would for any normal date night or something to that effect. Fixed my hair so it didn’t look so much like a disheveled hay bale, brightened my eyes a bit and made my eyelashes visible…nothing spectacular. I threw on the only pair of “non-work” jeans I had, a tank..and a neon pink and black button up shirt.
I laughed to myself when I looked in the mirror; I felt just exactly like me. That’s a good feeling. With my confidence high I strolled to the interview.
I was early, as usual. This gave me a few minutes to visit with one of the fellas before the other showed up. It was in this small talk that I learned something about myself…
It wasn’t the pressed jeans and put together look that got me that second interview..it was my handshake.
When he said to me “So, you used to work on a ranch? That tells me a lot about your work ethic.” …it made me smile. I take a lot of pride in those years of loping ponies and long hours with the greatest West Texas cowboy I know, and I learned a lot.
“Yes sir.” I said..and I noticed an ornery looking grin about him.
Then he said, “You know what really impressed me about you?” …puzzled, I shook my head, and that’s when he said “Your handshake.”
Now I was the one with the ornery grin! When someone compliments something that is relevant to my character, I can’t usually contain myself. Of course I gave him a thank you, but he went on to say “It’s not often you get a handshake like that, it’s respectable.”
I was seriously speechless.
The second fella showed up and we proceeded to visit about what they’d require, my ability to do those things not originally discussed, etc….near the end of our chat a man walked into the office. He seemed important, sure enough …it was their CPA. I stood and shook his hand when they introduced us. Mr.CPA looked down at the fellas doing my interview like “Whoa, really?” …I just smiled as I sat back down.
Driving home I reflected on this. I had never thought about those little things. Those little signs of respect and sincerity that set me apart…the confidence I exude when introducing myself that makes me memorable. I know that I’m silly and quirky and funny and a bit odd, but I now know that those aren’t the qualities that stand out.
It’s my genuine being…it’s ME, as an individual. It’s my manners, it’s the way I was raised…it’s the fact that I’m different. It’s the fact that I respect people as individuals.
I’m pretty proud of that.
So, even if I don’t land this job…I know that in the last year of soul searching I’ve done something right. I’ve stayed true to my most genuine self. The woman who has never met a stranger, who respects everyone and who would do just about anything to put a smile on a face.
Stay true to who you are. Be YOU.