Your Worth is Not Validated by an Interview

I graduated college in December 2012, and I remember interviewing for 4 months (straight) before landing my first job. The emotional roller coaster of interviewing was exhausting! At first, I was so excited to land an interview – it was as if the interview validated who I was as a person. The company thought my resume was great, so I must be worthy of something, right? But after 4 months of constant rejection, I wasn’t excited anymore. I was defeated, I felt like a loser and I started to think that there was something wrong with me.

Prior to what I like to call the ‘dark times’ of job searching, I considered myself to be very charismatic and never struggled to strike up a conversation with anyone. However, once I would get into the interview I would completely freeze. It was almost an out of body experience – I would yell at my inner-self to RELAX, but nothing would happen. I would just sit there awkwardly, smile, nod and then BOOK it out of the interview room.

It wasn’t until my sister came back from a yoga retreat in Costa Rica (of all things), when she told me that she met an attorney who was looking to hire on an Executive Assistant at his firm. She really talked me up to this man and he was actually interested in meeting me! I honestly didn’t even know what an Executive Assistant was at the time, but I was in desperate need of a job and I thought, if this guy went to a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, he must be pretty cool. So I was interested in meeting.

Upon our initial meeting, he was very straight forward with me. He basically tried to talk me out of the job by telling me the challenges the job entailed… That is when something sparked inside of me – I am never afraid of a challenge. So, the more challenging he explained the job to be, the more interested I was. I find excitement in overcoming challenges without anyone holding my hand – that is what makes me feel the most proud. He told me to go home and think about it, but I said, “I am ready. When do I start?” and I started shortly after that meeting.

Was an Executive Assistant a role that I was looking for at the time? No, but I had just graduated college and had zero experience, so I said yes. This job ended up being the biggest stepping stone to my career as it taught me lessons that you cannot buy anywhere. The people at this firm taught me how to recognize my talents, never take no for an answer and to always find a solution to a challenge…There is ALWAYS a solution.

The difference between this meeting with the attorney and the other interviews that I had, is that I had a completely different mindset going into it. I went into this meeting open minded and thought, ‘whatever happens, happens. If he doesn’t like me, so what. What do I have to lose?’ – having this mindset changed my entire demeanor. I was able to relax, absorb information and make a human connection. The other interviews I went on, I acted as if my life depended on it – it was the end-all be-all of my career if I didn’t nail this interview.

My advice to you on your job search is to be open minded. Say yes, even if it isn’t on the exact path you had mapped out for yourself. For your next interview just relax, absorb and be kind to yourself. If this interview doesn’t work out, so what? There are so many other employment opportunities that we would be happy to help you with. And if you are into cliche quotes like myself, I’ll leave you with this: “If it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be” and I am confident you will land where you are meant to be 🙂

Elizabeth Miller

Elizabeth (Lizzy) is the Community Engagement Manager with Russell Tobin + Pride Global. She loves to make new connections, so don’t be shy and reach out! 

Connect on LinkedIn +