Updated: Dec 22, 2021
If you've ever cried after a job interview, you're not alone. But smudged mascara and sniffles aside, tears can help teach us the power of self-compassion.
Hoping for a fit, but floundering instead
Growth is uncomfortable. It can uncover insecurities and fears that need to be released — sometimes in the form of tears.
Today I had a job interview for a position I was really excited about, with an organization that I really believe in. Was I as prepared as I could have been? Nope. Did I stay up until 5 a.m. this morning building my first proper online portfolio to hopefully aid in my job search? You betcha.
Lack of sleep aside, I made it to the Zoom call on time, ready to impress them with my knowledge, skills and passion.
While I knew going into it that I may not be the exact fit, I hoped my passion and enthusiasm would carry me through. But as the interview progressed, I felt myself grow increasingly self-conscious, floundering to answer some of their questions and forgetting my own in the process.
Emotions are data, and data is good
As I sit in my apartment, tears rolling down my cheeks, I remind myself that it's OK to cry, it's OK to be uncomfortable... That means I'm growing, and for that I'm thankful.
I'm also thankful for my feelings and emotions because they provide me with valuable information about myself, what I want, what I don't want, where I can improve and, perhaps most importantly, what I need to surrender.
These tears, this feeling of discomfort remind me that in order to grow and live wholehearted lives, we must be willing to put ourselves out there, risk being awkward, and release others' expectations and perceptions of us.
The power of self-compassion
We're all on a unique journey, and although you and I may have the same destination in mind, my internal GPS may just take through some bumpy back roads to get there. (Can't blame Google Maps for that one, dang it.)
These tears also remind me of the power of self-compassion, and the importance of treating ourselves like a friend. Would you criticize your best friend for fumbling through an interview? No. Would you extend them the warmth, love, encouragement and understanding they deserve. Absolutely.
And you deserve that same compassion, too.
To my fellow job seekers who are courageously navigating this awkward and vulnerable space during an already stressful time for many, I see you.
As you continue your job search, I hope you will extend the same compassion to yourself that you would to any other person you love.
It's not always easy, but I promise I'll try to do the same.
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