Is all the hard work worth it?

This is a long one, but hopefully you’ll like it.

…So, imagine this…

Your dream job comes up in work. A job you know you could do, you know you’ve got experience for. Your next step, a role you know you’d love. Anyone you tell about it says you’d be brilliant at it. You know you’d be brilliant at. It feels like fate and you haven’t even applied yet. But you’re so excited to apply.

You know there will be a challenge ahead and you put lots into your CV and the application. You get help from those you trust. You take time over it and you do your best. You get it just right and send it in. Then you wait and go on a well earned holiday.

You wait for the invitation to interview… and you get the invitation when you’re in holiday. You pick your slot, first thing, to hopefully knock em dead. In two weeks time you have an interview for the job! Brilliant!

You’re given a task to do – a 10 minute presentation that relates to the job. The process will involve a written test, a presentation and an interview. You’re up for it and you do lots of research and find out what’s required. You speak to those you know will help you, people you know and some people you don’t.

You work on it for about 10 days, reaching out to those who you know will help. You learn from others, you read books, you come up with ideas, you’re creative, you invest time, thought and effort to get you ready for the big day. You come up with some great ideas. You work so hard and you want to nail it. You hear about others that are going for the job, but you keep the focus on what you can do, not on others.

The night before the interview, you prep for it. You rehearse your presentation and give it your all. You borrow an iPad so you can read your notes for the presentation. You take on board feedback, and you practice being the best you can be. You even learn from that process, how to do it just right. You practice for the interviews and practice how you’ll answer questions. You know you’re giving your all to do your best.

You learn, you grow, you stand up tall and rise to the challenge. You care so much, you find it hard to think about anything else. You lose sleep. You stop just about everything else, to focus on trying to nail this – your dream job, the opportunity of a lifetime. You believe in yourself, you get your cape on. You think you’re ready for it.

You choose what you put your time and effort into and you have to drop the rest, just for just now. It’ll be over soon. You drop your plans of getting back into strength training and let the running tick over. You’ll either get the job or you won’t. Either way, it’ll be fine (but you really want it!) Just now you need to focus on this and do your best.

You lay your clothes out the night before. You’re going to be dressed to impress. Smart but subtle. You pick your lucky jewellery to wear. You plan a run first thing. You set your alarm for 6am but you wake up at 5:20am, eyes wide, ready to go.

You’re out the door for 5:40am, in the dark. Your first early morning run of the year. It’s 6 months to the day since the last interview (which you didn’t get), you feel better about this one. You turn up the hill and you’re pleasantly surprised by seeing the stars, with Orion right ahead of you in the sky.

You run the route, a route you’ve done a million times. 4.3 mikes, 38 minutes. You go over your answers, in your head and out loud. You smile wide when you see a massive full moon in the west of the sky, setting on the horizon as you run. Then you see the Plough at a funny angle in the sky. The cold crisp autumn air is all around you, the endorphins start flowing. You see a fox, you hear the birds. You run past your work, and you stop for a bit… looking, hoping.

You’re making things up to build yourself up, to help you believe, and it’s working for you – The stars are your Granny, the moon is your Aunt, the fox is your partner and the birds tweeting is your Dad. They’re all in your head, willing you along, believing in you. Your tunes are playing, building you up, making you strong. You know you’re ready for it.

You walk into work 2 hours early, you need to update your script for the presentation. You complete it in plenty of time. The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day. You’re feeling good. You were a bit worried about the presentation, the time limit, your delivery of it. But you know you’ve practiced and you’re ready to go. You have a feeling you’ll do it well. 

You take some time out before and you have a page of notes for the interview. You have questions to ask for the end, and you have some further information for the panel to give them at the end. You’ve worked really hard, you know you’ve done all that you can.

You feel a bit strange when you meet others who are dressed smartly and going for the job too. You wish them the best, (even though secretly deep down you hope it’s you over them.) You try not to think about them and try to just think about you, what you can do.

You go and do the written test and you think it goes well. You wait outside the room… 10 minutes to go. You look up to the sky and the sun is shining through the windows in the roof, (there’s Norma, shining down on me) you smile. You listen to tunes, you slow down and try to relax. You tie your cape on and you try to keep it on.

You get invited in to the room and you deliver your presentation. You do it flawlessly, with confidence and within the time limit, and you answer all of the questions about it confidently. You’re really pleased and proud that you (think you) nailed it. It seems like they’re well impressed. Now for the last bit – the interview.

You’ve been in interviews before. You know the what you need to do. You know what they’re after, you know they want to get the best from you. You’ve helped others know what’s required. You try really hard. You answer question after question and you try to get as much variation and answer each question as best you can.

You use your notes for one question and you nail it, and you freestyle another with your answer to that. They throw a curve ball at you, a question you really didn’t expect, but one you know you can answer. You’re on a roll. You’re doing great. They ask you one you’re not so sure of, and you remember and make up what you can. You try your best. If only you’d researched that one wee bit again. 

The questions keep coming, you come up with another good answer. They ask you another and you start an answer and realise half way that you’ve lost your way. You’re rambling. Their eyes seem to be glazing over – you’ve lost them. You’ve lost your way – get back to the point! You try and get back on track. You had other answers but the moment is gone. You finish that question, they ask you another. You’re starting to feel spent.

They ask you the last question and you try your best to answer it. Then they add in a nice little supplementary question about you, and it evokes some emotion in you. ‘You seem to help and support others a lot, what is it that motivates you to keep going?’ 

You feel like you’ve got nothing left, but you want to do your best to answer them. Your cape is well and truly off and lying on the floor. You curse inside your head and look up to try to stop the tears and regather yourself.

You think of your Granny and making her proud. You think of what makes you tick. You think of all the people who think / say you’re great, who help and support you, and the ones who tell you that you inspire and help them. Your voice shakes, you can’t speak. You try to hold it together and regather yourself.

You try to speak, and you cry a little. You take a deep breath. You feel like your losing it. You haven’t blown it yet, but you need know you need to pull this back. You take a drink of water, they put you at ease. You pause and refocus. You tell them your answer which includes rainbows and running. You breathe again and apologise. They’re nice to you. It’s over.

They say there might be second round of interviews or they’ll let you know the result (or invite to next interview) as soon as possible. You hope it’s tonight or tomorrow. You dread the thought of another interview after all you’ve been through. You know it’s the process and you know they’re really trying to get the best from you.

They’re let know that time is over running but they’re keen to answer any questions you have. You ask them two, with the second as an option for them to ask anything they might want to know that you might have missed. You know you’ve tried your best. You think you’ve answered all the questions but think it probably could have gone a bit better. You hope the written test and presentation brings you up.

You thank them for their time, and you escape. It’s all over. You take time out and try to come down. You get out of work for some fresh air and you hope you’ve done what you can to get the job. You feel on a high and you feel great, confident and hopeful. You find a lucky (or not so lucky?) 5p outside on your way back to work, you hope it’s a sign.

Then as the day goes on you revisit your answers and you think of better answers you could have said. You start to doubt yourself, but you hope for the best. You’ve probably told far too many people about it, but you hope their good luck will be in your favour.

You find it hard to sleep that night and you still hope for the best. But you keep remembering the answers you gave and remember where you think you might have gone wrong. Aaahhhhhh. You try to take your mind off it with other things instead. You get 5 hours sleep and get up late. You hope you get an invite to the second interview, you cling to the hope.

Before you go into work, you’re looking through your newsfeed and you see a TED talk on ‘Rejection’. You think to yourself, I’ll watch that later if I don’t get the job. You still hope for the best.
You go into work, and try to focus on your job. You keep your eye on your phone and your inbox in case you hear something… you wait, you hope…

You get the email at 11:03am – an email. You know it’s probably not good news. You open it up and see the words you dreaded … ‘I’m afraid you weren’t successful on this occasion’. You sigh. 

You don’t even cry, you know there’s no point. You just stop and sigh, so disappointed. You’ve given your all. But it’s over. Over two-three weeks of hard work. You tried your best and it wasn’t good enough on the day. 

You let your other half know, and your boss. You try to be positive. You try not to be upset or bitter. You know that’s not the right way to be. You know it was fair, and you know that what’s for you, won’t go by you. 

You know you could have done better in the interview, and you know you could have done more prep, with a mock interview, but you were so focussed on making the presentation and your ideas good. You missed the point. But you’re really proud of yourself, you think you did well, but you’re gutted. 😦

You realise your Granny and Dad were proud of you the day they met you. 

You think about the interview and you realise where you could have given better answers, but you didn’t have it in you on the day, maybe 2 of about 8 questions. One needed a little more research and one, you just needed a more relevant example, explained better. 

– You know you need to stay engaged.

– Refocus back to before, make things good again.
– Get your focus back on yourself, and take care of yourself. 
– Do things you enjoy with people you like.

– Be proud that you worked so hard and tried you best.

– Think of how proud your Granny would be, and others are of you. 

– And think of how much you learned along the way.

That was my week this week. :-/

A busy, and challenging two to three weeks with the outcome at the end that wasn’t what that I’d hoped for. But it is what it is.

There’s no point in being angry or sad about it. I did my best, I tried hard and I hopefully showed myself in a good light. On the day someone else’s best was better. 

I’ll get feedback and see if there might be another opportunity out of it, who knows what might happen. I’m a true believer in fate – this time it wasn’t my turn.

And I watched that TED talk – here’s how to deal with rejection:

– Stay engaged (Important).
– Don’t let rejection define you – don’t be bitter or angry. – Choose your reaction to it, embrace it and learn from it. Grow. – Realise that what you offered wasn’t right for them at that time.
(That someone else was in a position to offer more, and that’s ok, and good for them).
– Ask why, and learn from it… get feedback, what can you learn and do better in the future? – Think about you learned from the process.
– Think about what others learned about you, think about all the good you did, the exposure you got. Think about all the people who helped you (and thank them). – Be proud of your effort and getting to where you did.
– Turn rejections into opportunities.
– Ask them if they think you have anything that can help them – create an opportunity out of it if you can. You won’t know unless you ask. – If you embrace your rejections or challenges, they might become your gift.

I know I’ll collapse into a tired heap this weekend – I’m finally able to stop and just be. Now it’s back to being me being good at what I do best. Having a nice relaxing weekend doing whatever we want. 

Take comfort in the nice things people say to me and learn from the process. It’s one of  those things that life throws at you, you take on the challenge, and you get stronger having gone through it. 

Back to me doing a good job at work and helping others with my running coaching etc. Back to the Garagym for training, back to my 100 mile target. Back to me being me. 🙂

Is all the hard work worth it?

What do you think?

I think it is.

(And if you helped me or wished me luck along the way (which quite a few people did) – I thank you.)

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