Sunday, March 12, 2017

Prepared

Here's the thing - I was unprepared for A LOT of my earliest job interviews. My cover letter was too generic-sounding. I didn't even own a business suit when I first started applying for jobs, and I had to run out and get one at the last minute. I totally blew my first post-grad interview because I didn't know how to answer any of the questions and I ended up saying "Maybe" and "I don't know" to a lot of questions. I interviewed at several companies in a particular industry before I reached the conclusion that I didn't even want to work for that type of company and I had to start my job search over from scratch. When I finally got a job, I had practically nothing in my closet that was work-appropriate. If I had gotten the job in the winter, it would have been less of an issue because most of my fun sweaters can double as work sweaters, but I got the job in the summer, and none of my fun summer clothes are things you can wear to an office. I literally did not have enough work clothes to go to work for a whole week. Luckily My mom let me dig through her closet and wear a bunch of her hand-me-downs. For the first few weeks at the new job, I had to wear pants that were too tight before I had a chance to buy new ones. The first time I went shopping for work clothes on my own, I ended up buying these blouses that required ironing or else they looked horrible, and I never iron my clothes. I had to adjust my sleep schedule by five hours because I was used to staying up late and waking up at noon, and now I had to get up at seven. Totally unprepared.

Looking back on it, I could have made my own life easier if I had prepared more for my interviews. I could have bought a business suit before I got any interviews. I could have gone online and researched what kinds of answers employers were looking for. I could have done more mock-interviews with my mom who has hired a bunch of people. I could have gone shopping and made sure I had black pants that fit comfortably and at least one week's worth of work shirts.

But the point here is, I applied for jobs before I was prepared because I needed a job. I didn't say to myself, okay, first you need to practice interviewing, then you need to get your wardrobe ready to have a job, then you need to do this, that, and the other thing to make sure you're ready. I didn't have time for that. I need a job, so I started applying for jobs. And maybe I should have taken more time to prepare, maybe that would have gotten me a job earlier and been a lot less stressful. But I needed a job, so I just dove straight in.

I don't know why I'm so scared to dive right in this time, when it comes to submitting my book. I keep thinking about every little thing that I could possibly need to prepare first. I know it's different this time because the stakes are higher, because I really don't care about any of those job interviews that I might have blown because I wasn't prepared, but I DO care about getting my book published and there is no way that I want to blow it because I'm not prepared.

But I am prepared. I am so much more prepared to meet with publishers than I have ever been for a regular job interview. I have the "right" interview clothes. I'm on a more "normal" sleep schedule so interview times shouldn't be an issue. And most importantly, I know how to speak intelligently about my book! I know because I've been doing it since I started.

I dove into job-hunting without being prepared because I didn't have time to stop and prepare. This time around, I am prepared. I am so much more prepared than I ever was. There's nothing to wait for. There's nothing left to do to get ready. I am ready.

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