Saturday, February 1, 2014

What do you control?

As a college instructor who teaches students to be successful both in school and their professional lives, I have several key lessons that I try to pass on. Most of them come from the teachings I received from my accountant father. I often describe him as "insane", given that he taught us very adult ideas at very young ages. The truth, however, is that his teachings, more than either of the college degrees that I hold or the countless books that I have read, have shaped the professional that I am. I love my father for what he taught and continues to teach me. I hope and strive to share that insanity

One of the main lessons that I feel I learned from my parents is to take responsibility for myself. To not blame others for my own problems. The idea that I share with my students is that "You are in control of yourself, and only yourself". Even as a parent, you only have control over your kids because they allow you to. As a manager, it is the same. Something I see every single day is that people blame everyone else for their own shortcomings (their teachers, parents, employers, co-workers, friends even.) They waste so much time talking about the external reasons for which they aren't successful and not looking at the damaged beliefs they hold that limit positive action.

Another lesson dealing with professional job searches and something else that I impart to my students is that you can do everything the right way, have an awesome resume, great cover letter, answer every interview question correctly, be the "best" candidate (if that exists), and the company can choose someone else. That is the way it is working with people. Very important to remember here is that this is NOT a bad thing. We all have the right to choose as we will. Sometimes that choice is used not in the best interest, whatever that may be.

My story: I just had the opportunity to interview for an awesome position and opportunity with my own company. It was for a director level position which I was hoping would give me the experience to keep moving up. Given that I teach people how to do this, my resume was great, my cover letter as well. During the interview I answered every question with ease and ability. If there was a question I had no answer to, or no good answer, I admitted to my shortcomings and gave an amazing answer anyway. I interviewed with the other directors, the national and regional directors. I felt like it was a lock and that they would make a decision soon. I was even told, without being told, that I was the probable choice.

Ending to the story: They chose at the last minute to not hire me or the other qualified candidates and reopen the search.  They had a reason. Was it a good one? Sure, kind of, but one they should have known from the beginning. They also did not handle it very well.

Moral: Am I mad? Am I going to sabotage the company to get back at them? Is my level of work or professionalism going to slide in my disappointment? Now, of course I am upset. I have been hoping for the job for a while, working towards it, being mentored in how to do it. I am not upset with any of the people involved though because it is their right to choose as they will. They feel justified in what they did because they are looking for the right person. I was not it. I am in control of my reactions. I am in control of my future actions that will allow me to be an amazing candidate and professional. I did everything I could. I continue to move forward.

No comments: