I remember when I was hired for my first professional job. I wanted to be a copywriter. I set up appointments at ad agencies and took my portfolio of clever clippings from the college newspaper. This job search went on for a long and seemingly unfruitful time.
Some months into the process, I reached back out to an earlier contact. By then, the agency had a need and hired me. I was so excited. But given that I’d only met my future employer one time some months earlier and I had no relevant work history, I remember thinking, “What if he’s confused me with someone else?”
I decided to keep that concern about the mistaken identity to myself rather than ask him, “Are you sure you meant to pick me?”
Somehow, instinctively, you know what not to say on a job interview. And sometimes you don’t.
A few years later, I began to look for another job in a different kind of place. I hadn’t interviewed in a long time, and I could have used a skills-building session.
In any case, I took my resume to a lunchtime appointment and began to discuss what I might bring to this potential position. It didn’t take long before I knew – without a shadow of a doubt – that this interview was not going well. But I stuck it out, because what do you do?
On Earth 2, I’m sure I stood up to say, “It is clear to me that I have no chance of getting this job, but if I leave now, I’ve got time to go through the Wendy’s drive-thru before my current employer realizes I’m missing.”
On this planet, however, I stuck it out and was as relieved as I have ever been to get a form letter later that week telling me I wasn’t the one selected.
Don’t discount the strengths that are uniquely yours and the way you can make a difference. You may very well be the person the company is looking for, and you will both benefit when you come together.
On the other hand, if you want to find a peaceful career, you won’t find it in trying to plead your way into a poor job fit just because you’re frustrated by your current situation.
I’m not much for offering career advice, but I know a good resource that can help. I recently worked with a client on the preparation and launch of a book to help readers find a peaceful and life-giving career at any stage of life. Visit whiteshirtbook.com if you’d like to learn more.
Minnie Lamberth is a marketing copywriter and author of Story Shaping, a creative encouragement platform.