“I collect LEGO to use as props for my big story. But only the ones that fit into their world. They’re probably not big into monster trucks, so I would have no need for this.” My customized LEGO minifigures, showing main characters Trishna (left/above) and John (left/below), have paid for themselves and any prop sets tenfold for their effectiveness in building ideas within the world of “The Story.” Here’s why you should consider similar props.
“Thanks for joining us today, Jane, was it?”
Jane sat across a small table from a reasonably-dressed hiring manager. She couldn’t help but notice that most of his attention was at the glass wall behind her.
“Yes. Here’s my resume, too.”
The well-dressed professional gave him one resume and placed another on the table in front of the empty seat to her right.
“Thanks. Well, George is running late again… so let’s jump right in.”
The introductory conflict of “The Story” is how two social outcasts, John (left) and Trishna (right), want to develop their relationship yet can’t due to geographic distance. It’s not spoiling this conflict to say they do meet, since this conflict is the narrative introduction deemed “The Scene,” and it’s a convenient inference. If their natural inclination then is spending all of their time together, after spending years physically apart, would they even have separate hobbies?
Stop defending yourself! Quit justifying your existence, your actions, or your life’s intentions to every person you observe. We’ve got it all twisted. Sure, it’s important to explain ourselves to our family and close friends. They’re invested in our future and our failures could drag them down financially or emotionally. Everyone else, though? Who cares! Why invest your energy in the stranger that might scoff at you? All that does is lead to feeling insecure!
“There are two types of people. The people that see something weird and figure it out, like you, and the people that see something weird and ask you to figure it out for them.” The opening act haven’t (yet) figured out how to be good career performers, whereas Uriah Heep certainly did! Let’s explore vicariously through good and bad rock bands how we can exude confidence after figuring out the weird nuances of our careers.
We can decide whether our weaknesses will cause us to become weak. While most weaknesses can become excuses that can potentially control us, there are exceptions that should be respected. My intentions are pure, so let’s not focus on any possible hypotheticals for this week’s update to “The Story.” Instead, let’s focus on two casual examples of when main characters John (off-center) and Trishna (center) decide to not let their physical weaknesses make them weak.
“OK, Jane. We have time for one more question.”
“What’s the successful candidate look like in this role? What should I focus on to prevent myself from being unsuccessful?”
“Well, lemme tell you about the old guy. What a lazy bum! Couldn’t do nothing! He couldn’t understand anything we’d give ‘im! We’d tell him repeatedly how to do his assigned work and he’d seem to just forget! Stay away from the guy you are replacing!”
One thing that’s hurt me frequently was thinking that professional contacts were friends. The problem stems from misgauging what layer of trust we operate on. When I talk like a friend yet they think we’re merely acquaintances, they won’t reciprocate. Is there an easy way to prevent this awkwardness? Is it just as simple as being friendly with people, waiting an arbitrary period of time, before considering them friends? Can our colleagues ever become friends?
I think we fear interviews because of uncertainties. There are infinite factors outside of our control, and remember to “relax, nothing is under control.” What might be under your control? Yourself! Control your physical fitness by resting, eating well, staying hydrated, and arriving early. Control your mental fitness by finding something humorous to enjoy beforehand. Control the interview by preparing yourself with one flexible story that you can build on throughout the conversation. Here’s mine:
I used to profoundly respect anyone’s opinion. It’s not that I’m some kind of awful curmudgeon now. More that I refuse to freely accept anyone’s subjectivities about the world, or myself, until I’ve listened with my empathically critical ear to validate their true intentions. If the argument is reasonable enough, I’ll buy it. If not, I move on with my life. Why obsess over negative thoughts? Why not forget and carry on? That’s easy, right?