What are your great memories of anticipation? Trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve? The last day of school? The last day before school started? How about right before your wedding ceremony?

Now think again about some of those times. Mixed in with that excitement was there also a touch of fear or a note of doubt. You were sure that whatever was going to happen was going to be great – or at least you were pretty sure; right?

Your job search will probably be filled these times. Maybe you’re a finalist for job, going in for your last interview. It would be great to get back to work, this sounds a like a good place to work, the people have been very nice, but … the work seemed a little tedious – not exactly what you’d like to do. What if you take the job and it starts off great, but after a few weeks the shine is off and now it’s just a job. Did you make a mistake? Should you keep looking?

My advice is to do your best to ignore that little voice of doubt. You need to control what you can control – and that is you. Rather than stress before (or during) the interview about what you’ll do if they do (or don’t) offer you a job, be in the moment. Put 100% of yourself into the interview and wait to see what happens. If you are in a new job and feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse – set it aside and do your job the best you can do it.

I heard the phrase once that worrying was “borrowing trouble” – taking tomorrow’s problems and making them issues in your life today. As best you can, don’t do that. Live in the present, do what you can to be successful today, and let tomorrow take care of itself. Take it from a guy who’s lost his job six times. Things work out. Control what you can control and let the rest take care of itself.

BTW – Here is some real life anticipation. Check back to this site soon. I expect I’m Fired?!? to be available as an eBook in the next few weeks with a paper version to follow not too long after. Details soon!

Be Prepared for Surprises

Despite your best efforts in trying to predict the future, it just rarely plays out like you think it will. A friend recently received a call to schedule an interview. He’d heard about the job through a networking contact. It didn’t really sound like what he wanted to do; the location wasn’t great; he didn’t think they were going to pay very much; and he thought it was part time. In short, he really didn’t want “waste his valuable time” going to this interview.

I reminded him that a) since he was unemployed his time really wasn’t that valuable, and b) if nothing else he could consider it a practice session and hone his interviewing skills. Grudgingly he agreed.

After the interview he was excited. The networking contact had missed most of the good points. It was a full time job; the pay was okay; the location was easy to get to; and the duties were interesting – he could learn a lot on this job. Now he’s on pins and needles because they are supposed call him the next day with a start date the following week.

As a job seeker, you have to be prepared for surprises. He didn’t think this interview was worth his time a now he’s hoping for a job offer. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard of people interview for one job, but then being hired for a different job because of their skill set. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a networking meeting thinking I’m wasting my time and walked out with 3-4 excellent leads.

My advice is to go in to every interview and networking meeting with your eyes wide open. Give them your best stuff and then be prepared to step back and see what happens. Sometimes you’ll get a surprising job offer or networking leads and sometimes you’ll get some good practice. Either way, your job search is moving forward. Keep at it.