The Daily Growth Blog #37/365 | Refresh Week: ‘Making Choices & Saying No to opportunities’
This last blog took a long time, I know. And there are no excuses, I was just taking the time to be with myself, understand various things happening in life and trying to focus on some things related to 2022 — life, career and family.
It’s been an amazing last week or so. I would’ve never imagined that the week after ‘Refresh Week’ would turn out to be such a roller coaster — 7 interviews and 3 yesses. Weird for someone who’s been waiting and watching for the last 7 months (well not 7 months, but 2–3 months of active job-search to be precise) for everything to suddenly click in place.
A lot changed for me in the last couple of weeks, and I think a lot of it had to do with how I was thinking about myself and about interviews, from within.
For a long long time I used to pander to the requirements of organizations, and interviewers, thinking about what they’d want to hear from prospective candidates. I’d try and align myself to their roles and their viewpoints rather than present my own story in my own words.
This changed in the last few interviews. I went in, deciding to give my best shot, present my own ideas and share examples from my past experiences. For instance, if I’d applied to an Ad Sales role, I’d get a lot of questions on cognitive ability and judgment based on their ads background. This time around, instead of trying to answer them based on the world of Ads (which I knew nothing about), I decided to create connections and talk about similar experiences I could draw from the world of Maps & Cloud (which I knew almost everything about). It was a risk, but I wanted to focus on my strengths and feel good about myself.
This changed my demeanour, my confidence and everything about how I felt after an interview. I realised that I even stopped caring about the result. The result was not a goal anymore. The goal was to present my most authentic self to the interview panel, and make sure that this was a two-way conversation where each party was evaluating one another.
So now, with some offers in hand, the hard part for me, as with a lot of human beings, is choosing one, and saying ‘no’ to the rest. While the choices come down to pushing oneself out of one’s comfort zone (choosing an industry I have no clue about but am nervously excited about or choosing a different city than Delhi), the hard part is saying ‘no’ because I have genuinely enjoyed every process.
I look back at the ones I’m saying no to and can’t help thinking ‘what if they were a bit faster in their evaluation process’ or ‘what if working from their office in Gurgaon would have been a more wholesome experience’.
Second guessing myself, basically.
Servicing & Repair
That’s the thing with the mind and with thoughts, they play with us and make us feel like the grass was probably greener on the other side. Which might even be true, for all we know. But the point is that deep inside our heart we know the core ‘why’ and that’s all that matters.
I was watching this movie, ‘Moneyball’, which stars Brad Pitt as this tough General Manager of a baseball team. He is a tough cookie, takes negative remarks, challenges and No’s to his face — and he doesn’t flinch. He knows his core ‘Why’ and he moves on.
I think I need to develop a level of toughness that helps me build myself up to being a stronger being, all over. And being tough starts with knowing my value system, core why and creating a framework or process to manage difficult situations.
I can’t second guess myself when someone challenges my approach.
Also, my approach, in the first place, should have been thought through, analysed and broken down into many parts. Once I am sure of why I am doing something, no amount of push-back from the world around me should push me off my course.
I’m not saying I close off any opportunities for feedback and course corrections, but just being there for myself and standing up for myself when people around me make judgments based on their limited perspectives about me. Like I was there for myself when I joined a bookstore after graduation or decided to give up a great career to spend time with myself or when I’ve decided to take on more than I can chew.
Everything had a reason and I love myself for having backed myself. But it is time to become a tougher cookie than I ever was.
I don’t know how to say this but today is a dream-come-true-day for me. I’m going to attend the first ever Prateek Kuhad concert today. Followed by some fast food for dinner (After a long long time). Can’t wait.
Prateek has been a musician who has done more for an entire generation of lovebirds than any other musician I can think of. Beyond the music, he’s just so nice, and different and weird as a human being. Plus he has great taste, and lives in Delhi. (Checks all boxes) (His Website)
Can’t wait for a beautiful evening!
Idling & Warmth
The last and final piece of gratitude I’d want to share today is for my family. They’ve been with me, through thick and thin. They’ve seen so many sides of me — The good, the bad, the very very very ugly. And they’ve stuck with me, hoped with me and been confident about me even when I didn’t know who I was.
Yes, we might think that family is an obligation — they had to be there for me no matter what. But then it really isn’t an obligation, is it? I’ve known family members let go off me when I’ve been weird, not spoken to me in my times of distress and negated my very presence when I’ve been a compete a***ole. (Yes, I’ve been that many times in my life, to many people in my family).
My partner (wife now), my mother and my little brother have never given up on me, no matter who I was, what I did and how much I may have hurt them, through my actions and inactions. They’ve been beyond a blessing, they’ve been rockstars and true incarnations of heavenly beings on Earth, in my life.
Now I’m a much better human being and I try to be a better soul for each of them, go out of my way to give back to them, in whatever way possible. And I’m sure these last few months have been funny for them — Seeing me figure out my future, my life and my own shit. But one of the goals I had for myself when I stopped working was to stop making everything about me. I’ve tried not to be too full of myself (which is tough for my giant ego), and have tried to listen more & speak less.
I hope I continue to be a better partner/boyfriend (I hate the word ‘husband’), son and brother to these three pillars of my existence. Cheers to them. Always.
Thank you, dear reader, for being part of the ‘Refresh Week’. It took a couple of weeks to get this done, and I may have gone a bit overboard with my emotions — as is with everything else in my mundane life. But I hope you enjoyed this week and were able to grow a little with me.
We’ll be back to our regular series of blogs now, free-flow and unstructured but I am grateful to you for coming back, day after day, and reading what I have to write. Hope I’m able to live up to your expectations of what a fine piece of writing should look like.