I have been told that I am a very enthusiastic person. I love going full-force into ideas and projects. Sometimes foolishly throwing caution to the wind. This can seem a little intense to people at times and it’s always intense for me. Freakin’ rollercoaster ride! I didn’t see how this trait affected me until recently. Finding the energy for my enthusiasm time and time again for interviews has become draining.
A few weeks ago I had an interview though there were no positions available at the firm. (My empathetic mother calls these informational interviews – “Lookie-Loos”) So hours before the interview while reviewing the firm’s website and getting dressed to impress, I found it difficult to get excited about the meeting. Maybe it is a testament to age or maturity but I find I don’t daydream about jobs as much as I used to. You know what I mean. We all have done it. They’re promising me this and that and I’m going to get some great learning experiences and be able to really grow with the company…and…and… Next thing I know I’m planning what reference books I’ll have at my desk and what my email signatures will look like!
Maybe the real reason for my slight pessimism comes from repeatedly building up all my excitement just to be letdown, each time a little more disappointing than the last. It does not help when my supportive non-architecture friends hear the word “interview” and think “Oh, you’re going to get a job!” Then when I tell them that it was a Lookie-Loo they become speechless and don’t know how to relate. So then my trials affect the enthusiasm of my friends too. Great.
Somehow I need to muster up my signature excitement before I walk into an interview. Maybe not to the point of email signatures but definitely to how I’m going to be a team player and bring a fresh perspective. It’s a more convincing sell to say “I want to work for your firm on these projects’” than “I just want to work and use my education!”
So maybe I should redefine The Interview in my mind. Who wouldn’t agree that informational interviews are hard to get amped about? There is no job for me at the end of the meeting and I come home with the feeling I am starting right back at square one. This predicament needs a paradigm shift. What if these interviews were approached from a networking stand point instead of a dog & pony show formality? Just like doing lunches and happy hours, this meeting is the next step. I have to remind myself that I am making stronger connections and getting my name out there. The opportunity to show my portfolio is just like a firm handshake or an insightful conversation. It’s reinforcing who I am and my abilities.
So there is a point to finding enthusiasm. Because I have determination, I love the work and I truly hope that this will all pay off.