Ever have a miscommunication occur that was so confusing that it left you scratching your head asking “What just happened to me?”. If not, this post isn’t for you. For the rest of us, listen up.
Yesterday I had just a thing go down. I’m back in the job market and had a company respond to my application via email saying they wanted to schedule a phone interview. I immediately responded and scheduled the call for the following day. I had someone watch my son, waited on the call for the entire interview time, even called 10 minutes into the interview time to make sure we were still on, but never heard from the employer. At the end of the allotted time I sent an email asking to reschedule. An hour later I received a curt email from the potential employer saying they waited for me to call them for 10 minutes then left the office, good luck with my job search.
Needless to say I left the interaction confused and scratching my head. In almost 2 decades of being in the job market I have never had an interviewer expect me to call them for an interview. Interviewers typically call interviewees unless otherwise specified. We exchanged a few emails afterward and I learned something very valuable.
Misunderstandings happen and it’s ok.
This week I turned 38 years old, and with that I’m maturing and learning that things that would have upset me in the past are really not worth getting lathered up over. In the example I gave above there are lots of reasons why that went the way it did and it is what it is.
If you have a problem dealing with these types of glithes in the matrix here are 4 ways to keep your peace:
1. Remember you are dealing with humans and they are fallible.
People are flawed and so are you (because you are a ‘people’ lol). We all do weird things that make no sense at times and we all will have weird things done to us. Every person you encounter has a unique way of interacting with the world, so inevitably there will be times that your ways don’t match. If you learn to accept this as a truth early in life, you will be able to roll with it when it happens without letting misunderstandings derail you.
2. Talk it out.
I found the best quote earlier this week
“If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
~ Zora Neal Hurston
That quote is now officially my 2nd favorite quote* and has encouraged me to be brutally honest about how I feel, talk about it, then leave it there. That’s what I’m doing with this post, talking it out, venting in a productive way, and then moving on. Yesterday I asked a few friends who occupy the interviewer and interviewee roles their opinions and after getting their feedback I’m 100% at peace with how I handled the situation. It was not meant to be and I was able to find out we were a mismatch early in the employment process which is a blessing. It is healthy to allow yourself to authentically feel your feelings and let them run their course.
3. Attempt to clarify.
I had to add this to the list to keep this post balanced. In my example I did attempt to clarify but not to get the job at that point, just to be understood. It was not successful but in your case you may be able to come to a positive resolution if you take a deep breath, walk away for a minute or 60, then come back and clearly state your experience.
4. Change your focus.
My last suggestion is focus on something else more productive than whatever was misunderstood. If you continue to mill over it, it is lathering a bar of soap. Don’t drive yourself mad. Find something else to do that will move you in the direction you want to go in and focus on that thing.