Most evenings before I go to bed, I check out the forecast for the following morning, so that I’ve got an idea what I might have to deal with before it’s upon me. Now not everybody is too concerned with this and plans in advance; I get that. Some people just roll with whatever as they find it and do so with varying degrees of success.
Last night I had a look at the weather forecast because it’s the winter time here in good old Ontario Canada, and with a one hour commute to work driving in both country and city conditions, advance preparation is just smart. All the weather said was a mixture of rain and snow, with up to 3 cm on average. Nothing I couldn’t handle. When I headed out this morning, the first thing I noticed was that the driveway which was bare yesterday, was now a sheet of ice. The Crescent on which I live was a little better; a mixture of wet pavement and ice. Snow started falling after about three minutes of driving, and soon it changed to heavy flakes of snow, then to a mixture of icy rain and snow, then to plain old rain.
So what does all this have to do with job searching, interviewing, daily work etc.? Well in short it has to do with how you react to situations that come upon you. When things become challenging at work how you react to them will often dictate how others around you react to you. Complain a lot, and you’ll draw cynical people to your closest group of friends, and you’ll not only endear these people to you with your tales of woe, but you’ll bask in the pleasure of listening to them drone on and on about how sad their weary little lives are. Oh you’ll be entertained for hours by stories of miserable weekends, spouses that don’t help out as much as they should, bosses that demand far more than other bosses, and unreasonable expectations – like showing up on time consistently.
On the other hand, when things become challenging at work, look at the bright side as much as you can and you’ll attract people to you that deal well with change, that enjoy pitching in to resolve problems and come up with creative solutions and who seem to make your days better just by being there.
In short…choose. The same weather conditions that I encountered this morning will greet all my co-workers this morning. Being the first employee to arrive at work each day I always find it interesting to listen to the arrival of my co-workers. Some will by nature, come in and be positive and greet new arrivals. Some on the other hand will arrive artificially enhanced exclamations of how rotten the roads are, the significant hurdles they alone had to endure to make it to work, and there was so little warning as to what they would experience! They may go on about poor drivers they encountered, etc.
Choose your attitude and deal with whatever you get dealt. You see those snow flakes, ice pellets, rain drops and winds are going to fall whether you are happy or sad, positive or negative. Once you realize you have to deal with whatever is occurring, you can get down to the task at hand which is making it safely to work. Consider the interview now. Suppose you expected a one-to-one interview but walked in only to find three or four people seated at a table and a very lonely looking chair facing them meant for you. Well it might have been helpful for you to have known what you were in for, but you are here now, and all the coulda, shoulda, woulda, isn’t going to change the present reality. Best way to reduce your anxiety is to just say to yourself, “Wow, four people; didn’t see that coming, but okay, I can do this.”
Until you actually make a decision to deal with things, the anxiety rises because the body is going through a physical transformation. Chemicals are being produced to help you deal with the situation at hand until you can deal with your dilemma. Once you actually make a decision, your body no longer produces those chemicals to sustain in your moment of stress, and as an added bonus, instead of sending valuable energy to your coping areas, energy flows to your action areas, and you can concentrate on actually moving forward with your interview.
This works the same way even when you’re at work and something crops up like a change in your schedule, or an unexpected customer with a problem. You can stress about the mood of the person waiting for you in the reception area, imagining all the problems and coming up with pre-set responses – all the while feeling your anxiety rise, or you can put down the pen, get up and go see what the problem is, reduce the time the customer has to fume about tardy service on top of their original problem, and put your energy into resolving the issue. Deal with it…deal with change.