Recreating Great Days

Yesterday was a really good day on the job. I’m fortunate in that I recognized it as such several times throughout the day as often we only realize how good something was after its past. So now I’m thinking about what I did and how I can re-create that great feeling in the present and the future so that more of those great days are yet to come.

Do you have days like that yourself? I sure hope you do, both at work and life outside of work. Even when you like your job as I do and you feel you have a lot of good days, there are some days that are just better than others.

Here’s the odd thing about yesterday. I was on the schedule to facilitate a workshop on Interview Preparation and Practice. I wouldn’t have guessed that this day was going to bring me the extremely high degree of satisfaction it did. Why?Job interviews are pretty low on many people’s list of things they like to take part in, especially if you’re on the applicant side of the table. While the workshop is offered free and is completely optional, it typically has a low turn out. Let’s face it, as humans we tend to avoid things we feel we will find unpleasant, especially if we have a choice and going to a workshop on interviewing isn’t a popular one.

Turns out that 7 people came out and all 7 had their apprehensions about the day. When I asked them what their thoughts were at the outset, they said the usual things; interviews are a necessary evil, they wished they could get jobs without the interview at all, they get all stressed and full of anxiety when they land one and yet made the decision to come and learn anyhow. 7 people making an excellent personal decision! By the way, does their opinions of interviews sound like your own?

So we started and like I always do, I told them my goal at the outset was to give them the benefit of my perspective on interviews and perhaps have them shift from how they see the interview to how I see it, because quite honestly I look forward to interviews and relish in the opportunities they present. I’m very comfortable going to job interviews and there has to be something I can pass on to them that may help them to – if not really love them – at least feel less anxious when preparing for one.

I noticed that one key thing happened almost immediately after starting and that was that when introducing themselves to each other, they spoke openly and honestly about their fears and their employment barriers. Just listening to them talk, I was struck by their trust in the others in the room as one disclosed a criminal record, another voluntarily spoke about her age, another person said how overqualified she felt and wondered if she should “dumb down” her resume as others have suggested she should. (Note to readers, I don’t think you should ever ‘dumb down’ your resume and hide what you otherwise are proud of having done.)

These people invested themselves individually and collectively in both the workshop and in my ability to impart whatever I could to them; taking on the responsibility to listen, engage, then process what they heard from me and others. Now they take what they believe will work for them and apply new ways of thinking and tools into their own interview experiences in the future.

The day concluded and no one ran out the door as typically happens with some groups. In fact, not one of those in attendance even wanted a break in the morning or the afternoon and they wanted a shortened lunch break at midday! It was truly a magical experience for me as a facilitator. If you’re a facilitator you understand how unique and exciting having a group like this is.

Like all great days we have, I wish I could have the same experience day after day. This was the kind of experience for me where I could feel my own energy sustained and fueled constantly and that led me to give more in return to match their enthusiasm. The same experience can be seen at a concert where the audience is so demonstrative in their admiration for the act that the performers put out more energy and play longer, invest more and everyone goes home thinking, “Wow, that was something!”

Here’s another thought though. Just as a band sometimes plays a gig for less than a sold out audience, theatre groups put on a show for half the house or less, facilitators likewise should in my opinion give it their all no matter what size of group is before us. Who knows; those 7 people who came to this workshop may spread the experience they had, telling others who in the future give it a shot and find it works for them too. Maybe, who knows?

I honestly think that I personally didn’t do much different yesterday than I do every time I run that workshop. It was I believe the chemistry in the room and all of us contributed to that. The one thing we collectively brought was a positive attitude and a willingness to be open to the ideas of others.

May you too have many of these moments to experience!

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