A Compassionate New Year

In my coaching, @InterviewCoachM, clients frequently show up with a very poor opinion of their skills. They are quick to talk about their faults as they see them; how poorly they control nerves, how awful their voice sounds, how their mind goes blank whilst presenting or interviewing.  Compassion towards self is singularly lacking.

If you are looking to become a better public speaker, first acknowledge those fears.  Allow yourself preparation time before your next speaking event and include rehearsals in which you practise reading your script out loud. Take the time to mark your script for key points so you know what to emphasise in your delivery.  Be patient of any glitches, and learn from them.

So before you set resolutions, start by having some compassion for you. You need to know that you are on your own side, and that first and foremost you approve of yourself – warts and all.

Resilience for Interview

If you’re re-engineering your career then the chances are you’ll be doing a number of interviews.  It can tough out there, especially if you son’t have a good coach//partner/best friend/auntie, to support you.  First of all there’s the application to negotiate.  You may well find yourself dusting down school certificates and revisiting awards.  That in itself can bring in uncomfortable reminders about the passing of time, goals achieved and goals still to achieve. Once you’ve sent the application on time, to the right place, there’s the agony of waiting.  Incredible as it seems some major institutions – complete with HR departments –  don’t automatically acknowledge receipt of applications  (Unless of course you are invited for  interview…. and I thought that laissez faire approach was peculiar only to the acting profession).  And then there’s the interview itself, the outcome of which may go in your favour.  Or not.  All in all it can be quite a journey.  And to cap it all if you do get the job you may well have concerns about your ability to fulfil new challenges and expectations (Am I good enough? The Imposter Syndrome).  The hurdles it seems, just keep on appearing.

All of this requires new found resilience, something we don’t really know we possess ironically,  until we put it to the test.  Our ability to bend, stretch and then bounce back into our original shape can only happen under pressure.  How many of us are going to voluntarily sit down and audit our skills, re-write our own stories, re-connect with past colleagues for referees and then put ourselves through tough interviews unless we have deadlines and are committed to change.  So the end in effect justifies the means.  And that’s even if you don’t get the job.  Guaranteed by the end of the process you will know more about who you are, how you work under pressure, and what you really want. Plus you will have re-connected with a support network and have a honed, audited version of your skills from your working life so far.  Which you can then take with you to the next challenge.