In our weekly facilitator chat on Friday…
Shane shared with our team the profound impact that he discovered meditation has had during his process of job interviewing (he isn’t leaving us altogether, just looking to further his career as an insights/implementation consultant – if you any of any leads, get in touch!). We asked him to share his insights with our Centred Meditation tribe in this weeks newsletter, which he graciously agreed to do.
“The last time I interviewed for a job was long before I was a regular meditator. Back in the throes of job interviewing once again, I’ve noticed a stark contrast in the nature of my thoughts, feelings, and actions during the whole process, and I know that this dramatic difference can be attributed to my regular meditation practice.
Here is what I noticed:
I found myself actually embracing stress! I was observing the symptoms and feelings associated with stress coming to the fore and using self-talk to remind myself that this is me preparing for something I want. I want to be focused, vigilant and ready. This stress also encouraged me to prepare my answers thoroughly and be concise about my experience.
During the interview itself:
I noticed a more focused demeanour when answering questions; I wasn’t jumping to conclusions or using the first thing that came to mind. I was able to witness the temptation to start talking without fully thinking, pausing and finding a more relevant answer. And I resisted it successfully!
The time I spent mulling over the interview significantly diminished. In the past I would have had a number of sleepless nights over what I could have / should have said. Whilst these thoughts still popped into my mind from time to time, I quickly recognised in the moment that it wasn’t constructive to mull it over ad nauseam and stopped.
In addition, the self-awareness about my tendency to catastrophise was really heightened: “what if I don’t get the job”, ”what if I have screwed this chance up?” What if I never get a job?” When I caught myself thinking down those lines, I created a safe word: “speculation”, and moved off the subject. I was surprised at how effective this was and over the course of a few weeks I didn’t even have to finish the word “specu….” before I was on to the next thought.
When it came to being unsuccessful, whilst there was clear disappointment and frustration, the feelings were manageable. Plus, they were accompanied with a warm level of self-compassion, which meant that I wasn’t beating myself up about how I should have done better. I was able to be present with these feelings and have the wisdom to know that they will pass. I found that I was able to move on and focus on what’s next quicker than ever.
I came to appreciate throughout this process that job interviews are actually an opportunity to articulate how our personal and professional worlds have shaped who we are. Our jobs and careers make up a large part of our identity. Coupled with the purpose, satisfaction and reward that they bring means that any change to our job isn’t easy to handle and has the potential to be overwhelming and deflating. Yet with the stability, self-awareness, and innate confidence that comes from a regular meditation practice, it can be an empowering and rewarding process too”.