Sometimes, you have to stop overthinking it…and just do it!
As you can see, I don’t write all that much…but every so often, I find myself thinking about the crazy ride I’ve had so far and how I somehow managed to end up exactly where I want to be.
Today is one of those days it seems, so here I am!
About 3.5 years ago I thought I had it all figured out. I moved to Sydney to become an Online Community Manager for a software company, so I could further develop my experience in that field, with the long term goal being that my then “dream company” would eventually hire me.
Quite a lot happened during my time in Sydney, but the key event I want to touch on, is me ultimately losing my job 6 months in.
The truth is, the company just wasn’t the right fit (for both parties) and it was without a doubt the right decision for everyone involved — but at the time, I failed. I was a failure. I let everyone down.
Those thoughts haunted me for the next 2 years — I didn’t (read: couldn’t) focus on the great experience I had or how much I’d learned or how much I’d grown. All that mattered was that I failed. Nothing else.
Every time I applied for a job (or didn’t, for that matter) I second guessed myself and my abilities. “Don’t be silly Tami, you don’t have the experience for that — you would fail, just like last time”.
Ultimately, this mind set resulted in me working in a role that I was more than capable of doing, but that didn’t challenge me or offer me any room for long term growth. It wasn’t amazing — but it was safe.
Flash forward to the end of 2015 when I stumbled across a job ad that really appealed to me. It was like someone had asked me what I was looking for in my next role and then crafted a job ad to my exact specifications.
Naturally, I assumed that I had absolutely no hope in hell of landing it. I applied anyway, but I never heard back from them. This reinforced my negative mind set of “See…I told you so! You had no chance! You suck!”
It turns out that because I was so focused on why they wouldn’t consider me, that I skimmed passed a sentence at the bottom of the ad instructing applicants to create a short audio clip about why they’d be a great fit — and that applications without the clip would be ignored. Doh!
Thankfully “fate” intervened because about a month later the CEO messaged me to let me know that a new role had become available and asked if I’d be interested in applying for it (with the audio clip this time ;)).
At this point, it was the end of the year and I was feeling pretty bummed about myself. I was quite literally stuck in a rut and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. The idea of putting together an audio clip talking about how awesome I am seemed really unappealing and impossible given my frame of mind.
But…there was just something about the role and company. I had to know more.
So, I spent the next few days thinking about how I wanted to approach the audio clip. Do I go for something generic that felt safe? Covering all the things I thought they wanted to hear. Or, do I try and put something more creative together that will help me stand out from the crowd?
Option 1 was to talk about my all rounder personality, relevant experience and what I’d bring to the table. To be honest…I’m falling asleep just thinking about it!
Option 2 was to tell them about an interaction I once had with a customer that changed both of our lives forever — without finishing the story. The goal was to pull them into the story long enough to get them invested…but short enough so that they would have to call me to hear the end of it.
I really wrestled with the decision — would it work? Or would it backfire and make me sound over confident and maybe even a little crazy? Is it weird? Awesome?? What if I risk missing out on this opportunity? Oh god…what if I never get out of this rut? Ahhh!!!
But then it hit me.
I’d just spent the past 1.5 years writing hundreds of cover letters filled with things I thought employers wanted to hear — for jobs that were simply means to an end — jobs I really didn’t care about.
This job was different. I wanted it. The concept behind the company spoke to me on both a professional and personal level — and I had the passion and experience they were looking for.
What I wanted more than anything was to find a company who wanted to hire me – Tami – because I was truly the best person for the job. But how could anyone ever hire the “real me” if I was too afraid to show them who that is?
So, I finally said ‘screw it’ (literally!) and went for option 2.
Apparently that was the best decision I’ve ever made, because I found out 6 months after joining the company that it was the hook in my audio clip that did indeed help me stand out from the crowd…and ultimately landed me the coolest job in the world.
I’m about celebrate my 1 Year Anniversary with these guys and honestly couldn’t be happier. They are my people. My family. And I love them.
Honestly, guys. Sometimes…you have to stop overthinking it…and just do it!