Song and Dance

Thanks to everyone who gave me such wonderful advice before on interviews. I mentioned I'd have the opportunity to try it all out before long and indeed I did. In this case it was a job fair. One of the most nervous gatherings of people anywhere. A lot of young college grads who were inexperienced both in job skills but also in talking to recruiters.

I had gone to this job fair two years ago and felt crushed and demoralized after. My lack of experience, my confusing job status then, and my own self-confidence issues meant I did poorly. This time I started with my notes and did what several of you great commenters on here suggested. I practiced, practiced, practiced my self pitch and pumped myself up a little before each chat.

I got positive feedback from almost everyone I talked to. Of course in this economy that doesn't mean a whole lot but it was nice to feel like I'm on track. Like the sacrifices of the past couple years and the hard work and the drive and determination might just pay off. If not today, then soon.

It's not easy for me to project a self confidence I don't always feel. As a child I had much less caution or shyness in my life. Watching Michael Jackson's This Is It is an especially touching movie for me. I know many viewed MJ as changing and creepy and many other things. But for me he was and will always be the King of Pop. His songs inspired me to dance without self consciousness in front of the TV or the radio.

Sometimes I wish I could grab that younger me and take some of the energy and fearlessness into the future me. But it's enough that when I hear his music I want to dance and I feel the welling of joy within me. I get that same feeling from good times with my family and excitement in looking forward to future days well spent with those I love. But it's nice to have the music that brings my back to my youth and naivety before the scars and wounds of corporate America. But I survived this round of the gauntlet and will see if I can continue on to the next and higher level in the weeks and months ahead.


  1. Anonymous22:12

    *moonwalks across the screen for you*

    I have never been to a job fair. I imagine your last experience (your first?) was probably a crash course, and that you learned from it. Interviewing is the best experience for interviewing. Keep practicing, you'll be fine.

    For your younger self:

  2. I like to practice talking to people at places where it "doesn't count" - on the train, at the supermarket, etc. Or even at academic shmooze-fests that aren't in my field (e.g., some gathering of historians or something). Really the trick is to come across as a friendly, intelligent person - not a saleswoman.

    Also, it's ok if some interactions fail. Some people you won't have good rapport with, and that's ok. You just do your best and try again next time. Eventually one will stick.