Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Blues

Lots going on lately. When I get home from work, even if I don't feel completely exhausted, I am lacking the motivation to do the things I usually do. The strange thing is that things are going really well. I am enjoying my job, I am learning new things, I have been spending more time with the family, which is fun. I have been paying off bills and refinancing the house with a great rate (3.75% for 20 vs. 30 years). I have been helping the girls with homework and helping them learn how to cook some new recipes. I'm healthy. I'm happy. So why am I having such a hard time doing things like laundry, cleaning, and deciding on a course of action for my career?

I have had a couple of interviews in the past couple weeks, BTW. They went well. One of the jobs is a permanent one that I think I would be a good fit for! I am waiting for the recruiter to call me back for a second, on-site interview. She said she'd let me know one way or the other. I HATE WAITING! It has been exactly a week since my phone interview. In addition, I had a phone interview for a contract position today and I have another one on Monday. I'm not as pumped about those, but definitely would take one if offered because I am SO ready for a change!

You know that interview question, "What is your greatest weakness?" Most people say "I work too hard" or "I'm a perfectionist". Those responses have become cliche. So I was trying to come up with something that would work better and be honest without having to shoot myself in the foot. I think I figured it out. I can't make up my mind about which "passion" to choose!

The reality is that I would be happy with most any job that allowed me to challenge myself, learn new things and where I was treated with respect. I have applied for a wide variety of jobs over the past month: some technical, some management, some that involve specific customer service roles, some that focus on education or training. I am sure that, assuming I have the skill set the employer is looking for, I would thrive in any of these areas. Yet, which one do I choose? It would help me to focus on one area because then I could really study up for the interview and not be scattered all over the map. One could argue that if I really have the skill set that the job calls for, I don't need to do much "studying up", just be ready to answer general interview questions and provide specific examples of my experience and how I have helped my current employer be successful. Well, yes and no...

The technical interview, in particular, is hard for me to prepare for because there are such a wide variety of questions they could ask. Today, for example, I was asked some basic questions about troubleshooting client issues, and I thought of about a million different things I could have said better after the interview was over. No two technical interviews will ask the same questions, so how do I prepare without freaking myself out? Talking about myself is not my strong suit. Interviews make me nervous and then I tend to ramble.

The way I plan to approach it is this: I am going to study the most for the one I want the most (which is not technical). In the meantime, I will continue to do technical interviews (mostly for contract positions) to get a feel for where my skill set really is, and where the holes in my knowledge are. That way, I will have the best chance of performing well for the job I really want, yet still have an idea of what I need to do to score a technical job. Oh, and I will use visualization, as I think that really helps.

Maybe it's the stress of interviewing that is making me so tired. Tomorrow is my 21st anniversary (YEA!) and Steve is taking me and the girls to a house on the beach. His parents and their friends will be there. It should be nice, but I have been kind of reluctant to go because I am tired, I want to study for my interviews, and I am not sure that's the best place to spend an anniversary. (Everyone who knows me knows I hate cold weather, and the beach is not warm even in August). However, I feel a little guilty about the whole thing because it is a nice thought, and I will likely have a good time.

I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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