After I graduated from University, I decided to take an extended break to refresh before joining the rat race and beginning my climb up the career ladder, at least that’s what I told people.
What most people didn’t know was that fresh from finishing my final day at University as well as College, I had begun my marathon of applying to various jobs all around the UK.
It started off with applying for 1 or 2 really great jobs a day, but 3 months on, I was at home with my parents, applying to up to 60 jobs a day. I had about 10 different cover letters, 10 different CV’s that I could send to specific work places that I would adjust to match the job perfectly. I even bought a second phone that was meant to be for the purposes of staying organised and preparing myself to be inundated with job offers or at least interviews.
The truth of the matter was I wasn’t getting any call backs… that’s being harsh to myself, out of the 60 jobs a day I was applying to, I was applying to at least 4 or 5 sales jobs that I already knew I would be able to get, just like that. My theory was correct and the only people calling me back were sales reps from companies that no doubt had high staff turnovers.
Now I don’t think I’m too good for a sales job, but there were a lot of aspects of a career in Sales that I greatly disliked and just didn’t see my career headed that way, but when you’ve been unemployed for 3, going on 4 months, and knowing the competition for graduate jobs, you have to keep your options open and be open to anything right?
Day and night I felt my confidence falter and I felt constantly knocked back.
It became a daily thing for me to sit at the dinner table watching my mother create a new mouth watering dish as she performed as my own personal cheerleader.
My mothers daily motivational speech always contained some kind of story about me as a child exhibiting a lot of talent, then she would tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of everything I achieved, then would continue on to how there were loads of jobs and companies out there who would be lucky to have me, then she would end her speech by telling me how there was no pressure on me finding my forever job right away and I should enjoy my time off to be able to relax because there was always time to start working and being a grown up.
I feel like speeches like that can only come from a parent.
Formal interviews nowadays are so standard, but I have been a witness to some strict and difficult interviews that weed out wrong candidates, then you choose the person you think is perfect for the job, but then 1 month off from them being hired you regret every decision you ever made. Whether it’s because they’re lazy, they’re a pathological liar, they’re completely clueless or even if it’s just that their personality is completely wrong for that particular job, if they’re wrong then they’re wrong.
I know interviews are good at separating those who are wrong for the job, from those who are good candidates, but they are NOT full proof.
I also know that nerves can often get the best of us, particularly if you want something bad enough. I don’t think nerves can determine whether someone can be good for a job or not. Just because you’re nervous doesn’t mean that you are incapable of the job, if anything you should commend someone for even showing up if they’re nervous.
Sometimes I don’t trust those who are confident, and sometimes even if someone is confident, they can still be rubbish at a job, or overconfident and do a poor job.
Job interviews are, in my belief, it’s fine if you don’t agree with me, a place where you probably do the worst, in fact interviews for me personally are the worst representation of me, and my abilities.
But! Now stay with me on this…what if you could bring your mother to job interviews?
I feel like mothers for the most part, are our biggest cheerleaders. But not only are they our fans, support system and motivator, they’re also (usually) big on telling the truth. Because only mothers have that sweetly annoying habit of highlighting your flaws but making it into a positive “Jimmy loves staying at home and watching TV, isn’t it great how consistent he is?”
If my Mum came to interviews with me, I know that we would have a pre-interview preparation, we’d both get dressed up, I would show her my outfit and she’d tell me to put something else on, she’d tell me what hairstyle framed my face, and what jacket would make me look more feminine. She’d act like an aerobics instructor and prep me as if she was my coach.
Then at the interview she would insist on making everyone a cup of coffee, she’d make sure everyone was comfortable, and warm enough, it’d probably be at this point that she brings out the freshly baked cake she had laboured over, because she’s convinced she can win people over by her home baked treats, for the record, she is correct. We’d all sit down and have a general chat, my Mother would tell everyone how hard I worked to prepare for the interview and how impressed she was at my navigations of getting us to the office in time. Then we would discuss my CV, my Mum would put her glasses on and survey it as if she was the interviewer. Then when question time came up she would listen intently, whilst I answered each question, my Mum would put her little inputs in how I must have gotten my impressive grasp of the English from my Dad, how my relocating to England from the Philippines meant I was used to change and adapted quickly. The interviewer would probably be impressed by all these stories my Mother was sharing that I would have completely forgotten about. If I faltered in answering a question, my Mother would put a positive spin on things and say my hesitation was because I wanted to give my best answer to highlight my determination to be the best. My mother would be the best representative of me, and even if I felt at a loss some of the difficult questions, interviewers put in to watch you under pressure; my mother would fill the silence with some of my previous achievements.
At the worst case scenario, if it felt like I wasn’t winning them over, my mother would fight for my case and tell them what kinds of qualities I had that they couldn’t be without, she would make my skills in Karaoke and drain unblocking transferrable into any situation. We would discuss her past work history and they’d be really impressed at how hard she worked and how dedicated she was, and if they didn’t offer her the job right there and then, then they would assume I inherited her work ethic and probably offer me the job.
If they didn’t? Well then my Mum would insist on us preparing for the next big interview, and tell me how we would get them next time.
This blog doesn’t just fit with the mum role, it’s also for grandma’s, grandpa’s, dad’s, uncles, aunties, NOT sisters or brothers….
So the moral of the story is, the best representative of you is your Mother, and if you bring her to your interview, she may be your lucky charm and can wow the interview for you. They may be very impressed at how family orientated you are? If not, they may think you’re really weird, but at least it saved you from being sat in an awkward conversation for an hour…
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,