– erica pantle, varsity swimming head coach, LHS
So, I’ve been through a job interview or two…or three, or four, or like fifty-six. My generation, especially in big tech-savvy cities like San Francisco, is very well known for bouncing from job to job, typically never staying longer than a year or two at the same company. It’s often frowned upon, particularly by my parents and their friends. Well, hey! That’s me too! Except here’s the thing, I don’t frown upon it. I actually really value and embrace the crazy lows and highs I’ve had in the business world – some incredibly enjoyable, and others, well…they’ve taught me a lot. A LOT. But that’s besides the point. The point is, I feel like I’m starting to master the art of interviewing & networking, leading to usually landing jobs in record time. It’s rather fun, I must say. Also on the plus side, I have finally, FINALLY, moved past that nervous pit sweat that you get during those nerve-wracking interviews. Word to other sweaty interviewers out there – always wear a top that is black. I’ve had to do the awkward arm-stuck-to-your-body-so-you-don’t-see-this-awfulness goodbye handshake on more than one occasion. It’s mortifying.
Anyway, some of the best advice I have ever received, in the professional sense, was from a very good friend/mentor/personal training client (shoutout to the amazing Karen!). She said “Lindsey, never, ever stop talking to people. I want you to have a ton of things going on or in motion ALL the time.” Well Karen, be proud. At this point I have so many balls in the air I could be a world class circus juggler. So thanks. 🙂 Even if you have a job, one you might love, never stop networking. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I have opened up for myself just by keeping in touch with people consistently, making an effort to be outgoing and talkative, saying YES to things, and always thinking about the next step.
Her advice has also helped me in my goal to conquer being fearless. In the three years I have been back in SF after leaving Backroads – which deserves an entire blog of it’s own – I have worked at a few different start-ups and thus interviewed with countless people, and my personal elevator pitch has somehow evolved into “I am fearless.” And people seem to like that! I think fearlessness stems from improving self-confidence, getting over a fear of rejection, and building emotional “forza”. It’s something that takes practice, and it takes being conscious of what is actually going on inside your body when you experience times of anxiety. Being fully aware and acknowledging your reactions is a very enlightening practice. What I’ve come to learn is that the reality we make is only in our head. For example, when thinking about reaching out to gyms to get my teaching career started, I could have very easily told myself “no, why would they hire a recently certified instructor?”. It’s that self-confidence thing. When you approach opportunities with a strong head and are confident in your abilities, doors fly open. FLY.
One of the best books I have ever read, and still come back to sometimes, is called ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer (see it here). It teaches about these things and so much more. Aside from using it in my professional growth, I’ve been able to apply it to every single aspect of my life. Choosing to push the limits, stand up for your true self, and constantly improve who you are takes guts, it really does. It’s just so easy to remain status-quot and go about your day to day, to give in to the no-stress, fun way out…and hey, we all have days we are feeling either lazy or unmotivated or frustrated. But remember that YOU chose your life. Nobody else can make things happen for you…and if you want my advice, well, it’s going to be recycled but here goes – do one thing EVERY day that gets you just a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Or, as my high school swim coach used to say, “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. Get out of your own head and remember that your reality is what YOU make of it, and not what other people do TO you. So choose to create happiness, choose to live healthily…choose to run for just 20 minutes instead of sitting on your computer!…and finally, choose to live life fearlessly, one small step at a time. I promise you won’t regret it!