February 20, 2021
About ten years into my career, I was nominated for a major award in my district. Several other educators were also nominated, and I knew that the candidate field was strong.
I can’t begin to express how honored and excited I was to make it to the final round! At that point, I wanted it so bad that I prepared for hours, even staying up all night before the final interview to rehearse my responses.
Here we go!
I could feel my heart pounding already. Wanting to make a great first impression, I walked into the lobby 35 minutes early. The receptionist told me to have a seat. Now, I could slow the heart rate with deep breaths and more mental preparation.
The receptionist sat down right beside me and started small talk.
NO! Not now!
Why is she trying to get to know me? Doesn’t she know that I have a huge boardroom interview in a few minutes? This might not be the best time to make a meaningful connection.
About a year later, I realized that she was actually part one of “the interview” process. Perhaps she wanted to see if I had people skills.
Over time, I have learned that “the interview” is actually happening in every conversation and in every interaction every day.
How I live my everyday life is an interview for the next opportunity…
To serve others. Not to win an award, get a job, or to get something for myself, but to do the right thing.
Blogger’s Note: While I didn’t win the award, the lessons learned were eternally rewarding. To this day, I address receptionists by their name and recognize them by their title: Director of First Impressions. To this day, I am reminded how much every person matters. Every person is worthy of your best. Every piece in the puzzle plays a part. To this day, I am reminded to prepare my heart before I practice my part.