Two tales of how career bliss came to be:
I had arrived early to my interview and my hair was a mess.
It was raining outside and my hair had configured itself into a a wiry helmet of frizz around my head. I needed the ladies room mirror ASAP.
No such luck.
Building security was tight and I was going to need to be escorted up to a washroom by my interviewer.
The elevators opened and out walked my future boss, Chelsea*. We greeted one another and began our ascent.
“I was hoping to check on my hair before we met because it gets frizzy in this weather,” I confessed.
“Oh, my hair is always frizzy.”
“But I’m the one that’s here for an interview. I think my hair matters more in this case than yours.”
I skipped the mirror check and less than a week later I was offered the job.
After a couple of months on the job, I asked Chelsea why she hired me.
“It’s because you made that joke about your hair. I knew I would love working with you right away.”
It was love at first laugh before the interview had officially even begun.
Never in a gazillion years would I have guessed.
I’m on the phone with a practicum site supervisor to check in on how things are going with Kevin*. I had matched him up with a site that seemed of interest to him, but I knew that the site wasn’t happy with their last student, so I was a little on edge to find out how things were going.
If things were going poorly again before it became irreparable for the student, practicum site, and school relationship, I wanted to know.
“Thank you so, so, so much for Kevin. He’s SO awesome. We’d love to keep him forever!” The site supervisor was practically singing.
I was both pleased and taken aback. Because I had seriously doubted whether or not they would want to take on another student after what happened last time. So I had to ask:
“Why do you like him so much? What skills or qualifications make him so ideal? I’d like to do this again for you next time.”
“We just love him.”
“Anything else? Something specific about him?”
“We just love him.”
“Oh. That’s great.” And it really was. I just didn’t know how I was supposed to convey this in a practicum posting for the upcoming cohort of students entering the program.
And these aren’t the only stories of this kind in my repertoire. Because I like to think of myself as a career bliss specialist – a blissologist if you will in the career counseling field, my inclination has always been magnetized in this direction. And as a professional, my findings have always been consistent:
My findings point to love.
(Yes, without any scientific basis whatsoever, yet completely real nonetheless because I can’t help but ask and people can’t help but tell me!)
And really, it shouldn’t be a surprise but it is because you want a perfectly logical explanation for why you got the job or didn’t get the job forgetting that this realm is entirely human at its core.
Not every aspect of the ritual of finding or creating work can be explained by logic alone.
The deal is this: Interviews are generally granted because the candidate is already deemed competent for the job. The question, the blank, the mystery that remains when an interview is at play is: Can we love each and in doing so create some career bliss here (even just a little bit, but hopefully a lot)?
As a human being, you and everyone that you know would prefer to love who you work with doing what you do for work. No, of course it doesn’t always happen, but it’s possible. And because it’s possible, it’s what you want.
Our culture is great at providing training for everything from busing tables to brain surgery – there’s training for everyone and everything. BUT fit is (inter)personal. It’s chemical. It’s feeling. It’s not about training at this point.
Because when it comes to love and work the reasons are based in the realm of career bliss.
Hard to describe, but then again, if you could say exactly why, it wouldn’t be love.
So the secret to getting hired into career bliss is:
Being utterly you.
Everyone’s happier that way. Especially you.
Where you fuel, re-tool and attune your imagination. Get your soul to work (on purpose). Ruthless compassion. Fierce gentleness. Sassy wisdom. And oodles of insight.