I had an interview scheduled last week for a short-term market research project. While I was qualified for the position, I wondered how to handle questions about one area in which I didn’t have much experience. Unfortunately, that seemingly harmless thought launched a litany of self-doubt. Thankfully, while journaling last weekend, I asked myself more meaningful questions.
Why does a company hire someone for short-term market research? I could easily answer that question: often because its business isn’t doing well. Knowing that I was uncovering something important, I dug a little further. Why does a company hire someone only on a short-term basis? My answer: usually because they don’t have a budget to hire a full-time (and often much-needed) resource.
Suddenly, I sympathized with the vice president who was to interview me. She must be under a lot of pressure, I thought. And she was probably worried about the company, maybe even her own job. In a moment, I discovered that I could go to the interview seeing from her perspective. Then I understood that by empathizing and connecting with her not on only a business level, but also a human level, the interview would be a success—whether or not I got the job.
Don’t get me wrong: part of me was definitely excited about having the short-term contract. But the idea of approaching this interview from a place of compassion and empathy felt so completely different, I knew it was simply right. I asked for the best outcome for the woman I had never met and for me. Along with that request, I set an intention to remain open, to trust whatever that outcome might be. After releasing the interview and the position, I was in this strange Zen-like space for the rest of the weekend: I would be fine if I got the job, and fine if I didn’t.
On Monday morning, the recruiter called to inform me that their client had canceled the entire contract. I was tempted to be disappointed, but couldn’t ignore the fact that I had released this situation in its entirety just two days earlier. The universe had simply responded. When I later saw a job posting at the same company for a newly created full-time position, I could easily imagine the vice president’s relief of getting what she needed all along. And that synchronicity reminds me that the universe is providing the same for me.