Yesterday I had another job interview yet there were hints telling me this would not be just another interview. The first tip to it, was the mail I got, this was the second appointment for said interview as the first one got canceled as the interviewer couldn’t make it to town (I learned this later), it was a very short one stating we should meet just naming a Starbucks and a street, my reply was just as short confirming my attendance. While this seems quite normal the question came to me while I was in the shower -What do you wear for an interview in a Starbucks- at that very moment I found myself holding the razor, I usually shave before an interview though this time I was hesitant, for a moment I thought to myself -heck I am who I am, why would I shave- but I knew the answer very well, I knew the rules of the game (or so I thought); a clean shave, a suit, tie and a paper that reads in the most fancy way all the stuff you’ve ever done and leaves out all the things you wish to do for the sake of fitting a profile. Still my mind insisted -you do not wear a suit for an appointment in Starbucks- there I noticed that, after working for almost 3 years for a company where you suit every day, unsurprisingly my wardrobe consisted of only suits and nothing for the occasion.
About one hour later I arrived to the coffee shop, yes, a clean shave, a suit and a tie. There I met with my -would be boss- a relaxed person from overseas who runs by himself a branch of the company here in Mexico and the first person to ever just speak the truth, the oh so common pretension of formality (borderline sacred), was for the first time I’ve ever seen, broken. The person before me not only was treating me as an equal but also telling me a story about success and honesty, which truthfully are two words I never thought to see in the same sentence when it comes to the business world. Listening to him was like a walk through the forest, fresh ideas blowing on my face as he completed the scenery of the company and the work he expected me to do. For a moment I found it hard to believe but I was so excited that I doubt it lasted more than a second.
For instance he pushed aside the idea of hiring someone that already has x years of experience, instead he said that they’re used to learn what is needed, pretty much like Google does, he said that specializing is a high cost to a ever changing market and that they needed people that can learn on the go, I couldn’t help but laugh and remark how unbelievable people from Human Resources would find this idea. He looked at me with a surprised gaze and then told me about how when he was hired the only person that voted against him was from HR, because he moved his hands a lot and this was a bad signal.
At that point I thought I had it, I mean it usually goes that way when you manage to joke in the same direction. However he was still uncertain about honesty. So I asked myself -what is wrong here, we agree in everything-, I took a moment to ponder things and then I realized it was I who didn’t make sense. My resume had a lot of references to skills sought in the market, my appearance stated that I knew very well the formal process of a job and my previous jobs described the career of someone seeking for the “stability” of a big company, but none of that said a word about myself, about who I really am or how I think.
I recall that from day one I thought that if you want to be successful in a game that already has the rules established then you need to know the rules, that’s how I first started wearing suits and ties and when it came to resumes I helped more than 10 friends to get their jobs by pimping their resumes. So now I come back to the phrase “we are what we do” and I look at myself and I notice why I don’t have the job I dream for, why I feel so misfit and as usual I realize that I did this on my own, and as harsh as it can be to realize our own mistakes, it comes with the hope of knowing what to change. I write this with hopes to someday look back at it from the chair of my dream job.