Say What You Mean

Sometimes we just need a little push to say exactly what we mean. The results can surprise us.

Twelve years ago, I was working in retail management at a little shop in the mall with a great group of women. My husband and I had just had our second child and were just getting settled in our new town. Both he and I were working crazy hours and our schedules conflicted more than once.

JB Girls2As our girls got closer to school age, I knew I needed to find a job with normal hours. I wanted to be available on the weekends and in the evenings. I quietly began searching for a new job. I printed countless resumes and filled out numerous applications. I was excited and motivated to start this new chapter in my life.

As the search stretched from days to weeks and weeks to month, I questioned myself at great lengths. What am I doing wrong? Am I making a good impression? Am I interviewing well? Why didn’t I get a call back? I was really getting frustration with the job search and decided to take a chance on a job that may have been out of my reach. The ad was for a Human Resource Manager/Controller at a medical facility. At the time, I had some experience in both areas but I would not say that I was seasoned.

Amazingly, I received a call for an interview. They had hired someone for the Human Resource Manager/Controller but were looking for a Staff Accountant. Was I interested in interviewing?

I can do this

I interviewed with two women, the CEO at the time and the staff accountant. The interview went well but towards the end I felt the wind down as they implied my experience was not quite what they had hoped for. I wasn’t going to let this fall through my fingers. At the conclusion of the interview, I held my head high as I stated “I can do this. If you give me a chance, I will prove it to you.”

I feel incredibly lucky that my CEO took a chance on me that day. I did prove it to her and am glad I made the proclamation as I don’t think I would have been given the chance had I not.

In what ways has saying what you mean benefited you? Share them in the comments.

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  1. Right on the mark. Every promotion I have received in my own career was one that I asked for directly, they were not offered first. I can think of four of these occasions. Also most good things, and positive changes, happen in life because a person is willing to take some risk. On the other hand consider the old saying “be careful what you wish (ask) for” – because you are very likely to get it.

    1. It only took me about 30 years to get to a point in my life to feel like I could say that! The exasperation I was feeling after a long and unsuccessful job search and my desire for change fueled the fire a bit also. Thank goodness! Who knows where I would be otherwise!

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