Ask For Feedback

Today’s Lesson: Ask For, and Listen To, Feedback

This morning I had an impactful phone call. I wrote a tweet about it, then realized that I needed two tweets, then kept going. At some point, I realized, “I’ve already written this many, I might as well keep going.”

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

It turned into a 17-tweet series that is very bloggable, that’s what follows below. My only edits after copying and pasting were to add some commas before “buts”. Although I try to be diligent with grammar & spelling on Twitter, I still occasionally mess with punctuation and abbreviate to save characters:

1. Recently, I had a few 2nd phase job interviews that I thought had gone well, but I didn’t get invited to move to the next phase. I asked people from 2 of those for feedback meetings.
2. One didn’t respond, the other had a call with me today. It was enlightening. I suspected that my interview skills needed improvement, now I know.

3. I wish I could go back in time, but hopefully, I’ll kick ass next time. And remember to shake hands at the end. (Apparently, I’d left it awkward for 2 of 3 interviewers.)

4. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in a professional setting, so I think I tend to be too casual and speak as if I’m speaking to friends, without the swearing (though occasionally, I do toss in a swear word, after pausing to consider it).

5. Also, as confident as I sounded, some of the things the woman told me made me realize that my insecurities were influencing my answers. Too bad. I really liked the organization & the people I spoke to & the location.

6. Next time I’ll do better. At age 43 (as of that blip of time between today and tomorrow — #LeapYearBaby ), I’m willing to learn and improve.

7. I think I need to blog this series of tweets. I have 3500 followers, but few ever engage with my tweets, and I suspect that a small number actually use Twitter anymore.

8. I’ll put this blog post ahead of the other 4 or 5 that are rolling around in my head because hey, it’s already written. Yay for repurposing content.

9. As I turn 43, I’m going to put myself out there more and shine on my OWN rather than stand behind someone, occasionally peering out. As my guides/angels told me last November, step out of the shadow and into my greatness, stop hiding & step into the light.

10. Now I’ve got too many thoughts for a Twitter thread, and it’s stepping on the blog post that I’ve been writing in my head about not having a singular goal or passion to work towards, but hey, when inspiration strikes, it strikes.

11. I’m writing, whether on a self-hosted blog, on @Medium or on Twitter. — BTW, the reference I made two tweets ago to inner guidance has its own blog post here.

12. I hope people read this thread and enjoy it, but if not, it feels good just to write and express myself through words. That’s something I’m passionate about but don’t do daily.

13. Sometimes the volume of words and thoughts in my head that I want to share publicly are overwhelming. This might or might not be an #ADHD trait. (No single experience or feeling is something that people who identify a certain way have exclusive rights to. We’re all people.)

14. Going back to the earlier tweets in this thread, there’s a lesson here: Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, even if you fear what you might be told. This is very much a case of FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

15. I very briefly had the thought of “I suck” after the followup meeting, but I quieted it. Feedback helps us learn & grow. I think that this is one of those things that life experience — and the resulting self-awareness — has taught me.

16. I could have built up the upcoming feedback in my mind w/ negative thoughts but chose to remain neutral. I chose to feel okay and listen with an open mind. I took notes on paper, typed them on screen & added action items for the future based on what I’d learned.

17. To summarize: 1) Asking for & getting job interview feedback is super helpful. 2) Don’t be afraid to ask, even if you think you might hear something you don’t want to. 3) I’m ready to shine. The end.