I’m reading a great book right now. It is one I had not heard of before a colleague started a book club. It’s called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
We have our meeting on Chapter One tonight, but I’m indulging in reading Chapter Two at the moment, and it’s about failing.
This is on my mind because right now at work we are getting ready to work with some trials who want to be hired. It flashes me back to when I was a trial almost six years ago and had a day filled with failure.
To get this job as a Happiness Engineer (customer/tech support for WordPress.com), I had to apply, go through an interview, work on a project assigned to me, have another interview, then I had to go through two days of intense training then actually do the job for up to six weeks (a time during which I could have been told at any moment that I was not the right fit — or I could have told Automattic that they were not the fit for me, and I would have stopped). At the end of that time, I had one final 3-hour interview. Then I was hired. Whew!!!
One of the best things that has ever happened to me.
But trial was really daunting. The more I did the job, the more I realized I loved it, and I would have been devastated to not get it. Initially I was hoping for an income doing something with my talents. But it turned into something even more important during that trial time. It was a connection with colleagues and with customers that I didn’t want to let go.
And I nearly ruined it all one day during that trial.
I still don’t know what happened, but I had an off day. I communicated poorly, I gave wrong answers, I researched incorrectly. Basically any way I could mess up — I did. It’s actually impressively mind-boggling in retrospect to see how much I messed up.
Yet there is a very high probability that the day that went so awry was the catalyst to my being hired. There is strength in vulnerability. I can attest to that.
I had my weekly trial meeting with the hiring team, and they asked me about the day. When they asked what happened, I said that I didn’t know. I just messed up. They asked what I was going to do about it, and I told them I had already done it. I had gone back and contacted each person I gave a wrong answer to/mis-communicated with and apologized and gave them the correct information.
It wasn’t a great situation, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been hired if I continued to have regular days like that. But it showed that I was human, that I was honest, that I work hard, and I can be humble. Probably all good qualities.
That is what this book talks about. It’s important out of work, too (my thoughts — not in the book). With relationships, it’s so important to admit when we are wrong — to be vulnerable enough to tell others we love that we were out of line.
A friend of mine wrote a post today that ties right into this topic. And I don’t even think she is reading the same book. Haha. Perhaps her post subconsciously inspired me to write this one. I didn’t think about her post until I got this far down in mine, but it’s actually an ideal tie-in to all I am saying and is a perfect closer to my writing. Her post is entitled Awesome things about being wrong. I encourage you to check it out.