Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't hire me to plan your wedding

I was thinking the other day about what I would say if asked that common interview question – ‘what are your weaknesses as a professional?’

Of course, there is the ol’ – ‘well, I’m just too much of a perfectionist that can’t accept anything until it’s perfect’. But that one can be seen through pretty easily.

If I were to be more honest, perhaps I would talk about something I’ve come to understand more about myself in this last week.

In many ways I am cautious –like when it comes to relationships and opening up to someone. But in many other ways, I like to dive into something and assume that things will work out.

For example, I love travelling without a plan. To me, a key part of the adventure and the fun of getting away from everything is to go somewhere and discover. I love leaping with faith and discovering what will catch me. I don’t even mind some bruises when, at times, I fall.

I also tend to be a ‘big picture’ person – much more interested in puzzling existential questions and human motivations then I am with organizing details.

The combination of these two characteristics does not, it turns out, make me a good event coordinator. I’d be a terrible wedding planner. Not only would I not understand why the couple couldn’t embrace some spontaneity, but I’d fail to appreciate why someone would care very much about the precise colour of the linens or want plan every moment of the day.

But of course, if I was sitting in a job interview, I couldn’t say I’m terrible at details and would rather just be backpacking around the world. I’d have to talk about how I’ve learned to strengthen my weaknesses... and I sincerely believe I have.

For one, admitting the problem is always the first step. I know that the small details are not my forte. But I’ve also learned to work with others for whom the details are extremely important – both to learn from them, and to learn how to work with them. And after the week I’ve just had, I have a whole list of ways I’m learning to do just that.

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