Many years and a lifetime ago… when I lived and worked in London… and had a social life… and… a career, I met up with a friend to celebrate some exciting news. After an excruciating interview process involving three rounds of meetings, aptitude testing and a presentation I had been offered my dream job (or at least, what I thought was my dream job at the time). It was a big step up, and an amazing opportunity.
I met my friend (who later became my brother-in-law) in a busy pub after work. I don’t remember exactly where we met, or exactly what we drank, but if I had to guess I’d say we met at the White Lion and we drank pints of beer. Or perhaps it was the Flask and we drank G&T’s. Hmmm. Or was it the Cheddar Cheese (yes that is a real pub) and white wine? Anyway, the details aren’t important; what’s important is the advice he gave me.
We clinked our glasses and talked about all the exciting things the new job would bring; my own office (which turned out to be so lonely), a pay rise, a step up the ladder. But there was a problem. I had “the fear”. Despite the lengthy recruitment process I had a nagging feeling, what if they’d got it wrong? What if I couldn’t do the job they were hiring me for? What if I failed?
My friend listened to my worries and tutted me for being silly. Then he gave me a piece of advice…
“Crodie, you just need to go in there and give it your best shot. Walk in on day one and make a lasting impression. Make them sit up and notice you.”
“Oh yeah” I mused. “And how exactly am I going to that?”
“By juggling pineapples! Walk in on your first day juggling pineapples, no one is going to miss that”
We had a bit of a giggle about it. I could picture myself crossing the foyer of the fancy law firm, dressed up in my brand new suit, a confident smile on my face and all the while juggling pineapples. I thought of it as a metaphor for giving it my best shot, holding my head high and being myself.
It’s a piece of advice that has served me well over the years. Every time I had an interview or started a new job. Every time I had to attend a big social event, make a speech or deliver a presentation. But having spent the best part of the last three years being a stay at home mum, my networking skills are a little dusty.
Tomorrow I am going to my first blogging conference; Nuffnang Blogopolis. I can’t wait! I’ll get to meet my blogging hero’s and hear what they have to say. I’ll be able to put faces to the names of the bloggers I regularly engage with. I’ll spend the whole day with adults talking about something I am really passionate about. I. Am. So. Excited.
But, I’m also nervous. What if I lose my nerve and spend the whole day hiding in the ladies? What if I get star struck by the big guns and turn into a stuttering buffoon? What if I get cold feet? (literally… socks don’t go with my new shoes). What if there’s not enough tea?!
My anxiety is at boiling point… there is only one way forward… one way to guarantee I make a good impression…
So, when you see me tomorrow, don’t be surprised if I’m juggling pineapples.