Navigating Professional Storms
Remember that job interview where you walked out feeling empowered, not belittled?
That was me last week, and today, I want to share the story behind it. I recently felt excited about a potential collaboration with an agency. After a promising initial chat, a second call initiated by them left me navigating a storm I didn't expect.
As a journalist, I take pride in my objectivity and openness to constructive feedback. Copious note-taking is second nature to me, and I approached the conversation with a genuine willingness to learn and improve. Faults were pointed out – some valid, others seemingly designed to poke holes for the sake of it. I absorbed it all, diligently listening as the discussion unfolded.
Then came the moment that shifted the entire dynamic: "You can't afford us,” followed by muttering underneath his breath, “We don't want to work with you!" A statement that struck a nerve, igniting a response from me: "How do you know what I can and can't afford? My budget was never discussed with your colleague." A few minutes of uncomfortable silence followed, and then came the apologies. He soon backtracked, saying, "Well, maybe if we worked together. How much can you..." It was a moment that required a deep breath, and I eventually realized that the call wasn't productive or heading anywhere positive. It was a powerful moment of self-assertion and a reminder of the importance of standing one's ground.
Reflecting on the experience, two key lessons emerged:
1. Stay Vigilant: No matter how comfortable you become in the trajectory of a professional relationship, it's crucial to remain vigilant. I let my guard down, assuming the second call would be the same as the first, but it was a stark indication that, in the world of business, surprises — both positive and negative — are always lurking around every corner.
2. Detach, Learn, Grow: I realized I had become too emotionally attached to this new venture, blurring lines. Passion is vital, but healthy detachment can be equally important. This uncomfortable encounter became a chance to assert myself but also highlighted the need for healthy boundaries.
Who knows what exactly triggered the discomfort on the other end of the call — whether it was my professional endeavors, my identity, or the nature of my work around cancer survivorship which can sometimes be triggering.
What matters is that I stood my ground professionally and asserted my worth personally.
Have you ever faced a challenging situation that led to unexpected growth? Share your story in the comments below – let's learn to support each other through these professional storms.
Empower your well-being. Weekly wisdom for your "three brains" head 🧠 heart 💓 gut 🤰. Click 🤍 button to spread the love. Share the wisdom to help inspire others! 👇