For most people, a job interview is something you have to do only periodically throughout your career. It’s that nerve-wracking moment where you’re sized up asked ambiguous questions about your teamwork and professional skills and then ultimately judged as to whether what you’re offering is worth hiring. Even if you’re fortunate enough to snag the job, there’s yet another challenge of settling into a new environment, building a relationship with your boss, and being seen as the “new guy” on the team for quite a while. This whole experience is not something most people would willingly choose to do every month and certainly not every day.
But entrepreneurs do.
I often joke that as an entrepreneur, every day I wake up unemployed. Obviously, this isn’t entirely true as commonly my clients are not just day to day, but at the start of any month, they make the choice to hire me by continuing their services. Imagine how different a job would be if every month your boss had the opportunity to re-hire you, pause your work or end it altogether. It’s a different career experience for sure – but hey, that’s what I’m after. It keeps me on my toes, always wanting to do my best and prove my worth. This, along with pitching to new clients, has also helped me become more comfortable and confident with interviews.
When I pitch to prospective clients, it’s usually a one-on-one meeting where I talk about my career experiences, my strengths and most importantly try to form a deeper connection with them and their business. For all intents and purposes—this is an interview. They need to see if my skills align with their needs, if I’ll be a good fit for their company culture and if they generally like and trust me. And similar to an interview, the fear of rejection will never fully go away because my desire for acceptance and validation is inherent. The pitching/interviewing part of my job is not the easiest but it’s one of the most necessary for growth.
Being an entrepreneur technically makes me self-employed (at least that’s how I fill out my taxes), but I’ve found that while this does make me my own boss, it makes each of my clients my boss as well. This means that on any given day I may have upwards of 12 people asking me to do something. Because of this, much of the success of my business is dependent upon two things: 1) How well I can prioritize my tasks and 2) How efficiently I can complete them. Unlike a salaried position, I have full incentive to work quickly and take on as many clients as I can. Increasing my clients may mean increasing my “bosses” but it also means multiple paychecks.
When I hear someone say they have to go for an interview I often get nervous for them and think how glad I am I don’t have to do that. But then I stop and realize that I do; every day is an interview for me. And while this career choice may bring limited stability, it also brings endless possibilities.