You are sitting politely across the interviewer and the conversation has been going well. Well, enough. Then you are asked one of those meant-to-be-uncomfortable questions that you have to navigate carefully when responding. For instance, they may very well ask “why did you leave your job with agency X?” You grimace internally and hope it didn’t show on your face. You then answer “Well, it was time as I had grown to my full scope there.” Or you may answer with some other lame, vague non-offensive excuse for your departure. Although, deep down you have a while other set of answers.
There have been a number of times where I have been tempted to answer by saying “well, sometimes you have to get off the plane even if it is mid-air.” Sometimes, you hope for that figurative parachute which can become a literal one if you are a high-powered Silicon Valley or Wall Streeter. Sometimes, you don’t even care if you free fall without a parachute you just know you had to jump off the plane. Am I right?
I have images of myself pulling a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible stunt where I somehow managed to navigate my free fall. However, the feeling of a free fall is worth your integrity and dignity. Now that says something when flailing about 30,000 feet in the air is more dignified than staying put. Sadly, not many people these days opt for that route despite all the supposed lip service to living only once and telling it like it is mantras.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many that mistakenly go for that free fall when they shouldn’t. Often that happens when people let their ego take complete control of their being. Freud, my friends, would be loving these times. He would probably unjustifiably but typically because of his name status, be getting millions in NIH research grants. (That’s me making fun of my fellow academic psychologists as we all know the system is rigged. Ok. Do I sound like Trump? Sorry this side note has become it’s own thing. Moving on).
The crux of the matter is to find that sweet spot where you can take a justified free fall and feel confident on the eventual landing. These days in the media, there are a lot of free falls and a lot of people staying put not because of honor but because they are like deer frozen in their spot. Thus, sometimes before getting off the plane you just have to unstuck yourself mentally. You need to push your mind to see beyond that one moment and need to be able to move past fear of the unknown and not stay comfortable in the fear of the current known.