I start my outplacement program, next week, and I’m looking forward to the experience. While I have very little desire to rejoin the traditional world of Corporate Human Resources, I’m hoping that the counselors can correctly diagnose my current feelings of malaise as a phase rather than a state-of-being.

I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I need to earn a living. If I can differentiate between a job and my passion, that would be an excellent first step. I don’t need to be defined by my job, but I do need to cultivate my passion (on the side) if my job only offers a paycheck.

It’s very cliche to say that I’d like to do something entrepreneurial, but I am interested in frame-breaking thinking (as stolen from corporate lingo) and working for a company with a clear mission, vision and values. My outplacement provider will have loads of advice and ideas, I’m sure. Resources. Referrals. Classes. Information. They’ll have it all, and I will try to soak it up since it’s a free service.

After twelve years in Human Resources, half of which was spent in recruiting, I’m at the point in my life where I never want to interview for another job. I’m the worst interviewee because I’m both hypercritical of myself and nonchalant about the results. I absolutely notice my flaws in real-time as the words come out of my mouth, but in the end, I realize that interviewing is less of a science and more of an art. There is no way that 98% of interviews result in thoughtful, accurate hiring decisions. I’ve done this too long to believe that behavior-based interviewing is the answer to questions about a candidate’s knowledge, skills & abilities.

My worst interview EVER was at a small company in Chicago. I was asked to role play (I swear to God) a scene where I played a recruiter who was tasked with acquiring details about an open position. It was a metaphysical exercise, I suppose, and stupid as hell.

“You want me to role play?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” the hiring manager answered.

“No,” I responded. “I can’t do this.”

“Why not?”

“It’s silly and baseless.”

The hiring manager was not happy. She asked, “How else am I supposed to understand if you know how to recruit?”

“Call my references,” I answered after a lengthy pause. I may have given her the Laurie-face.

Funny enough, I got the job.

If I never ever ever ever ever ever ever have to deal with that kind of nonsense in my life again, it will be too soon.

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