I saw my middle-aged self when I interviewed another middle-aged person, it’s deflating.
I had an interview yesterday, and I am a little bit surprised by how I felt about it afterwards. I have been thinking about the experience a lot.
I think this was because of the way he behaved was so representative of all the candidates that shared similar backgrounds and or where they are at in their respective careers: 30+ years of managerial experience, the top dogs in their companies, etc…
This man was about 50 years old. He has had a really successful career. He was made General Manager before he was 30, and continued to work for various multi-national companies at very senior positions.
He listened poorly. I felt everytime we asked a question, or opened up a topic, before we would finish the question, he would already come up with his own view of what the question was. It was almost like he has made up his mind way too soon every single time. It was almost like he concluded “Yea I know where you are going” before we even started.
His answers were convoluted, long winded, and hard to follow. He was explaining so much, as if he had to share all his perspectives … or to cover all grounds, just in case.
He gave us this feeling, “I have seen it all, so I am only looking for something truly meaningful.”
He would never tell us what he truly thinks and feels. “It’s good luck, or bad luck.” “China was a promise and a disappointment.” “Some says it’s a blessing, some says its a curse.” I felt he did this because he wanted to appear considered and balanced. They all have these ridicolously watered down views of almost everything. I felt he had an almost desperate need to contain and include all perspectives … maybe this is how he truly thinks and feels. I also felt he was afraid to have, and or share his own point of views.
Yet he also categorised and judged. He was very opinionated. “Indians are better programmers.” “Those young managers.” “I am here to change them.” “Big corporations are always greedy.”
He also was the victim often. “I could not do what I truly want to do, because busiensses are afterall businesses. I am not saying this was wrong, but I want to find a place where I could do what I want to do.” (Darn it. I say shit this all the time.)
As a result, he appeared bitter, negative, preachy, stuck, scared and utterly boring. He is stubborn, he can’t/doesn’t know how to debate and discuss. He is bored. He is afraid. He is lost.
Perhaps, this is what mid life crisis looks and feels like.
I will work as hard as I could to not become that, and I have 10 years.