The Whispers sang this line. Ali MacGraw told Ryan O'Neill a variation of this in the movie called Love Story. The Simpsons even twisted these words at times. "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is the title of this blog article. Why? After all, it is February, and we celebrate Valentine's Day, Black History Month, and Heart Month (among other celebrations) during this time of year. So, why you ask?
The quote obviously references love & relationships and we get that. But, let's consider this from the perspective of doing what you love. Let's look at some Celebrities and what they love to do. I've never heard any successful person apologize for doing what they love, have you? Why should they? (Unless of course they did something immoral or illegal and an apology is in order, then it absolutely makes sense to.)
Imagine the most famous people in the world saying sorry for their accomplishments:
Tiger Woods: I apologize for winning over $115,048,837 while playing Golf, the sport I love!
Justin Bieber: I'm sorry for the 10,000,000 views of my homemade music videos purely from word of mouth!
Prince: I apologize for winning seven Grammys and using stage names and nicknames such as; Jamie Starr, Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind, and Christopher!
Marc Zuckerberg: Friends, I just wanna take this time to post my apologies for making $9.4 Billion before I turned 30 years old, AND for getting 86,171,784 likes on Facebook!
Oprah: I'm so, so sorry for being Number 151 on the Forbes 400 Richest People in America and Number 11 on the World's 100 Most Powerful Women list. And, let me apologize for being known only by my first name - just like Prince, Madonna, Cher, Magic, Beck, Bono, Shakira, Seal, and Eminem.
Need more proof that Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry?
Let me ask you this: How did your last job interview go?
Did you downplay your success? Did you find yourself "explaining away" the reason why you left a job prematurely? Did you find yourself feeling like you needed to explain that Military Spouses relocate and move with the person who is protecting our rights and freedom? Did you find yourself responding to interview questions with some sort of apologetic answer as to why this or that happened? Did you find yourself somehow making excuses in order to explain the realities or sometimes harsh realities related to military service? You love the military, so why do you feel this way during an interview? Ok, maybe military service can be a sort of a like/dislike relationship at times, but I'm here to tell you that one day you will miss it.
This uneasy feeling and urge to explain or apologize happens all the time in interviews. I guess the best way to describe what I'm talking about here is that you kinda walk away from a job interview unsure as to how you did. You might be thinking, "Man, I don't know how that interview went!" But, you should never feel ashamed or find it necessary to apologize for how military service disrupted your career path. Some things are out of your control and holes in your work history or resume must be dealt with carefully so that you can stay in the running for the job you're after. You loved your military job, you loved the military lifestyle, you should be proud of that fact!
So, remember at the outset of this article I made reference to some famous people apologizing or saying sorry for their success. It all sounded quite ridiculous didn't it?
Well, you should follow their lead and focus on the positive aspects of what you did and why you did it. You need to stand up for what you believe in in such a way that the person sitting across the desk from you is not offended, but encouraged and motivated to hire you!
But, how do you do this?
The last thing you want to do is get on the defensive. Bad move! With all the stereotypes and negative media portrayals of our Troops these days, the last thing you'll want to do is feed into that. And if you're a Military Spouse, you need to make a concerted effort to do the same. Any time you have a television show that depicts the military or military life; people get ideas that may become their reality. For example, just because you (meaning the Interviewer) watch Army Wives, The Unit, or play Call of Duty, doesn't mean you understand me and my military life. There are no shortcuts to understanding military life!
You need to learn how to use finesse when overcoming perceptions during an interview. Your resume provides clues as to areas you need to be ready to talk about. If you PCSd and left a job, be ready to explain how great you performed while employed and have that Professional Reference ready to sing your praises! If you got word that you have to leave the military before you wanted to, be ready to talk about the fact that the entire military is cutting back its ranks and although you had to leave early, that's a benefit for the hiring company because "I'm ready to be a superstar here at your company!"
If you LOVE the Military and Military Service, you do not have to say sorry about it! If you served proudly, no need to apologize! If you're a Military Spouse or a person in Uniform who served and loved any aspect of military service, there's just no reason at all to say you're sorry! Take credit for your accomplishments, explain the gaps. Provide enough context so that the Interviewer can wrap their brain around military life enough to continue to consider you. Love of the Military means never having to say you're sorry, but you might need to revisit how you handle this interview scenario.
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