I’m currently on a job search – and, unfortunately, it’s not going that well. I thought I would do a little write up on my experiences – because surely someone else out here can relate? And if not, well, at least I have done something productive with my day.
Seeing the job
You see the job advertised online. It sounds like a pretty good job – AND you seem to meet some of the specifications.
Enthusiastic? Yes, you are enthusiastic!
Hard working? Yes, that’s you.
Confident? Well, kind of – I mean you were pretty confident saying that speech for some event (unimportant; yet it felt important at the time), a few months back.
There are other requirements that you aren’t sure you meet, so you are a bit hesitant to send off the application. But then you send it off – and you send off another twenty applications to other companies – and you wait.
Some companies get back straight away.
“Apologies, but you do not fit the requirements of the job.”
“We are sorry to tell you that we have given the job to someone with more experience.”
You feel a bit sad, but it is fine – you still have a whole other list of jobs you applied to – so you keep on waiting.
Nobody else has got back to you, so you decide to re-read your cover letter and CV – then the self-doubt kicks in.
So first of you re-read your cover letter – oh god, I sound like such a cocky idiot here, you think. I’m not like that – I promise!
It’s a difficult one to do because if you don’t say anything about yourself, then they’ll think you’re too shy for the job – not the “confident” person they want. And yes, you’ve done it to sound humble – but maybe it’s a bit too humble and they’ll pass you over for someone who brags more.
So then you re-write it to boast a bit more. You mention everything you’ve ever done – even the debating you did at school for three months. And sure, it might sound impressive – but then you sound way too self-obsessed!
And it’s so hard finding that balance – I don’t want to sound like an arrogant arse, but nor do I want to sound too shy. (When the job clearly states that they want “confident individuals to apply.”)
So you keep on re-writing and re-applying – and waiting.
The ones who don’t reply
Some will reply within an hour. Some will reply that day or that week. But some (and there are a lot), will choose not to reply at all. And it is the most annoying thing in the world.
Why don’t you reply to me?
I have poured out my heart and soul into this application – told you more stuff than many of my friends and family know – and you reject me! I’ve given my soul to a faceless company and you haven’t even had the decency to acknowledge me, to call me back.
So weeks later I’m still sitting there twiddling my thumbs thinking “maybe they’re taking the time to consider.” And yet the reality is they’ve already held interviews, chosen a candidate and said candidate is about to start the job.
But it would take two minutes to write a reply – two minutes! (Feels tempted to leave scathing review on company’s website – but decides this is an immature move, and does not.)
In some ways, navigating the job scene is much the same as navigating the dating scene – both filled with rejections, false hopes and, at the core of it all – a sense of shame that you are not good enough.
Am I such a repulsive person that I don’t even deserve a call back?
And at the end of the day, you just fall into a state of depression.
Your life seems to be revolving around rejections – romantically you’ve been rejected – because nobody wants to date you. But, even worse, you’ve been rejected non-romantically – you’ve also been rejected based on your qualifications and skills. And you look at yourself in the mirror – “I’m not good enough”. Nobody likes me based on my personality, qualifications, or skills – that is what you have gathered from all your job rejections. And it kinda sucks!
And in your job application you have written what a “confident” individual you are – but really, you don’t feel confident at all.
You also used to state you were “hard-working” and “enthusiastic” in your application. But after fifty rejections, that “confident” has turned into “insecure.” That “hard-working” has turned into “sick of it all”. And that “enthusiastic” has turned into “depressed.”
But you gotta pick yourself up from this.
Keep on trying.
Keep on applying.
(BTW sadly none of these photos are mine #1 is from https://www.studential.com/blog/graduate-job-hunting-how-to-handle-rejection #2 is https://www.robertwalters.com.au/career-advice/Six-ways-to-turn-a-job-rejection-to-your-advantage.html, #3 is https://connachttribune.ie/late-summer-holidays-594/.)