The Hard Pass . . . On Me
Disappointing. Frustrating. Discouraging. Embarrassing.
No one likes to talk about the job(s) they didn’t land.
At least 6 rounds of interviews with multiple people, intelligence testing, 3 letters of recommendation, detailed spreadsheets of my sales numbers and rank within my company vs. my peers for the last few years, future compensation discussions and chats of possible start dates.
All of this annnnnnnnnnnnd I still didn’t get the job.
No seriously, W-T-F?!
*** I’m not a cocky person but when one asks you to pull out your calendar to discuss possible start dates. . .
I’d say, that’s a good sign.
*** Random: So I just have to stop and say something about this picture. This was me waving to a honking car during our photoshoot. “Hey car, heeeeeey!”
So what happened?
You know, that’s a damn good question. A question so good that we may never know the answer. The feedback I received was they decided to move forward with candidates who were currently working in their industry. In short, they were afraid to take a chance on an unknown kid. And despite proof of top performance, all things listed above, no dice. Honestly, I thought sales were sales. Meaning if you are successful in 1 or 2 industries, you should be successful in another. Well, I guessed wrong because I didn’t get the job.
#thugshrug and onto the next. Right????
What Was “The Next”?
I’m not going to lie, I was hoping this new job would be “the next.” But apparently, that would not be the case. It’s so hard to return back to a place of unhappiness. How was I going to continue working and being productive after such a major (and I’m not being dramatic) let down?
What I Learned
1. Don’t Take it Personal
Easier said than done, right! Bruised egos aside, it’s business. And at the end of the day, you not being selected for the job was a business decision. Nothing personal. Remember: it’s just business.
2. Someone Could’ve Been Better
Crazy, right???!!! The actual idea that someone could’ve been better suited or qualified for the job than you, is mind-blowing. Please know that I say this with heavy sarcasm because we all like to think we are the best. Humans are competitive by nature and when we don’t win, it (really) sucks! You might’ve been good, but someone else might’ve been better.
3. Keep Doing Good Work for Your Present Employer
Even though you might be unhappy with your current work situation, keep doing good work for your present employer. Maybe they are assholes. Maybe the mere thought of work life balance is non-existent. Maybe you are overworked, underpaid and not appreciated. Regardless, keep doing good work while you continue your job search to freedom. It’s so hard to stay motivated and not to just say “F’ it” and coast or stop working all together. Buuuuuut, don’t do it! Had I flipped the switch to “F’ it” mode, I might’ve been out of 2 jobs (the one I didn’t get and the one I currently had).
4. There are More Fish in the Sea
Just as the old adage applies to dating, it also applies to job searching. So you didn’t get the job, it’s not the end of the world (although it may feel like it). Good news, there are more jobs and more companies out there who are better matched and suited for your talents.
5. Know Your Worth
I learned my worth. Say whaaaat? How did you not know your worth? Yup, I learned my worth. I had been stuck in a vortex of my career niche that I was completely out of touch with my worth. Once I jumped into the job search market, it was refreshing to discover that my experience and consistent top performance could demand more money. It was also nice to have multiple companies and head hunters seeking me.
Moving Forward / Looking Ahead
1. Utilize Your Resources: Help vs. the Hook Up
“It’s not what you know it’s who you know”. Who do you know that can help you with your job search? And I’m not talking about “hooking (you) up” with a job. So if that’s where you thought this was headed, then lemme stop you right there. Before we move further, let’s talk about the job “hook up”. “Hooking (someone) up” is a HUGE deal. To be extremely honest, my list of people I would put my name on, stamp and seal of approval or endorse is very very very very very very very short. Off the top of my head, I would guess my list contains less than 10 people. #TheTruth When you “hook (someone) up” with a job, that person becomes a direct reflection on you professionally and personally. If they mess up, everyone’s now looking at you. And that is not what we need or want. I would be willing to bet that you have more friends willing to “help” than “hook you up” with a job.
So, what do you mean by “help” if you aren’t speaking of the job “hook up”? Glad you asked. Make a list of friends who specialize in something.
Do you know someone who is great with spelling and grammar (ex. an English teacher)?
If so, they would be great to check your resume and cover letter for spelling and grammatical errors.
Do you know someone who is successful in management?
They could definitely give you pointers on exactly what they look for when hiring a candidate.
Do you know someone who interviews well? Do you know someone who dresses well? and etc.
***Just like Santa Claus, make that list of friends who can “help” and check it twice.***
2. Interview the Interviewer
Say what? Yup! You read right, interview the interviewer. It took me a while to learn and understand why this is so important. Just as they are vetting you to make sure you are a good fit for the position and their company, you need to do the same and vet them as well. If work life balance is essential to your happiness and overall job satisfaction, then (respectfully) inquire about their company and management philosophy where this is concerned. By asking the right questions, it opens up dialog and shows interest in the position and their company. Also, it can help you to decide if you’d like to move forward with the process. Which brings me to . . .
3. Know When it’s Not a Good Fit
Remember Goldilocks from the 3 Bears? Remember how she snuck into the 3 Bears’ house and kept trying on things until she found the one that was “just right”? Well the same technique applies to job searching as well. Often times we become so consumed in our desire to win/land a job (see above) that we totally miss ALL of the warning signs along the way. Some of the signs maybe small and easy to miss. And some of the signs are alarms . . . Big. Red. Glaring. Flashing alarms. Heavy employee turnover, poor company reviews, unprofessional interactions, vague answers and etc. Yet we still persist to push forward in spite of what we are seeing. Know when to walk away.
4. Fail Forward
Disappointed and discouraged. Those are just 2 of the many many emotions I felt after receiving news that I didn’t get the job.
Appreciate your failure. Sounds weird? No one lands every job they apply for. Think about it this way: Failure is like receiving the answers to an exam. If you pay close enough attention, your failure will tell you exactly what you need to fix in order to move forward towards success. Remember, no one great has never failed. Fail forward.
5. Stay on Ready
Whether you are thinking of leaving your current job or not . . . ALWAYS stay on ready. If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready.
What I mean by stay(ing) on ready is keep your resume polished and keep filling your brag book with kudos, performance numbers, rankings, accolades, letters of recommendation and etc. Also, don’t forget to keep your LinkedIn updated as well.
Job seeker frustrations are real and it can be super tough to stay motivated both in your job search and at your present position. Keep your head up and keep on pushing. Remember: don’t take it personal and make sure to appreciate/learn from not landing the job and stay on ready for the next opportunity.
Steal the Look
Steal the Look