Filed under: Main
After a nearly-got-it experience in my job hunt this summer, I started keeping a spreadsheet of all the new companies I was contacting about openings they had. (My usual approach is to reach out to individuals, not to use the online application systems, which are highly flawed).
Today I got my 51st rejection since June 1st.
Now, I’m not being ridiculous and applying for jobs outside my field or expertise. I’m not blanketing people with my unasked-for resume. I’m crafting a careful, customized approach to each actual hiring opportunity that I find, and I’m always checking to see if I have some kind of connection to the organization already through friends and colleagues.
The majority of these places reject me out of hand (either by telling me or not responding). A few of them exchange an e-mail or two before rejecting me. Some of them have phone-screened me before rejecting me. And a half-dozen have interviewed me extensively in person before rejecting me.
My favorite thing is when my friends say “Oh Jonathan, don’t take it personally!”
If I weren’t putting some serious effort into this, I wouldn’t be getting any traction at all (one company had me fill out an 18-page essay/questionnaire, merely to qualify for the phone screen, which I got, but then flunked). But because the economy has been so bad for so long (esp. in California) there are too many candidates for them to make a wise selection. So it becomes pretty arbitrary in the end.
Yet the fact that I’m being passed over for reasons that I can’t control doesn’t make it feel any less difficult, painful, and frustrating.
It won’t surprise you to learn that I have frequently considered giving up. For the past few weeks I’ve been wondering if my goal (“finding a good job in California) is simply unrealistic. It’s very hard to be logical and practical about this.
Yet I think it’s significant that I have recently seemed to “find myself” in regard to healthy eating and weight management, and I can tell you I had ALL of the same negative feelings about *that* over the past year.
So many times I thought “this isn’t worth it, I’ll never succeed, it’s pointless to keep trying.” But I had a strategy: I got support, I embraced some difficult life truths, I forgave myself for not being perfect, and I never completely lost faith.
The optimistic, Suzy Sunshine personality has never been my style. I’m also not one who thinks that “everything happens for a reason” either. But empirical evidence seems to point to one conclusion: HAVE A GOAL. ASSESS. KEEP AT IT. (repeat)