Getting Rejected From The Perfect Job… Twice
As a job hunter, there are going to be a few hitches one will most certainly encounter somewhere along the journey from applicant to employee. Some of these hitches include but are not limited to, strained eyes glued to a job board, cramped hands, sweaty armpits, spontaneous bursts of frustration, rejection, meaningless fun facts about companies you once loved, rejection, oh, and rejection. And before you make judgments about this post, don’t worry, this disastrous fairy tale has a happy ending, because I am writing it, literally and figuratively, and so can you.
I was a happy job hunter, confident and eager. I sincerely believed I could fit into any company, anywhere, because I was just “that talented”. It’s a common mistake among millennials, we seem to have this inbred complex that people should want to hire us. Trust me, I rep the humble mentee lifestyle and take it to the heart, but it never makes rejection easier.
In the beginning of my post collegiate job search, I was already seasoned in the art of pitching myself for internships but this was my first time at the big dance. Instantly in my searching, I stumbled upon and fell in love with Company A, however, I was also flirting with Company B. While I was thrilled to learn about new companies, I knew what I came here for and that was for Companies C and D.
I learned pretty quickly I wasn’t all that when Company A took one look at me and swiftly explained I just wasn’t their type. The pain was intense but quickly subsided, rejection wasn’t so bad, I thought. Moving on, I got to know Company B but I knew they weren’t my type, so I cut things off and left my number to be nice. I finally met Companies C and D, they rocked my world and left me daydreaming by the snack bar. I kept myself composed, I continued meeting new companies but had my sights set on Companies C and D.
As a job hunter, I've learned it's O.K. to be picky. You want to have the perfect match. It’s like dating. If you’re here just to get some action, people will read that vibe, you’ll lose the one you want, make a mistake and you’ll end up regretting your decision EVERY morning. Some people would argue this point of view, but that's fine, it's an opinion, you can either be someone who settles for less or wins what they deserve. It's your choice. Back to the story.
As you can imagine, I hit it off with Companies C and D, I even wondered if they were out of my league. Company C had everything I needed, a new city, hungry co-workers, meaningful work, an awesome office, a company dog and stellar benefits. Company D repped an incredibly powerful resume builder, killer pay, relocation pay, a signing bonus, developmental classes, a new city, and some of the most intelligent co-workers in the world. As Company C and I began to see each other, Company D hadn’t returned my calls, but I was O.K. with that. Once Company C and I started emailing each other, things moved fast, soon we were on Skype and next thing you know, we were scheduled to sit down together.
I think the dating analogy is fun but it’s also important you understand and learn from the message I am about to share. I believe it is imperative to articulate the amount of emphasis I placed on Company C. I studied them so intensely I could have recited any fun fact or quirky story about them since being founded, I was a shoo-in right? Wrong. Because that’s not what it is about. It’s about how much value do you bring, do you solve their needs and do you fit the culture. That’s it. Leave the fun facts at home, the employees probably aren’t even aware of them. Trust me, I was crushed when I was rejected from my dream job, I’m talking about the type of sad you get that makes you take a nap because you don’t want to face the world. But my silver lining was life goes on, what I was capable of the day before, is still what I am capable of today, plus company D had called me up and they wanted to fly me out to Seattle with all expenses paid.
I laid off the fun facts in Seattle with Company D, I focused on what I could do, how I could serve their every need and displayed why I believe the fit to be so strong between us. I interviewed, I made friends, I was confident I had crushed the interview. I spent the next week trying not to fantasize about my new life, I am the superstitious type, so I tried to stay humble but thoughts of the big bonus with a flashy title shimmied through my mind.
That’s when the email arrived. Not a phone call. I didn’t even have to open it because I know after an in person sit down most companies extend a warm, loving job offer through the phone, as for email, they reject you kindly. As you can imagine, I had been rejected. From my dream job. Again. Just complete devastation. I had been blocking my emotions from storming the court in elation, which quickly shifted to stopping destruction. And yes, I did nap again.
That rejection came yesterday morning. I have since taken back control of my emotions. I also learned a few things. I didn’t get my perfect job but I did learn how to take rejection. I learned that if I could get over Company C and be blindly excited about Company D within weeks, I would find Company E and I will be O.K.
The key is to keep looking for Company E and hold your standards just as high as they had been. Keep looking for a powerful match, and never settle for the regretful mistake. If you’re reading this, you too need to remember not to measure yourself based on titles/achievements. Had I been accepted by either company, I would be on cloud 9 about my business capabilities. Yet at the end of the day, I am still the same person I was the day before (if anything I am stronger) and my abilities have not changed. It is up to you as the humble applicant to put your best foot forward, to flourish in the face of rejection and to remember that you are writing the rest of your story and I dare you to make it a fairy tale with a happy ending.
Happy Hunting to my Disney Princes and Princesses