Tag Archives: Job Applications

You do not currently have an interview

19 Jul

“We received many qualified applications for this position. We reviewed your information carefully and will not be considering you further at this time.”

“We decided to go in a different direction.”

“Unfortunately, we have filled the position and are no longer interviewing at this time.”

“Although we were impressed by what you have to offer, we are unable to offer you a position at this time. We received applications from over 100 candidates, most of whom would make a strong contribution to our work.”

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer you a position at this time.”

“If you see another suitable opportunity posted in the future we would encourage you to apply.”

“You do not currently have an interview.”

These are some of the many ways that I have been rejected from jobs. I suspect that I’ve been rejected by even more, but they never responded so I can only guess. Before I go any further, I have a confession to make: up until a few months ago, I had pretty much never been rejected for anything. I applied early decision to college and was accepted there, I was chosen for fellowships that I needed in order to do summer internships, and I was hired for all of the internships and leadership positions I applied for while in college.

The only instances of rejection that stand out in my memory include when I was 8 years old and auditioned for a community theater production, when I was in high school and I didn’t make the Junior Worlds Ultimate Team, and a single scholarship in college. I can admit freely that I was devastated by each of these rejections, despite the apparent facts that I had no acting experience, was never going to be a superstar ultimate player, and someone else probably needed that scholarship much more than I did.

As much as I don’t believe that the United States is a meritocracy, where anyone can make it as long as they are willing to work hard, I’ve always harbored a belief in my own personal and inevitable meritocracy; if just work hard enough, harder than anyone else, then I have to succeed. This isn’t because I think that I’m completely exempt from the workings of the world, although the privileges that come along with being a white, middle-class, cisgender, and able-bodied person do shift the workings of the world in my favor. Rather, it’s that I hold myself to such a high standard of achievement and I place much of my own sense of myself in those achievements.

So, with this track record and fear of rejection, I remember thinking a few years ago about applying for jobs and how disappointing it must be to not get hired for a job you really want. What if it’s the perfect job and you don’t get it? I didn’t know if I could handle being rejected for my “dream job.” Clearly, I did not understand how the job search process worked or the state of the economy.

Now that I’ve applied for many jobs that I really wanted and been rejected by all of them (so far), I’ve developed a different attitude towards rejection. It still hurts to be told, at least indirectly, that my skills, hard work, and personality aren’t right for a job that  I think I’m perfect for. Often, I do take it personally and wonder what is wrong with me. Other times, I respond with anger and resentment towards the people who were hired or even towards friends of my who I perceive as working less hard than me to find a job and still get one (sorry friends, I really do love you, but sometimes I can’t help envying you).

But on the whole, I’ve realized that I just can’t afford to respond to every rejection with so much emotion. I would never stop being upset! And how am I supposed to feel confident in myself if I view every rejection as a personal failure? So I’ve become more hardened toward rejection, more nonchalant about that little email or phone call informing me that this job opportunity is not the right one for me. I won’t lie, it has been challenging but ultimately very important for me it to deal with this rejection. I hope that I don’t continue being rejected indefinitely, but I’m glad that I am being forced to view myself through my skills, potential, and passion rather than through my job offers.

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Good advice

13 Jul

I’ve received some great advice about looking for jobs and being unemployed. I’ve also received some ridiculous and misguided advice, but mostly it has been very helpful. I’ve compiled some of the best advice people have given me, either through personal conversations or things I’ve read on the Internet. The single most important thing I’ve learned from looking for a job is to be open to what other people have to say. Not necessarily if they are telling me to do something I know I will never like or blaming me for being unemployed, but most people have something to teach you if you’re willing to listen.

Smart motivated people will find jobs

Someone I was networking with told me this and even though I think it should be amended (smart, motivated, educated, privileged people socialized to be assertive, outgoing, and confidant will find jobs) it has been a good mantra.

Only work 3 hours a day on job searching

I probably don’t follow this advice most days, but I definitely should. If you work on finding a job every second of the day, it is likely that you will be miserable and frustrated. Working intensively for 3 hours on networking or applications is much better than 6 hours spend searching for job openings that you may not even apply for and have little chance of getting.

Talk to EVERYONE

I’m a serious introvert, so pushing myself to talk to strangers, acquaintances or intimidating people is hard for me, but I’ve been told multiple times to talk to anyone and everyone who could be helpful in finding a job. I’ve talked with family members, family friends, my friend’s parents or relatives, alumni from my college, people from former internships, and literally everyone else that I can possibly think of. Not everyone has hooked me up with a job opportunity (but many have referred me to something), but it’s just helpful to meet people in my field so I can get a better idea of exactly what I want to do. Also, people are usually very open to talking about their jobs and how they got there so networking is not actually as scary and I made it out to be.

Get out of the house

Any excuse to leave the house is a good one. It can get super boring and kind of depressing sitting around at home all day.

Get a monthly pass for the subway

This vastly improves the changes that you will leave the house, but it really only applies if you depend on public transit. Getting a monthly pass has been great for me. It means that I don’t stress about spending $4 round trip any time I want to go somewhere.

Prepare for Plan B

My college’s career center was mostly useless, as it is primarily aimed at people pursuing corporate jobs, but it did provide one piece of wisdom. The website has a guide for preparing a plan B, or “What do I do if I’m not hired right out of college?” I’ve been more of less following the 6-month get a job plan, broken up into 2 month increments that include getting ready (working on resume, starting to network), remote job searching (looking for opportunities, applying), and on the ground searching (actually meeting with people, networking like crazy, interviewing).

Don’t blame yourself

It’s really easy for me to start wondering what I did wrong and why I don’t have a job, which just isn’t constructive for me. This article, Open Letter from a Millennial: Quit Telling Us We’re Not Special, completely breaks apart the idea that our generation is lazy and entitled and traces our economic hardships back to the expectations and mistakes of our parents’ generation.

We are not the generation that finds itself in creative abandon. We are not the generation that goes off in search of personal fulfillment and the satisfaction of a job well done, only to come back millionaires. We are the generation that takes whatever work we can get, that knows no matter how hard we try we might not succeed. We know our lot, and it’s not nearly as bright as yours.

Being broke is not the same as being being poor

Many young people like myself with little or no money complain about how poor they are in their period/state of unemployment. I totally get this; not having money is awful and frustrating and scary. But there is a big difference between being a privileged person who currently has no money but will eventually live a financially stable life and being a person who has been systematically without money their entire lives and has little hope of getting out of poverty. This test from Jezebel is a good way to tell whether you are poor or broke.

 If you got arrested, do you have someone that could bail you out of jail? If the answer is yes, then you are broke and not poor. “Poor” is not a game. You are “broke.”

Live the broke as f*ck lifestyle

But since I actually am broke,  Autostraddle’s Broke as F*ck: The Lifestyle Guide has provided lots of important advice. She suggests cutting back  on everything, being on top of your shit, and finding a way to be happy and take care of yourself despite the lack of funds. There’s no need to glorify or glamorize being young and broke, but there is always something to be learned from a tough situation:

Do what you can, and live like you must, and give up what you should – but keep what you love. Being broke is something you will hopefully grow out of, so get something out of it while you can. Learn something about yourself and the little fire inside that never goes out.