Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Dating Game

I've been unemployed for four months now. I've been rejected several times over, and each time I've been able to handle it fairly well. I think the reason for this is because looking for a job is ridiculously similar to dating someone.

You introduce yourself with confidence & start telling them things they want to hear, whether or not you might actually mean what you say. You talk about things you can do for them & try to convince them that you are the one they want. But you also have to do this without coming off as desperate. You have to play the waiting game, making sure to stay in contact with them without smothering them with attention.

Each time I've been rejected since May, I've been able to shake it off because, well, I've had lots of practice of handling rejection from women in my past. I've handled all sorts of rejections this summer: the no-returned-call or email, the "we've found someone else better" excuse, or the ones where they reject me because I did something weird & chased them off. But it's also been easier to deal with because, while many of those chances were good, none of them were "the one."

Today, I got rejected by "the one."

I started interviewing for a position earlier this month with a big architectual firm headquartered here. It seemed like a good opportunity, but I really got intrigued after the initial conversation with the director. I lacked experience in some areas of the job, but what I had to offer was what they were looking for the most.

I was brought in for an interview the next week with three of the team members & gave my best interview to date. I really focused in on my strengths, and with each person, I was already bouncing off ideas of ways to help them with issues they were having. I sent off a "Thank You" email the following morning, and by that evening, I received confirmation that I was moving on to the next series of interviews.

I found out shortly before the 2nd set of interviews that I was one of two finalists. This time, I really tried to focus on how I was a good fit for the position & the organization as well. I wasn't as pleased as I was with the second set of interviews but I felt that I had still did very well. The director said that they had the other finalist coming in two days later, and that they would try to have a decision by Friday.

Monday passed & still no word. I sent another email to the director, reaffirming to them why I was the best candidate. She responded later that night letting me know she hoped to have more information by today. I was hoping that the delay was because they were still finishing reference checks on the other candidate; I knew they had already done mine.

Instead, they were waiting for the acceptance from the other candidate. I held myself together when she broke me the news, staying composed & professional. But inside, as soon as I head the words, I was heartbroken. I'd been rejected, but not like this, not to come so close, not to feel so strongly about the chance, only to get the professional equivalent of the "it's not you, it's me" line.

I find no shame in admitting that I cried a little bit afterwards. I just sat at my desk for about a half-hour, fighting back the urges to throw something at the wall. Not only was this just a job, this was an chance to be set up financially & professionally in way that I've never been before. Instead, they took the "more experienced" person. I can't help but think back to failed relationships when I was younger, when my "lack of experience" was an issue that I had a hard time overcoming then too.

I thought this was going to be somewhere that I could stay for a long, long time; now, I have to start over, looking for new opportunities when I can't help but think that none of these compare to what could have been. Realistically, I'm preparing myself for taking a lesser opportunity, lowering my standards so-to-speak, just to find something, anything. I may jump into something with one foot out the door already, but it may be worth just to not have to face another rejection like this again.

Sometimes, it's not about finding the one. Sometimes, you just gotta get laid. And sometimes, you just gotta get paid.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home