Though I’ve talked about this whole job search process in vague terms, I haven’t really delved into the thick of it, mostly because there’s this massive QR code on my resume that leads to this site and I’m petrified that if I post something that’s misinterpreted, I’ll lose opportunities. But instead of positions, let’s talk feelings.
I’ve mentioned that it’s stressful, I’ve mentioned that it’s time-consuming. I should have mentioned that it’s expensive ($50 bus ride into New York city, $200 suit, getting rejected a week later… priceless). But it’s also exciting. All these icky feelings keep balling up in my stomach, simultaneously giving me butterflies and a stomach ache. And acne. Because somehow, after 21 years of decent skin, this whole flustercluck of emotional angst has decided to camp out on my t-zone. Thank you very much.
I was recently walking around, thinking (a dangerous combination for me) about how this whole interview process is like a string of first dates. The analogy isn’t out of left field, actually, because it later came up in an interview. So forgive the extended dating metaphor, but stick with me. I have a point. Much like dating, this whole process is an emotional journey, both good and bad.
The rejection: I received my first rejection a while ago, and opted not to post about it because it came from a great company that I highly respect. I don’t want to burn bridges. But I think it goes without saying that rejection is incredibly difficult. I don’t like it from a potential date, and I don’t like it from a potential employer. Perhaps they were right when they noted that the position wasn’t an ideal fit for me (and vice versa), but neither were my umpteen ex-boyfriends. Didn’t stop me from dating them.
The hope: Nothing can describe the incredible hope and excitement that I come away with after I feel like I rocked an interview. In dating, I have sometimes (perhaps somewhat heartlessly) described dating as trying men on for size. I believe there was a sweater analogy in there. Dating is trying men on for size like sweaters.* But job hunting is, too. Walking around a newly renovated office, I can imagine this desk could be mine. I could be pouring coffee from that coffee pot. I could be getting drinks with my interviewer in three months. Whatever. The potential of each place (some more so than others) is incredible. Intoxicatingly sweet. And it’s what keeps me going when the rejection—or the threat of rejection—bogs me down.
*No men or sweaters were harmed in the posting of this blog post.