On Rejection

Hello dear blog,

Today I’d like to briefly chat about rejection and the influence it can have on pretty much every aspect of your life.

No, I haven’t been secretly querying (although this lesson will be excellent practice for when the time arrives…).

I have been job hunting.

I’m sure most people are aware of the tough economic climate that essentially the entire world is facing, but as the typical Millenial that I am, I didn’t think the problem would affect me. I had a shiny new degree, I had loads of work experience through co-operative education certification, excellent summer jobs, unpaid internships, relevant volunteer work, a gigantic portfolio, and stellar references. Who wouldn’t want to hire me?

A lot of companies, it turns out.

I started job hunting three months prior to graduation. While it was early, I thought it would be a good test of how well my resume was being received. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t going well – good thing I started this and learned early on, and adapted/updated resume shortly after). Then graduation came, and it was time to move. I already knew I didn’t want to work in the city I’d gone to school, so I packed my bags and moved back in with my parents (temporarily). The plan was to be there no more than a month.

A month in, I did get a job offer, but it was back in the city I’d just left, it wasn’t what I was hoping for in terms of organization or job description, and the pay was way less than I had hoped/expected. So I made the probably short-sighted decision to turn the job down, thinking if someone wanted me, then it would only be a short while before someone better wanted to hire me.

Well… cue endless resumes, a couple of interviews, a couple of rejection calls, and I found myself in a funk.

I’m a pretty optimistic person. I am a strong compartmentalizer:I don’t usually allow stress in one area of my life to affect other areas of my life. But everything was on hold. The effects all that rejection was having on me was subtle, but it was there. I didn’t really want to go out in public. I didn’t want to explain why I was STILL living with my parents, or why I STILL didn’t have a job. I was cranky all the time, and all I did was obsessively stalk my email and the job boards. I started to resent applying for jobs – it just wasn’t fun to keep writing cover letters and sending out resumes when no one wanted me. But I didn’t feel like I had achieved anything if I hadn’t applied for at least one job that day. I certainly didn’t want to write for fun. THAT wasn’t helping me get a job.

The funny thing, was even though I was unhappy about work stuff, I still felt like I was in an okay place. Like I said, I’m an optimistic person, so I tried to be honest with myself and my close friends. Obviously, I needed to take a slice of humble pie and accept that the tough market conditions were affecting me too. Obviously, what I was doing wasn’t working, because I was getting some interviews, but they never chose me.

So I tried to stop obsessing. I went out with friends and family when they asked. I dove into reading – lots of reading. Seriously, I think I’ve read 25 books this summer. I started working with some other writers, and found that by focusing on helping them with their writing, I found my stride again and got back into revisions on my own WIP.

And then like life always does, it all worked out in the end. I interviewed for a job that sounded cool. But after the interview, I REALLY wanted the job. I realize this was a dream organization to work for, and I spent the next seven days in anxiety hell waiting for The Call.

Then it came.

So I am no longer unemployed, and the feeling is starting to be less surreal and more exciting. I just had to be patient, and things worked out, as they always do. I have a few weeks before the job starts and I have to move, so I plan on making the most of this free time (now considered “vacation” and not “unemployment”) with lots of writing, reading, and blogging.

And more than anything, I’m going to try to keep the lessons I learned on perseverance, the dangers of obsession, and diverse interests close at hand for when querying begins in the fall.

Job Hunt Statistics:

Jobs Applied for: 67

Interviews: 6 (~9% return)

Job Offers: 2 (~3% return)

 

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