Looking for a job is one of the most emotionally challenging endeavors we confront. Most of the folks who write about looking for a job overlook the emotional strain and setbacks the vast majority of people go through in the process. There are millions of people in the United States who are out of work who just plain quit looking for a job. I contend that the majority of the reason this happens is that they are so emotionally stressed, they resort to doing nothing at all or go through minimal motions in looking for a job. They are scared and often depressed. This kind of emotional strain is debilitating.
One reality that might prepare people for this emotional strain is to recognize that they’re going to experience at least TEN negative events in their job search for every ONE positive event. What this means is that for every interview, for instance, a job seeker might get, they are going to experience 10 or so rejections. They will send their resume to the company’s job posting that is “perfect” for them… and never hear a word. And it will happen 10 dozen times. (we recently discussed the probability of getting a job by sending your resume to a company’s online ad.) They will interview impeccably for a job, be told that they are perfect for it and then never hear from the company again. They will even be told that they should expect an offer after a series of interviews& and never hear from the company again.
After a series of negative setbacks, people become discouraged and quit trying. They are unprepared for all of the difficult negative events they are experiencing. They read or hear from unenlightened authors and “experts” that all they have to do is get an interview and go to work. These people never prepare them for the long, difficult and negative filled process they are going to go through.
So, the lesson is to be prepared for tons of setbacks. Prepare to be discouraged, disappointed, lied to, dumped on in about every way you can possibly imagine. ( I even run into candidates all the time who have been “scammed” by folks who claim that if you send them $5000 they will “expose you” to the hidden job market. Not quite fraud but close to it.) I knew one candidate, not too long ago, who realized that the negatives were going to be 10 to 1 relative to the positives so he kept counting the negative events. His rationale was “every negative is one more step towards a positive.” Not bad approach.
Be prepared for reality!