To All the Companies That Didn’t Hire Me in My Twenties

I know we might have parted not feeling so great about each other. You didn’t like me, and I didn’t handle rejection well. But now that some time has passed, I want to take the time to show you my appreciation for the way you’ve managed things between us.

See, the problem is, human beings are not good at knowing themselves. With all the hassle with studies, careers, relationships and many other issues we think of as major, ain’t no one got time to think about self-awareness. While we are busy graduating, finding a first job or a soulmate, some personal SWOT analysis or core values assessment seem like such a waste of time.

So that time I’ve sent in my application for a position that was completely wrong for me, I did not think straight. The pressure of family expectations and the unstable financial situation in my 20s might have blinded me. I don’t even know if I had spent enough time reading a job description or researching your activities before bothering you. Probably, I just saw an appealing title together with a suitable location in one job add and have just decided to go ahead and send my hastily-prepared cover letter along with my not so well-designed CV.

Looking back, I am even a bit surprised that sometimes it worked out. Once in a while, I would actually receive a reply inviting me to an interview or to complete a test task. I just assume that you were often equally confused about your needs and abilities and would decide to give it a try with the first person that came along. We would then meet and have an awkward conversation about random things distantly related to the position I had applied for earlier.

Normally, this would be it. You would promise to call soon, and I would wait, feeling as vulnerable as ever. But thankfully, this would almost never lead to anything. Days or weeks would pass, and I would be slightly pissed off thinking how unfair corporate world is. Eventually, we would both move on: me—to continue my job search, you—to meet many other confused candidates in their 20s on your way.

But then, just when I would despair, give up on sending my job applications to random places and decide to just chill, a weird thing would happen. A sign in the form of a distant friend on Facebook or a person I’ve met somewhere at a networking event would come along. Without having a goal “to just get a job” in mind, I would be more open to listen to what this “evil” corporate world has to offer. Surprisingly, it would turn out to be full of opportunities I’ve never considered before. I will go on to be a teacher, a writer, a content strategist. All without awkward random applications addressed to “Dear Sir / Madam” and even more awkward interviews. It will come without me expecting it at all. And oh my, will I love every minute of it!

Standing where I am right now, more aware of my strengths, weaknesses, needs and personal values, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. For not letting me do some job I would come to hate in a while. For not letting me waste your time and let you down later. Finally, for giving me some space and time to figure out what I want and come across all these wonderful opportunities.

On behalf of all confused 20-something-year-olds, I apologize. Please, be patient with us. We will come around in just a few years, stronger and more motivated than ever. Just give us some time to figure ourselves out. In return, we vow to stop bothering you all the time for no reason. We promise to value our individualities and not jump into things too quickly just because we are scared of not finding a job immediately after graduation. And when we do get rejected, we sure as hell will know that there is nothing wrong with us and that you had your reasons. It will take time to get there, but it will be so worth it.