What I Learned from my Long Job Hunt

Take 1: Cold apply, cold apply, cold apply, repeat, repeat, repeat, lose count of how many jobs I applied for and how many jobs just sent me a rejection email template and never even pursued me, feel discouraged… give up, cry, feel frustrated, consider moving out of California, re-think life itself, re-think the job hunting process.

Take 2: Get connected to recruiters and hope that I’ll get a leg up from going the recruiter route. I cold applied way less, had lower expectations, knew myself a little better, felt more comfortable interacting with strangers and selling myself, and became more authentic. I got more phone interviews than before, but still got rejected. The subsequent rejections didn’t sting as much as the first time. The first time I felt as if it was a break-up. I took it really personal and felt crushed. I kept replaying the onsite over and over in my head. I kept thinking of the smallest details trying to pinpoint where the “yes” turned into a “no”. I decided to stop making myself crazy and let it go.

With some help from some loved one’s who believe in me, I decided to try and internalize their compliments and believe in myself. I tried believing that I am enough, that I am good enough. Instead of rehearsing past interviews in my head, I instead rehearsed the compliments I’ve received, my positive attributes, skills, and strengths in my head. I kept thinking, “I’m doing my best, and my best will eventually pay off.”

I didn’t stop there. Even If I was positive now and believing in myself, I still didn’t know what route to take next. I decided to start thinking about my core values and what it means to me to do work that is fulfilling. After all, most people spend the majority of their time at work, shouldn’t it be something that gives you life rather than sucks it out of you?

Earning a degree in psychology but deciding a career in such a field wasn’t for me, both financially and repetitiously, I began wondering at the core of my interest in psychology, psychology aside though, what about it did I enjoy? I enjoy the problem solving, the brainstorming, the helping people, being a listening ear, the always looking ahead mindset, the open communication, the honesty, and the collaborative approach. I quickly realized that a tech company with the right company culture could offer me all of the aspects I enjoy and I can still make good money doing a job I feel fulfilled from.

Last step, lowering down my ego. And, no, I don’t mean Sigmund Freud’s ego, meaning reason, but instead I mean my pride. My pride grew when I got promoted to Manager and when I received such praise from coworkers who were thankful the shift had been made.

After all, I started out by cold applying to jobs I was a bit under-qualified for, like Manager positions that were expecting around 5 years of managerial experience when I had about a year under my belt. Then I lowered my ego to Manager positions that I did qualify for but that ego still hovered over my head. Finally, I forgot about titles and seniority and applied for entry level positions that I was overqualified for.

After realizing I needed to let my ego go and hearing it from others as well, I decided that my title was one of the things I was least concerned with when landing a new job. I was more concerned with my environment, the company culture, the management styles, the passion and drive from management, the salary and benefits, and the growth and learning opportunities that would be available for me.

After I lowered my ego, came back down to earth, humbled myself, found my genuine self, showed my true colors, and became happier and less bitter, I felt as if the job hunting road was almost over. I sense it, but can’t be sure at this point. We’ll have to see. What is meant to be will be.