I think every adult in America knows the struggle.
The soul-sucking, confidence draining, emotional roller coaster of a search that is interviewing for new jobs.
After my last round of interviewing, I was so happy to be done with the circus of applying for new jobs. I thought, I found a really great employer with great benefits. I could see myself having a long and prosperous career with them.
That turned out to not be the case at all.
Shortly after I was hired on, I heard stories of the manager level employee purge that happened last year. I thought, well, all companies have to trim the fat at the top (or middle). This doesn’t affect me.
Oh how wrong I was.
Recently, my employer announced a rebadging initiative. The vast majority of IT employees at the company will be let go from my employer and hired on to do their same jobs with a contracting company (for presumably less money and benefits). I am not in that group, thankfully. My job is safe.… for now. I don’t know if it will continue to be that way.
2 weeks after I was hired at the new company, a different company reached out to me. Would I be interested in working for them, even though I just changed jobs? I said sure, and applied because why not?
I made it through an initial round with that company before the interview process stalled. My attempts to contact the IT recruiter failed. It took reaching out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn to get an answer. Their priorities changed and they weren’t hiring the position anymore. A week later, I got an email confirming that. No biggie, I wasn’t looking anyways.
Then another manager reached out to me. Would I be interested in a position with them? I waffled, but after hearing more about the position, decided it was worth my time to interview. I cautioned the manager I didn’t have all the skills they were looking for. He assured me that was ok, that they looked more for culture fit than the skills listed on the job posting.
The interviews seemed to confirm that. They asked me about my skills and thought processes in 4 grueling interviews in a 2 hour block. I thought I did well!
3 weeks went by before I heard back from the recruiter. Instead of reaching out with a job offer, they asked me to do another round of interviews. I thought that was a bit strange, but accepted. After all, another round of interviews was better than a rejection.
In the end, it didn’t matter that I took a day off from work for the interviews. They picked someone else they thought was a better fit. But hey, they’re a young growing company and they might have something that’s a better fit for me in the future. So of course, I’ll stay in touch and add them to my LinkedIn network, where they can join the other recruiters who want to stay in touch, because that might be better in the long run than not adding them to my network.
I think there are two main things bothering me about this whole affair.
First, I warned them upfront I didn’t have the exact skills they were looking for. Why assure me they didn’t care when they actually did care in the end? Why waste everyone’s time in interviewing me if they went with the candidate that had the skills they were looking for? It just doesn’t make sense.
Secondly, I’m getting really sick of having these amazing jobs dangled in front of me like a fat, juicy carrot. They include incentives like free meals, free snacks, free cold brew and beer on tap, unlimited PTO, annual bonuses, RSU’s, generous retirement benefits, and higher pay. I want them all! To have them repeatedly offered and then snatched away is cruel.
I don’t know why I’m good enough to get all the way through the recruiting process up to the offer stage.
I’m lucky enough to be employed during this search. It’s disheartening now, but downright stressful when you really, really need that job. I haven’t been seriously looking for new jobs, but that changes today.
I need to harden my heart, lower my expectations, and leverage the crap out of my networks. I already have people offering to refer me to positions. I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by amazing, supportive friends and family while looking.
I took one night off to wallow in self-pity. I talked to friends, ate more candy that’s supposed to be for Halloween than I should’ve, and just generally moped around.
My LinkedIn filter is set to “Open to new opportunities”. I’ve applied to a few jobs and fielded a few calls from interested recruiters. I’ve let friends and former co-workers know I’m looking.
The time ahead will be better than what I’m experiencing now, no matter where I end. Who knows, maybe this job didn’t work out because a better one is just waiting for me to find it. Here’s to the search for a new job!
If you’re looking for a better position too, good luck to you!