Having so much experience in this crap, I have a lot to offer to this tedious, time-consuming, and boring process. Sort of like being on the movie labyrinth trying to find the castle in the middle of it all and encountering strange things or people along the way. The ups and downs are tremendous the longer you have to do it. Also, I would compare this to going to the casino when you play blackjack or roulette. Your highs can be very high and the lows can be very low fluctuating at the frequency of a roller coaster; which takes your emotions along with it. Searchers beware: brace yourself for bumpy roads ahead.
I am not sure as to what is really positive about this experience other than it can build character in job ad detection skills and patience. Patience is key here in sorting through what ad is just too desperate for workers, and others who won’t even disclose the name of their company. The other positive one might take away from this is to be able to face rejection and do it well. Myself, I have not mastered the lack of consistent communication or just having spurts of good communication from potential employers. Some people say having so many no’s can build you up to try harder, or make you stronger. I would say I am about a 5 on that on a scale of 1-10. When getting interviews, you get practice. Learning what to say, what not to say, and gaining confidence from it all is a plus. Interviewing teaches you to know how to present yourself and then learn from the experience what works and what does not. It teaches you how to prepare properly for an interview, everything from how you dress, how you speak to optimally present yourself, what questions you should prepare, and then how to properly follow-up.
With all that said, now onto the negatives. These are numerous and I am not sure I will touch on them all but here we go. First, the biggest one I hate is this: The lack of communication from most prospective employers. See, these people don’t care about you. They already have jobs, a steady income, and they are just doing their job to get through the day most likely. Their time is precious to them, so while sifting through the countless resumes, they do not spend their time responding to each and every one that did not make it. What does this mean to you? You have no idea if you didn’t make it through round one because no one called or emailed you. This happens so much it has a dampening effect on your mood.
Next: Due to that lack of communication, you get it so much that you start to lose hope. Unless you get some sparks of interest that lead to a few interviews and finally someone brings you on board. Sometimes you go through many interviews but do not make the cut at all. It’s a lot of work and a job in itself to find a job. Except you’re getting no pay for it and depression sets in after a certain point. Sometimes, you will get phone interviews, the company talks salary, benefits, asks when you would be able to start if hired, talk about how they like your resume; but then fall of the face of the Earth. They say they will be in contact with the next step within a certain time period, but it never happens. You throw out a couple emails to the recruiter which you only have his/her email and get no response. All that excitement and hope for nothing. Get this, this can happen a lot with different jobs and it takes your emotions with it and trashes it in the garbage like rotting food.
How about this? The company that advertises immediate hiring, has vague wording as to what they really do, seem to desperate for work, and might seem like a pyramid scheme? Yeah, trash that. Couple that with the fact that the grammar and spelling is that of a fourth grader in the job ad, you get the picture. I have learned to move past all that type of stuff after actually going after those particular ads and seeing it for what it really is. For example, I once attended what I thought would be a job interview and found there were 30 other people there for the same reason and we got this lecture about what we would be doing which still seemed elusive in a strip mall of some rented out building. Yeah, no and out the exit I go.
Sometimes people will try to solicit you to sell Arbonne, Avon, some sort of jewelery stuff along the same lines of those types of companies as if your going to make a regular income. The only people who really make good money which can happen but very rare are those who have money to begin with and can rely on their spouse to support them through it. You have to be able to goto strangers houses, to sell, and show presentations. You need to get a lot of people under you and be comfortable going to unfamiliar people’s houses. Sometimes you run into some real shady people who might rip you off with bad checks that bounce. So you switch to cash only, but you need to keep cash on you like some sort of cash register all the time. I have gone this route, did it for fives years. After all that, I did not like the shady types of people you meet who will try to rip you off, and going into strangers homes for shows. Just too dangerous.
Let’s see what else. I use a website called glassdoor.com that does reviews from actual or former employees of a company that tell you what it is like to work there in all aspects. They tell you what the benefits and salaries are like, what it is like to interview for them, the process, and what to expect. I have found this website highly useful before I apply. Another good site for figuring out what kind of company it is you will or will not apply for is to check to see if they are BBB certified. This will tell you how authentic they are and if any infractions have been brought against them, and what kind, also the resolution. There are reviews too if provided of infractions. From both these websites, you can learn a lot as to whether you want to apply or not.
Next, expect little and get excited over a job prospect only when they actually offer you the job. This will save you from a lot of high expectations that never came full circle. Do not put these hiring people on any high expectations of proper communication or to have the decency to tell you if you did not make it to the next step or not. Having gotten excited a lot about interviews and even second interviews than communication ceases or they just say no, it is a huge let down that can leave you devastated if you invest too much emotion into it. That is especially hard for someone like me who has multiple diagnosis’ from mental health too. I can get real excited at prospects easily and ride it out, hoping it will bloom, but then nothing. Like I said, these people give two shits less about you, and are under no obligation to even tell you have not moved on. Sometimes, you will find decent ones who are professional and will give you an email or letter. I guess there are some decent people out there that know what the word professional really means.
I call this process playing the lottery. It’s a fifty-fifty chance of anything. Sometimes not even those odds. You really don’t know what your odds are because the employer holds all the cards and you’re the pawn waiting to be given a chance to prove yourself. Having that lack of control over your professional life is beyond frustrating and I despise having a lack of control over anything. That is where my OCD comes in, it is a chemical need to be in control of all aspects of life and when you don’t have it, you start ruminating and performing rituals to compensate for that lack of control.
My advice, take breaks from searching for your own sanity. Still see family and friends. Keep a social calendar if you can. Get outside, exercise in any way you find fun. Vent your frustrations while singing or screaming in your vehicle to some metal music. That is what I do. As for keeping the hope, I really don’t have much hope at this point and have no idea how to keep it. People will say what they think is best to keep your hope and keep you positive but honestly, most of the time this comes from people who have their career and jobs and don’t have any clue as to what the struggle means and does to you physically and emotionally. You will start to hear the same crap from people over and over and it becomes one big cliche. Some people are genuine in their sympathy, others just want to say something to be polite but really just don’t want you to bring them down after they ask you how you are. They are glad to be done after talking and go back to their own jobs.
Matter of fact, there should be some sort of law that an employer needs to follow-up at all times with whomever they do a phone interview or in person interview. Follow up to the fullest. It’s just common sense because for the job seekers, we are humans and have feelings. We deserve a definitive yes or no.
So there you have it. That is what comes to my mind at this point.