In these uncertain economic times, a young man’s pursuit of a career has changed from how it was 10 or 20 years ago. Everyone’s heard the stories of their fathers and grandfathers sticking with a company and going from the mail room to the manager’s desk in 50 years. That simply isn’t the case with our generation. People don’t feel loyal and responsible towards companies anymore unless they can get exactly what they want. Nor should they. Nowadays, companies looking to attract the services of hip, young and savvy professionals in their mid 20’s are offering more than the standard 401k and benefits. A fascination to real culture, not just “company culture,” along with inspiring offices and fringe benefits like free lunch or on-site laundry is becoming more and more common.
What this means for us is that people are changing jobs all the time. According to a 2012 article in Forbes, people in their twenties are at a job for an average of 2.2 years. This means that every 2 years, we get to go through the exhilarating process of job applications. Unfortunately, if we’ve gotten worse about loyalty, businesses have gotten even worse about treating people like cattle. Every person I know knows the feeling of never getting a response from a company. Heck, even a simple “I’m sorry but we found someone else” would do.
The job hunting process is filled with many ups and downs and quite a few emotional reactions. Let’s walk through a typical sequence of them. These are the seven feelings we experience when job hunting.
This is step one. You found a great company (or at least one with a snazzy website and content that doesn’t seem like total bullshit. You’ve found them on LinkedIn and everyone working there is wearing normal clothes without wearing suits all the time and everyone has that look on their face of “I’m working hard but I’m having fun too!” One guy has a bobble head on his desk and the other has three monitors and yeah you totally spied a Foosball table in the back corner. This is totally the place for you, no more suit and tie!
Who has let themselves think like this before? I know I have:
“I am going to write the sweetest, most engaging, professional yet revealing resume and cover letter combination in the history of job applications. This moment will go down in history. This letter will be immortalized in every business textbook forever. I mean look at me. How could these people not be attracted to me? I know I am. This letter is going to be so good that they will respond back before the end of the business day and literally beg me to join them.
“Has it really only been 12 hours since I sent in that application? I could have sworn it was years. My beard has grown into itself like a thorn bush and intelligent life forms had come to visit us. What is wrong with these people? They must not have gotten my letter yet. Let me log in to Gmail and make sure it didn’t get stuck in the outbox. I know Gmail has literally never failed before but this one time it’s totally possible.”
You may think this is extreme but let’s be honest; this is what you’re doing. You will Google the shit out of them and every member whose name you can find. You will look at their LinkedIn, Glassdoor, local news, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instragram and every blog article they have ever posted back to 2009 when they first formed. You want to be prepared, damn it. This could come up in the interview…
I AM GOING TO ROCK THIS INTERVIEW SO HARD THEY WILL WANT TO HIRE ME ON THE SPOT! I am all that is man and I am the best account manager/copywriter/CPA/growth hacker there has ever been. My suit game is going to be on point and yes motherfucker I can tell you three strengths and three streaknesses (bullshit weaknesses that are actually strengths) and my five year plan is going to be so detailed you won’t know what hit you. I have intelligent questions and I probably know more about your department than you do at this point. Did you know Jan’s dog’s birthday is this Friday? I got her a pack of Beggin Strips for that chocolate lab and I brought in Cronuts.
“Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Throughout this process, we have received way more unbelievable applications than we could have imagined. Even though we wish we could take every single person, we could only take one. Thank you again for your interest and good luck in your search!”
That’s if you even get a response. But let’s be honest no one’s reading this. You just see the two-sentence reply and know what’s happening already. It’s back to the LinkedIn grind and hey maybe this job isn’t so bad after all and hey it better not be because it’s clearly the only job you’re ever going to get.
This is the stage of resolution. This is the stage where you muster up the balls to continue on because one day you won’t hit step six. This is the stage where you decide for yourself that no matter how many rejections you get, you will push on. At least, that’s what you have to do. Giving up is for suckers. Don’t give up my friends. Just persevere. Push on.