Before I graduated, someone told me that job hunting is like dating. I told her I hoped the analogy would break down, because I suck at dating.
Turns out she’s right.
Instead of dropping off with desperation, my standards have gotten higher as I peruse job listings. I would rather be
single unemployed er, work at Starbucks than settle for the wrong job. People tell me that I need to chill out, that it’s not for the rest of my life… but I don’t want to settle for something I strongly suspect will leave me miserable.
I overthink the hiring process in the same way I analyze dating. It’s been x amount of time since they called. Surely they’ll call today! I jump whenever the phone rings. I consider carrying the phone in the bathroom so I’ll hear it from the shower. (No I haven’t done that for a boy–but I know women who have.) I check my email obsessively–maybe they’ll show interest that way. It’s very much like having a huge crush on someone who is only vageuly interested in me.
As the days continue to pass, I quit making excuses for them. It must be me. I’m the problem. Were my ideas not engaging? Maybe I came across as an airhead. What if it’s my age? It can’t be my age! I didn’t tell them my age!
Even as I obsess about every possibility (rereading my submissions and wondering if they googled me and found something they didn’t like), I remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with me. I can write, I can edit, I am capable. (I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and goshdarnit, people like me!) Maybe they have chosen to hire someone else, but that doesn’t change who I am.
Much like when a really great guy passes through my life, the standards have been raised. I’ve seen what’s out there. I now know it’s possible to find a position where I seem to fit, a position that evokes more than a lukewarm, “yeah, I can do that” response. It’s not worth settling for a marketing job or a loosely journalism related position that pays pennies. I might have to serve lattes to make it in the meantime… but I can do that.
But you know, when they notify you that they’ve hired someone else… it’s a lot like being dumped. This application process lasted almost as long as most of my relationships, and the ending isn’t all that different.