25 Stages of the Job Search That Make it Feel Like an Emotional Roller Coaster
It’s no secret that the job search can really suck. Even if you know all the tricks and are consistently going above and beyond (I mean, hello, handwritten thank you notes!) there are just never any guarantees. You could be the absolute perfect candidate and still not be offered the gig.
I’m willing to bet you despise looking for a new opportunity just as much as I do, and I’m also willing to bet that it’s because you’re new job journey looks a little (or a lot) like this.
1. You Realize You Want a New Job But Don’t Know Where to Start
Because I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and am still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.
2. Even Deciding Which Step to Take First Is Hard
Should I start scrolling through postings? Or reach out to my old boss? Maybe I should start trolling LinkedIn for connections I forgot I had.
3. Your Search Shoots Back Completely Unrelated Opportunities
Hold on. I put “health communications” and the first option I see is “Large Animal Veterinarian.” And I asked my friend to send over any digital marketing positions she sees, and she just sent me an opening in accounting at her firm.
4. You Find One That Interests You, But it Requires a Lengthy Application
Sigh. Does anyone even read these short essay answers I’m being required to fill in? I need a Mad Libs-type template for this nonsense.
5. Oh, and After Attaching Your Resume, You Must Fill Out an Online Form Asking for the Exact Same Information
Seriously? Is this like confirming my new password or something? Tell me, which one of these do you actually use? Will you compare them side by side? Fascinating.
6. When Interested, You Feel the Need to Apply ASAP (ASAP!)
Because if I don’t apply right now, the company will hire someone today and I will miss out, and this is my dream position, and I’ll never be happy!
7. You Finally Hit Submit, and Then You Just Wait
[Cue Jeopardy theme song.]
8. And Wait
[Continue playing Jeopardy theme song.]
9. And Constantly Refresh Your Email
No new emails—I must have bad service.
10. And Sometimes—Most Times—You Just Never Hear Back
I can’t believe they ghosted me.
11. And Other Times (But Not Many Times), You Do
OMG. OMG. They love me. I can’t wait to start. Life is beautiful.
12. After the High of Landing an Interview Wears Off, You Get Super Nervous
What if they don’t like me? What if my blazer is from last season? And my biggest weakness is really supposed to be a strength in disguise, right?
13. So You Prep Like Crazy for the Interview
OK—biggest weakness: Sometimes I’m just too prepared because I really want to knock everything out of the park. Babe Ruth over here (points thumbs at self). Also, I talk to myself in mirrors.
14. You Tell Your Boss You Have a Dentist Appointment and Go to the Interview
I need seven root canals. I know—it’s awful. See you tomorrow, though.
15. You Nail it (Obviously)
Oh, sorry—just perfecting my victory dance over here.
16. And You Send Your Thank You Note, as Any Good Interviewee Should Do
“Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I can’t wait to start the job and to be your new work bestie!”
17. And You Wait Again
They must all be on a really long vacation or talking about whether or not they should actually give me a more senior position. Those types of decisions take a lot of time and thought.
18. And Either You Get the Gig (Woohoo!)
Is this real life? Everything is beautiful again.
19. You Don’t
I didn’t want that stupid job anyway. But please—pass over that box of tissues and the jar of Nutella.
20. Or, You Just Never Ever Hear From Them Again
And I thought we had a great connection. Please: Quit playing games with my heart.
21. And, Well, You Lose All Hope
There are no jobs out there, and everyone hates me.
22. So, Your Friends Try to Give You Some (Very Unsolicited) Advice
23. But You Decide, “Eh, I’ll Just Stay in the Job I Hate”
It’s easier and less painful this way.
24. But Then Remember How Much You Hate It
Get me out of here. Now.
25. Thus, You Start Over
To recap: Is the job search hard? Yes. Is it a little too tedious for my liking? Yes. But is it necessary? You betcha. But if it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only one who dreads the whole thing. And, if you keep at it, number 18 will eventually be you (well, except for the whole being a baby thing).
Photo of roller coaster courtesy of ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com.
Abby works in health education and prevention at a university in Washington, DC. When she’s not trying to make the world a healthier place, you can find her taking selfies with her cat (Mildred Meow Meow), hunting down the city's best grilled cheese, or zipping through the city on her bike, named Libby. Say hi on Twitter.More from this Author