You’ve gotten (and taken) a lot of excellent job search advice. You’ve done a lot of work to make sure you’ve used all those tips. And yet, even though you’ve been on a lot of interviews, none of them have led to any offers. Frustrating, right?
Well, unless you’re the kind of person who has never felt any disappointment at any point in your life, you can probably relate to this. I know I can. Earlier in my career, I experienced a slump that I thought would never end. However, I’ve since gone through a couple of tough stretches since then and have a clearer understanding of why there are times that you’ll interview for lots of seemingly perfect positions and come up empty handed.
Good news: Often times, it’s not your fault.
1. Job Offers Fall Through for Top Contenders, Too
OK, sure. There are times when an interview doesn’t go your way, and others when someone more qualified just happens to walk through the door. However, when I was a recruiter, some of the best candidates I met were also the ones I eventually had to decline. I can still remember a handful of people I wanted the company to hire, but had to pass on for one reason or another. Some of them were a little too expensive for us (and rightfully so), and on at least one occasion, the scope of work for the role changed in the middle of our search. So, even though this isn’t necessarily great news, you should take a lot of comfort in knowing that even great applicants don’t always get the job.
2. It’s OK to Take Some Time to Vent
Let’s face it: Searching for a job is hard. And although there are a few examples of the process being somewhat abbreviated, everyone who’s gone through one understands the ups and downs of looking for your next great gig. However, what most people I know don’t like to acknowledge is the fact that it’s perfectly OK when you’re feeling a little bit down about the whole thing.
And whenever you do feel a little (or a lot) discouraged about it’s going, you should feel free to do two things: Be upset and be comfortable talking to someone you trust about the whole thing. It’s natural to want to keep things buttoned up. There are other interviews to bear in mind, right? Not to mention the fact that few people like complaining about a difficult stretch and feeling like a charity case. But here’s a little secret: If you keep these feelings to yourself, you’re only doing yourself a disservice.
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3. Sometimes You’re Better Off When a Company Takes a Pass on You
Not too long ago, I went through a tough month or two when it seemed like every final round interview I went on ended with the hiring manager telling me to expect an offer very soon. Except they all turned into rejections. And honestly, it made zero sense to me at the time. I had done everything right, and yet, I wasn’t scoring anything . And boy did I need for one to come through. My bank account was perilously low, and I was just sad about the whole process. But now that I do something I enjoy, it’s easier to look back on those near misses and reflect on how none of those companies would’ve made me happy. It was hard to swallow at the time, and even though my search took a lot longer than I would’ve preferred, it ultimately worked out for the better.
4. Plenty of Smart, Successful People Go Through Slumps
Hey, I get it. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only person on the face of the planet who’s not getting any offers, especially when you go out with a group of individuals who seem to be happily employed on a regular basis (I know a thing or two about these emotions). However, the truth is that you’re not the only one. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to think an excellent opportunity is about to land in his or her inbox, only to find a rejection email instead. While it might seem like your search will never end, there are plenty of lessons you’ll learn along the way. And ultimately, when you do land that next gig, you’ll have an even greater appreciation for what it took to get there.
If you’re in the middle of a tough search, I can totally empathize with you. And I know the feeling of going on interview after interview, only to be told no repeatedly. But here’s the thing—I know how hard you’re working at it. And I know that if you keep doing what you’re doing to find your next job while taking a few more pointers along the way, I know you’ll end up somewhere great. And when you do, all of this just might make a little more sense.
With that said, if you read all of this and remain convinced the problem might be you, it’s possibly time you reach out to a career coach who specializes in interviews to get his or her take.
Photo of sad woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.More from this Author