APADIA 18: Straight Talk for Job Searchers
(What’s APADIA? See here.)
Recently I’ve seen several examples of people calling organizations unprofessional for their hiring practices.
A lot of organizations really do have extraordinarily unprofessional hiring practices. But these aren’t what I’m seeing being described.
Here’s one that I’m paraphrasing (because I don’t want to embarrass anyone):
“I waited for two months after being interviewed and submitting a proposal, only to get a voicemail that said that while my resume was impressive, they had several applicants that fit the job description better.”
The person writing this was “visibly frustrated” that they didn’t express gratitude for the proposal or explain what the candidate was lacking. He went on to scold hiring managers to be more “respectful” to those who are trying “so desperately” to be hired.
Bluntness time, my precious unicorn.
What you got? That WAS professional.
Your reaction? Was not.
It was unrealistic and immature, and it makes any employer exposed to it unlikely to hire you.
A hiring manager does not owe you gratitude that you deigned to interview with them, or explanations for why you’re not being hired, or recommendations for your self-improvement.
They’re hiring because they’re trying to solve a problem. You may be the solution, in which case you’ll get hired. You may not be the solution, in which case, you won’t.
When you’re not their solution, that’s not their problem. It’s yours.
Expecting other people to care about problems that are yours, not theirs, is a human impulse. But leaving the impulse unchecked is the core of problems like “arrogance” and “entitlement” and “naivete” that employers complain about, particularly about young people.
Being young in business can suck. You get condescended to and made fun of. Also, job hunting can suck. It’s a rollercoaster and a grind. 100%. Many things in life are. Last time I job-hunted, I was looking for the best part of a year, and the one job I ended up taking, took six months of discussions.
When you job-hunt, you’re a salesperson, and your product is yourself. This is not a comfortable role for most people. Certainly not for me. It is painful to put yourself out there and not be wanted. It is, unfortunately, the way it is.
The best advice I know to give you for job-hunting:
- Do one thing every day.
- Expect it to take way, way longer than you’d like.
- Improve your resume. I don’t care who you are; it needs it.
- Improve your connections with your network of friends and acquaintances and THEN tell them you’re looking.
- Do not focus on cold applications.
- Don’t take anything personally.