The Ugly Truth About Your Job Search

Does your job search leave you Anxious? Frustrated? Worried? Uncertain?

You are a successful professional and you are used to being able to affect change, control outcomes. But guess what? In a job search, none of those skills and attributes count. Beyond your preparation and research and practice, you have no control over the results of your search. And the accompanying emotions are an expected and appropriate part of the process.

It’s supposed to be that way. I know you seek relief for your job search emotions, but some things are just what they are. Notice them, but do not be preoccupied with them. Don’t get bogged down with them. They are part of the job search package. 

Instead of a focus on your emotional response and hope for a cure, focus instead on improving all your job search related documents, do research on the people and companies with whom you will interview and review your answers to common questions.

The only way to relieve any of your job search angst is to be as prepared as you can possibly be. Don’t even think of ‘back channel’ to reveal what went wrong or what you can also do. That information is unreliable and that effort is the wrong place to spend your job search equity. 

There will be long waits, ambiguity, rejection and missed opportunities. Once you have done all that is polite and required, move on. 

If the interviewing company says they will get back to you and they don’t, there is no more you can do. They are showing you they are not interested. If you constantly pick at the scab and wonder what you can do to change the speed or outcome, you waste valuable mind share that would be better spent plotting next steps for networking or other positive job search activities. You have no control and you must accept this in order to get back to the business of creating interview opportunities elsewhere.

Interviewers often encourage candidates with the promise of we will get back to you, or HR will call you for more interviews. There is often a lag time because even though the employer has best intentions, life happens. Your needs are not a priority. They will respond as-can-do. Don’t take this personally. Wait.

Sometimes, they promise to get back to you and just don’t. This is often done to get you out of their office. No follow-up means, no follow-up. After you have sent your thank you notes and possibly one inquiry, there is nothing for it but to accept the company is not interested. You will never know why (no one will tell the truth, no matter how much you implore) and there is nothing you can do. Just move on. It is the Ugly Truth of the Job Search process. 

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