Thursday, May 12, 2011

Moving On

I didn't get the job.  I made it to top three, for which I am extremely happy since it was a library directorship.  But still, it can't help but sting a little.

At least I received the nicest "rejection letter".  They said that I was an amazing candidate and that they wish they could have given all three of us jobs, but in the end, they had to pick one.  I'll never really know why I wasn't the one they chose.  I'm guessing it was my lack of experience.  Or maybe my enthusiasm and "young exuberance" scared them.  Change can be terrifying for a school.  Either way, I'll never know.  So the question that remains then is, "How do you move on from a job rejection?"

In some ways, it's easier to never have gotten an interview at all.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I know that getting an interview - especially in these times - is HUGE.  I'm not saying the interview was a waste of time.  I'm just saying that hope can be excruciating.  Waiting by the phone.  Wondering what they're thinking.  Over-analyzing everything from what you wore to whether or not they like the car you drive.  When left alone with your own thoughts, and the fear of rejection, you can come up with some pretty stupid reasons why they obviously hated you. 

But when you do get an interview you've had a chance to show them who you really are.  And if you have a good interview, you've really really shown them everything you are as a person and a professional.  Which is why it can really sting when you don't get the job.  It's the difference between being rejected for a date online and being rejected in person...in public....via loudspeaker.

I'm exagerating of course, but I'm still left feeling a little slapped down.  After I read the rejection letter, my first reaction was actually relief.  Amongst all of the other nasty things I thought about myself, I was worried that if I DID get the job I wouldn't be able to do it.  Which is of course ridiculous, but just goes to show you how mean we can be to ourselves.  A part of me was very happy sticking with "the known."  Even for movers and shakers like me, change can be scary.  It's not change to something we know - like a new technology - that is frightening.  It's agreeing to do something that we DON'T understand nor are able to foresee its outcome that makes us bed wetters. 

Anyway, even worse than not getting the job was having to tell my friends and family.  They all knew that I had gotten the interview and the second interview.  They kept calling and emailing me like they were watching an episode of Days of Our Lives.  I was their vicarious soap opera and they all wanted to know how I was going to turn out.  It's really hard to call them and tell them that once again you were benched.

I cheated.  I just texted all of them.  And then turned my phone off.

They were supportive and said things like "I'm so sorry" or "You just have to get back on the horse."  I'm not sure I could really hear any of it.  I just wanted to hide.  This all happened a while ago, but it took this much exhaling for me to even write this post.

I started looking again for whatever horse I was supposed to get back up on, but there weren't any job postings.  Thankfully, a whole bunch just hit the boards and I applied to 9 different positions over the weekend.  So far I haven't been contacted, but here's hoping! 

In the end, I just keep reminding myself that second place (or third in this case) still gets you a medal.  I still impressed them enough that they went to their bosses and said, "Hey!  Check out this girl!  We think she might be the one!"  And hopefully they'll keep me in the back of their minds when they're lunching or changing districts and the seemingly amazing interviewing I did won't be for naught. 

So I'm back on the horse and I'm applying like crazy and smiling and being awesome.  And I know one day my matching lego piece will call and it'll just click.

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