Perky Perspectives

A positive view from young professionals building their careers


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Love Hurts

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park, Melbourne, is...

Job hunting is like a roller coaster. You have to complete a series of ups, downs, loops, and corkscrews before you’re done with the ride. Your highest moments might be meeting a great contact at a networking event or being asked to interview for a position. The lowest times are probably when you are rejected for a position that you wanted. So how do you handle rejection in your job search? Gracefully? Begrudgingly? Bitterly? Even though you might not want to, it’s important to respond positively and professionally to rejection. You never know, it might even help you to land the job after all.

I fell in love with one of the places I applied to. The company was in an industry in which I wanted to work, the job description lined up with what I wanted to do, and employees had given the company positive reviews online. I submitted an application and was eventually called in for an interview. After two interviews, my positive impressions of the company were confirmed and I knew that I wanted to work there. I loved it. I wanted it.

Not Hiring Sign

I was called about one week after I had my second interview and informed that I would not be receiving the position. My application would be put on hold in the event that a position opens in the future. From application to my final interview I had waited two months for this call. It wasn’t what I was expecting to hear. Rejection in the job hunt hurts. You invest a lot of time and energy trying to get a position for which you know you are a well-qualified candidate. Yet you essentially lose to someone else. Yuck.

Even though I was disappointed, I called the human resources manager, asked her some questions about what being “on hold” meant, reiterated my interest in working for the company, and thanked her for her time. I thought it was a closed door at that point and decided to move on in my search. About one week later I received a call from the same company offering me a job.

Had I cut off correspondence or responded negatively, I doubt I would have been given a second thought when the position was re-opened. I believe my decision to react to rejection positively and maintain my goodwill with the company helped me to get the job in the end.

I encourage any job seeker to respond to rejection in a positive and professional manner. It can be as simple as writing a short letter in which you thank the company for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in working for the company. By doing this you are demonstrating professionalism and keeping the door open for future opportunities. Furthermore, I think it’s emotionally healthy. Having your final correspondence with a company be positive helps you to move forward with a positive attitude.

Stay positive,

Hannah

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From Realization to Inspiration

After Hannah coached me in parallel parking to sequester the rock star spot, we strolled into Cincinnati’s Bunbury Music Festival. You can’t do this everyday, go to an awesome three-day series of concerts with a best friend on an early Friday afternoon. Hannah and I could do this though because we are in transition (a.k.a. unemployed).

Right now, I’m 25 living with the parents and financially dependent. This is not the career situation I imagined to be in at this point in life. Mom, Dad and I are still adjusting to each other after not all being in the same house for several years. Unemployment has made me grumpy and these feelings unfairly get directed toward my parents, which affects our relationship in ways I don’t like.

Entering the gates at Bunbury, Hannah makes a good observation, highlighting a perk to being unemployed that I have not fully appreciated. Wait, what? Unemployment has perks? Hannah notes how nice it is that we at least have the time and flexibility to enjoy the summer, miss rush hour, and relax to some great music.

We do enjoy a great summer weekend of music, which included getting to meet Eric Nally, the vocalist of Foxy Shazam.

Upon reflection of Hannah’s observation and the weekend, I say to myself, “O.K. So you aren’t where you thought you’d be career wise. That’s fine. But Kristin, this doesn’t mean you have to take the situation as a bad thing.”

With support from family and friends, I have time to look for a job within an organization that will help me build my dream career. I have time to enjoy the summer. I have time to develop discipline, sit down and learn to play the guitar I got in high school. My schedule is flexible. I can participate in activities such as roller derby because I have time to train to make the team. I have time to travel 15 hours by car to Vermont (a state I’d never visited) to see a best friend from college (who I only see over Skype because she currently lives in France) get married.

In case you missed it, I have time.

Staying positive and motivated in testing situations is easier said than done, I know. But it needs to happen. Appreciating the support and time I have is a start to achieving this. Changing my attitude can help build my relationship with the parents. Hannah’s observation and reflection inspired a new project: Perky Perspectives, which encourages me to check my attitude and be a proactive. Plus, I get to work with my friend. Maybe it will even help me find a job ­čÖé

Best to you,

Kristin

One last word: I was able to win free tickets to the Bunbury event, which I recommend doing to lower costs (especially helpful if you need to save money).