Not being rejected in the job world is interesting to think about.
I once read a story about an argument that two men had regarding capital punishment. The first man said that there was nothing that could be worse than death, and so there was no more fitting punishment for those who deserved it. The second man said that the tedium of life imprisonment and the time to reflect on one’s crimes was far worse than the death penalty. The two men enter a dare where the first man agrees to be locked into a home for ten years, given any pleasure he desires for a certain amount of money. The story ends when the first man, now insane from the waiting, isolation, and the desperation, escapes from his prison into the snow and cold, obviously losing his bet.
Something novel happened the other day: I opened my e-mail and I saw a rejection letter from a company that I had sent a resume to. Not that rejection in and of itself is novel to me, rather the fact that a company took the time out to send me a form letter acknowledging receipt of my resume and thank-you-very-much but that I could search elsewhere for gainful employment. It was nice to be put out of my misery.
Too often when searching for jobs, applicants don’t receive rejection letters from the companies they apply to. As a result we are left to check our e-mails every few hours hoping that our search for a job is making some, any, movement; up, down, side to side. Anything. There are those who don’t take rejection well and there are those who would rather be rejected than ignored. I am the latter.
I imagine that job hunting is like serial monogamy. I find and research a company: “Hey, what’s up?.” I send in a resume: “My name is Lex. This is why you should marry me.” I wait for an answer: “…” Repeat as necessary until you find someone lonely enough not to care about your sordid unemployment history.
Before long I started seeing my situation everywhere, even in the comics of the newspaper: “I wish that little red haired girl would come over, and sit with me. Wouldn’t it be great if she’d walk over here, and say, ‘May I eat lunch with you, Charlie Brown?’ I’d give anything to talk with her. She’d never like me, though. I’m so blah and so stupid. She’d never like me. I wonder what would happen if I went over and tried to talk to her! Everyone would probably laugh.”
The problem with not being rejected is that we (the applicant) don’t know that we can move on with our lives. We’re left clinging to the empty hope that maybe it is taking so long to hear back because they (the companies) are really looking at our resumes, despite that the fate of our resumes were probably decided by some software the day that you sent it in. Maybe they think it’s too hard to say no. Well, it’s much harder to hear nothing.
I’m nice-ish. I’m educated. I’m intelligent. Don’t I at least deserve a dignified rejection letter with my name copied and pasted in the “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. _______ section?
The job hunt continues. Bear in mind that you’re not the only one not hearing back.
Photo courtesy of Steve Snodgrass via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Check out the video below about how your marketability effects your job search.