Although I don't have a degree, I've been rockin' the corporate workforce since age 18. I've applied for a lot of jobs, bombed a lot of interviews, worked for crappy people, worked for awesome people, been pushed around some, seen the benefits of hard work, shed a lot of tears, and have written a few resignation letters. After several years, I'm now finally established with employer that I believe will suit me long-term.
Job hunting is like man hunting. You spot the job of your dreams. Maybe find the it online, in the newspaper, on a bulletin board, or hear about it from a friend. The job sounds perfect.
You start thinking about this job. It's so mysterious. It looks so good on paper, you know it would be even more awesome in person. You pursue the job, make the first move. Write up a flawless cover letter and resume. Let the job know you're interested.
Wait by the phone for days, maybe weeks for the job to call. Finally, the moment arrives. The job wants to meet you! The date is set for the two of you to meet. You panic about what to wear for your first encounter with the job. First impression in crucial. The day finally arrives. You've rehearsed in front of the mirror, have all of the professional jargon memorized, and look like a million bucks. But butterflies take over your insides as you drive to your destination.
What if I slip and say something really lame?
What if it asks me a question I'm not prepared for?
Am I overdressed? Underdressed?
Whatever you do, do not bite your fingernails or twirl your hair or clear your throat more than twice.
The moment finally arrives and you meet your potential job face to face. Seems nice. Nothin' super special, but it's good enough. It's the only interview you've had, so this must be the one. Job says it'll call you within a few days/weeks. So you wait again. Sit by the phone. Check e-mail every 5 minutes. No way will you let this one go. It's meant for you.
You can't stand to wait one more day. Call the hiring agent and politely ask about the status of the job. "Sorry, you were perfectly qualified, but we've chosen another candidate. We'd like to keep your resume on file in case anything else comes up."
You don't know what to feel. Rejected. Angry. Confused. Really, really hurt. What the heck happened? You were ready for a relationship with that job and it just kicked you to the curb (tears, cussing). You'll never have a chance at a job like that ever again. (sniff). Not ever.
Don't worry. You'll show that job what it's missing. You go right to the computer or newspaper to look for your rebound job. Apply to everything for which you're even remotely qualified.
Repeat process above approximately 41 times. Swear off jobs forever. Who needs to pay bills anyway?
THEN ONE BLESSED DAY.
A job recognizes your talents, your abilities. Offers you a position. You don't even need to wait a day to think about it. You accept immediately. What is this job again?
OK, so it's not all you hoped it would be. Your salary is several thousand dollars below industry standard. You're hidden away in a sea of cubicles with bad, florescent lighting. Days seem to last weeks and weeks, months. You're unhappy with this job, but you worked so hard to get it, you need to just suck it up for a little while then ask for a raise. Surely, more money will make you like the job.
Years go by and the company suffers with the economic decline. Job cuts. But the job would never do that to you. You being it's most loyal, hardest worker ever.
You and the job go in for "counseling" (HR). It's just not working out. You're no longer what the job needs. The job is letting you go. It'll be bringing in an outside contractor to handle your responsibilities. Slut.
After being off the market for so long, you don't even know if you'll ever be able to get another job. It's only when daytime television becomes unbearable and you're out of Rocky Road icecream but you can't afford the gas in your car to go get more that you even make an attempt at another job.
Repeat job hunting process above.
(Ring-a-flippin'-ling). "We've reviewed your qualifications and would like to offer you the job. Your starting salary would be (enter worthy amount here)."
Maybe this job fits you perfectly. Maybe it doesn't. It's likely better than the last. And it sure beats unemployment. Look back over the process. You've learned so much, established lots of different relationships, and have experience to add to your growing resume. Take the job or don't, but whatever you end up with, make it the very best job you possibly can.
When you find your dream job, all this crap...totally worth it.