by: Joanne Meehl

You call in tears, or close to it: The Perfect Job went to someone else. After all this time, after all the networking, after all the networking group meetings, after all the mental reframing and resume re-writing and interview practice, after all the interviews, after all the thank-you notes, after canceling the sailing trip so you'd save the money, after the family talks about tapping the 401Ks, after all your hoping and daring not to think that you'd get this job for fear of jinxing it, you didn't get it.

You use the word devastated. As in, I am devastated. You ask, How could they not pick me? It was perfect for me. How could they? And then: what do you have to do these days to get them to see how good you are?

I could tell you to buck up and put this behind you and remind you about those other prospects and those other interviews, and how I understand because I've been there, too, but I will save that talk for another time. For now, I listen. I groan with you, for you. I say useless things like "I feel so bad that it worked out this way, with all that you have to offer." I let you vent and vent, and let you talk about your family beginning to doubt you, about how you are beginning to doubt you.

Then, when you pause, I gently interrupt to tell you that I don't doubt you, that you have the same skills and successes and talents to offer that you did before you got their rejection e-mail (yes, that's how they do it now). You listen but I know your pain isn't letting you take it in.

You're human: you want to avoid pain. But there is no avoiding this. A wise woman once told me, There is no way around pain, there's only through it. I hated the comment at the time, but later realized she was right. The only way to deal with it is to look it in its face and say OK, here you are. Because then, and only then, it will finally go away. Trying to avoid it only makes it a bigger presence in your life.

So right now, your pain is preventing you from really hearing good things about yourself. But after that lump in your throat goes away (it will) and you grudgingly decide, Well, I have no choice, I'd better move on from here, I am betting you cast your line about and remember my words. And I am hoping the words serve as the first little breeze that starts to refill your sails and which gets you to realize, and say, I'll be OK after all.


Leave a Comment

Blog Archive