After my post the other day about the discouragement that can be a part of the a job search, a few interesting things happened. I thought it probably warrants another blog post.
Just a bit of context though… (I feel like I need to make sure that we are all on the same page before I get too far.) At the end of June I completed the most difficult educational period of my life – three months at The Iron Yard in Atlanta.
At the end of those three months everyone in my cohort started looking for jobs. So, its been a few months since I started looking and applying for entry/junior level Ruby on Rails positions.
Job hunting is something that I’ve never really had to do. I’ve always worked for people that I’ve known. There were no cover letters, no application process, no resumes, no interviews… So I’ve been trying to figure the entire process out while doing it for the first time.
At any rate… I’ve been applying for open positions for the past seven or eight weeks. In the course of this time I’ve applied for 53 jobs. Of those 53 I’ve heard back from 16 of those companies. Most of those have been a “thanks but no thanks” kind of thing. They are the ones that fueled my post about the job hunt the other day.
Today I’d like to look at things from a bit of a different angle. After all, most issues in life do have at least two different angles from which they can be viewed.
Feelings Are Fickle
Any time we are taking about feelings, things like being discouraged, angry, sad, etc… I think its important to recognize two things.
First feelings are fickle. It doesn’t take a whole lot to change how we feel about things. A pat on the back can make a bad day a good day. A positive email regarding a job that you’ve applied for can be equally empowering. It doesn’t take a lot to trigger a good feeling or a bad feeling.
Secondly… there are always two sides to a feeling. Happiness has sadness. Fear has security. Discouragement has encouragement. If you can feel discouraged about your job hunting process, you can also feel encouraged about that same job hunt. It really doesn’t take a whole lot to swing from one to the other.
For instance, yesterday I talked to a couple of companies who are interested in my particular skill set. It’s amazing how my entire outlook on life and job hunting changed.
Its Like a Roller Coaster
Hunting for a development job is similar to a roller coaster ride. There are days when I feel really good about where I’m at. Getting one reply that is even remotely positive about what I know or talking to people who are trying to find a place for me to fit into what their company is doing can really make a person feel encouraged.
And yes, there are days when it feels like the entire world has conspired against me and my journey to find a job. Those are the discouraging days.
I think we all have good days and bad days – I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that.
Now, just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean that I have to make everyone around me have a bad day. Although it is important to be honest about how things are going, it is equally important to always try to have a positive attitude. Even when I’m not in the best mood I always try my best to not be the reason that someone else’s day goes from good to bad.
Whatever You Do… Don’t Give Up
So what is the entire point here?
Part of the reason that I posted about discouragement the other day is that I hate when people paint a rosy picture of their lives when they are really struggling. I believe honesty in all things (with a heavy dose of tact and knowing when to stop) is the best way to approach life – sadly the truth is often under utilized in the way we communicate to those around us.
Wherever you are in life… know that there will be highs and there will be lows. Be honest about how things are going. You might be surprised to find people around you who really care about you and whats going on in your life – they just may not know how things are really going.