Missing out on a job can be disheartening. You’ve put all the effort into preparing your resume, writing an application that addresses the important aspects of the position (or perhaps even responding in detail to specific selection criteria) and taking the risk of putting yourself ‘out there’ into the employment market. And after doing all of that, you don’t even get a response or you get a ‘thank you but no thank you’ reply. It can be disappointing but is ‘missing out’ really such a bad thing?
Getting an interview but not the job offer
But what about if you managed to get an interview and missed out on the job? Interviews require a lot of energy to prepare for and participate in. You start to imagine yourself in the role. You start to invest in getting the job. And then to miss out on the job, to not receive an offer, can be disheartening. We feel a sense of loss and there might be a sense of rejection too. We step onto dozens of mental and emotional landmines that erupt one after another. Why didn’t I get it? What could I have done differently? I should have said this. I shouldn’t have said that! That’s fine if you don’t care about the job, if you weren’t really interested in the job, then no loss. Or if the interview helped you decide that the position or organisation or people weren’t the right fit for you, again no loss. But if you were willing to accept the role should it be offered to you, then that can be disappointing, at least initially.
Getting the job offer and then…
But what if you’ve gone for the interview, been offered the job, accepted the offer and then they say some days later ‘oh no, we can’t go through with it’. Now that’s an interesting one to be faced with and I know of a case where this did happen. By this stage, you’ve put energy into preparing your resume, writing what is obviously a great application, taking the risk of venturing into new ground, preparing for the interview, getting yourself to the interview, participating in the interview, considering the role, receiving an offer, deciding to accept an offer, imagining yourself in the role, preparing for the changes the new role will require, contacting your referees, waiting for the paperwork to come through – phew it’s quite a lot isn’t it – only to receive advice that they will not honour their offer. Now of course, you can step in with the legal perspective and point out that a verbal offer and acceptance represents a binding contract and should be honoured. But hang on, do you want to work with an organisation that recruits like this?
Take heart – opportunities open because we attract what is a good fit
Sometimes, we get saved from what would be disastrous situations. We think we want to get that job or step up to that promotion, but it just might not be the right place for us to be. At the time, these experiences of not getting a job or a promotion can appear devastating, disappointing, disheartening (and I’m sure there are many more ‘d’ words that I could list to describe it, but I think you get the point) but dig deeper, look beyond the surface and very often ‘missing out’ might just have saved you from something that wasn’t going to be right for you.