The job hunting process is an emotional roller-coaster, filled with many ups and downs – much like dating, really. So I thought I’d try to chart the process using pop music!
Finding that perfect job
“Why can’t I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can’t I speak whenever I talk about you”
- Liz Phair, “Why Can’t I?”
Every now and then, you’ll stumble across a job opening that is absolutely just perfect for you. You know that deep down inside, you would be the best person for this role because you can’t think of anyone else that can do it better. Except maybe Ben Affleck, because that guy can do no wrong (except that whole J’Lo thing).
You apply for the job, and find yourself thinking about it all the time, just waiting for them to call back.
Successfully getting past the first few rounds of interviews
“Such a feeling’s coming over me.
There is wonder in most every thing I see.
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream.”
- The Carpenters, “Top of the World” (but I like the more upbeat Shonen Knife cover)
You’ve now successfully gone through a few rounds of interviews, and you’ve been charming the interviewers every time with your thorough preparations and enthusiasm. Right now, it really seems like it’s in the bag, and all you have to do is wait for the paperwork to be drawn up. Your dream job is about to come true!
The long wait
“What I wanna know baby
If what we had was good
How come you don’t call me anymore.”
- Prince, “How come you don’t call me” (but I like the Alicia Keys version because she’s prettier than Prince)
Just when everything seems to be going smoothly, the phone calls and emails stop coming. The weekly updates drag, and suddenly it’s a month since you’ve last heard from them. You inquire, and you get polite excuses about some obscure matters that need to be resolved but that you’ll hear from them immediately should they have any updates.
“You were everything, everything that I wanted.
We were meant to be, supposed to be but we lost it.”
- Avril Lavigne, “My Happy Ending”
One day, just when you thought you couldn’t possibly wait any longer and that you’d pass out from holding your breath, you get a message and sadly it’s not what you wanted to hear. You contemplate protesting and asking for second chances, but you keep your cool and walk away.
Anger and resentment
“I didn’t give a damn what you say to me
I don’t really care what you think of me
Cause either way you’re gonna think what you believe
There’s nothing you could say that would hurt me.”
- Avril Lavigne, “I Can Do Better”
When the initial shock of the rejection dies down, you end up feeling angry that you’ve been led along so far, and absolutely reject the notion that someone else was deemed to be better than you. Denial kicks in and you refuse to allow anyone to make you feel like second best, and your wounded pride ignites a fire under your ass and inspires you to write a silly post on your blog that references not one but two Avril Lavigne songs.
Depression sets in again
“Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try and keep me here.”
- Tegan and Sara, “How Come You Don’t Want Me”
Your anger burns out, and before long you’re sitting in a corner with your face in your hands, and every rejection and failure in your life resurfaces to crush you beneath their weight.
Why doesn’t anyone recognize the talent and passion inside you? How come nobody ever wants to take a chance on you? Why can’t you find someone to take that leap of faith with you?
Still more regret
“If only I’d thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart.”
- The Cure, “Pictures of You”
A month later, and things are pretty much back to normal… Life goes on! But every now and then when things are quiet, you’ll have a moment of relapse and you’ll repeat the scenarios over and over again in your head, wondering where you went wrong and how you could’ve done things differently if you had a second chance.
Closure and renewed confidence
“You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow.”
- Katy Perry, “Firework”
One day, after listening to Katy Perry songs over and over again during your commute to work, you realize that you’re probably not a worthless piece of crap after all. You throw yourself back into kicking ass at work, and computer-generated sparks erupt from your chest when you decide to skateboard to the office even though you’re dressed like an corporate drone.
And someday, all the people that rejected you in the past will turn on their TVs and see you rocking up MTV.