In Search of that Something Special
Jade and I both have been looking for new opportunities in our careers. In the past six months I have applied for about two hundred jobs. Seriously, I really have. In this time period I have received numerous rejection emails, several rejection phone calls, and countless no replies at all. It’s a bit disheartening putting yourself out there so much just to have metaphorical door after metaphorical door slammed in your face. I do understand that I am not the only one in this situation. There are literally thousands of people who are going through the exact same struggles I am right now. I think in these situations one would like to feel as though they have that ‘special something’ that sets them out from all the rest; that something that would make them the right or ideal candidate for the job. I don’t know if this ‘something special’ is something I possess or not. I don’t know if this ‘special something’ is actually an obtainable quality that one can aspire to embody.
I do know that I feel like I am a very professional, skilled, charismatic and educated individual that can offer so much to any organization, university or company that would choose to hire me. I don’t think that believing in yourself or having high self esteem is a bad quality. How can it be an unattractive quality in a potential applicant for any position? I have gone into a handful of interviews in the past few months and put my most calm, collected, and professional foot forward in the attempt to move up the ladder career wise. So far I have come up empty handed. I called one of those places that I interviewed and got turned down by today. I got to the second interview, for the second time. I had an interview last June with them which I got to the second interview and now it happened all over again this last week. Same place, same position, same management of the department I applied for. Obviously they see something in my resume, be it experience, accomplishments or education that lead them to bring me back a second time. But two days after this second round of my second interview, I received an rejection email, “Upon further review and consideration, we have decided not to move forward with you as a candidate…” this is the second time this has happened. This time I felt like I deserved a reason why. So I called.
I called the head of the department and asked him respectively why was I not selected for the position. He assured me that it was nothing personal, which I had already assumed it wasn’t, and it was nothing to do with my qualifications. He told me that my qualifications, education, experience and skills are on par or above average, basically everything they are looking for in a candidate for the position I interviewed for. But I lacked that additional ‘special something’ that they were looking for. This particular role is a position within an admissions department at a college. My ultimate career goal is to work within education at the college level, specifically administration as a short term goal, and eventually teach as an instructor or professor as my long term goal. I am not only applying for these types of jobs but they are a majority of what I apply for. It was this department head’s belief that I would be an ideal candidate for a role in student affairs or academics, and advised me to keep my eyes upon their online job board for future openings. But I applied for this position, a position I already have had experience in and have been successful in, something I relatively enjoy doing.
All in all, this was a position that allows an employee to get their foot in the door and move up afterward. This position at this college, however, requires that ‘special something.’ I know for a fact that I did fantastic in the interview. Possibly one of my best. But how am I to know if I am emitting that ‘special something?’ I think that something is different for any job that I apply for. He admitted that this job’s ‘special something’ is a ‘sense of urgency.’ They want students to feel like the time is now, no turning back, your future starts today! Carpe diem as it were. I know how to get someone excited for their next positive steps in life. I’m a one man cheer-leading squad. I have done this before in my past admissions role. But in this instance, they didn’t see that in me. It makes wonder what else past interviewers have not seen in me. How are you to know what you aren’t putting on the table for these people if they don’t highlight it in the requirements or daily activities of the job description? Am I a mind reader? I honestly would love to be at this point because I am getting nowhere without it.
I am not discouraged. Though it might seem like I am. I am still positive, optimistic, realistic and believe I am full of enough good karma to last lifetimes. But how do I learn how to have that one special thing that is going to get me hired on the spot? What do I need to do to exude that special thing in a room of one to five people asking me questions about my qualifications, education and career history? How do I reach the next step? I am seriously asking. If you have any idea how I can do this please leave a comment and give me some pointers. If you are on the job hunt like me, know I’m rooting for you!