Job hunting: waiting, rejection, and acceptance

Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

The reason so many people grow up to look for a job is that the economy has needed people who would grow up to look for a job.

Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012

They said that once I pass my licensure exam in electrical engineering, there will be a lot of opportunities waiting for me. They even said the same thing when I was about to finish my masters degree in energy engineering. But everytime I get to ask them what these opportunities are, they will just return me a shrug and add, “But I’m sure there are lots of opportunities for you given your specialization.

I don’t think having these degrees are everything and I was even skeptic with people telling me about such opportunities they cannot even name. But somehow, deep within me, I know there’s some truth in it. Not that the degrees we earn become our expressways to high profile jobs but rather, earning such degrees increases our circle of influence and broadens our options on where to go next.

I began to seek for advice early on about the things I should be doing in search for that job. My dear sister from the church urged me to start a LinkedIn account just so I can scout online possible opportunities I could explore. And so when the celebrations faded out after my graduation this year, I started to update my resume.

From the website, I was able to see possible workplaces that I never even thought existed. But being in that online environment was just the beginning. The moment people learned I am actively seeking for jobs, they started recommending me more options to apply in. Take note of the words actively seeking which only mean that we need to build and keep the momentum of moving forward so that there will be an actual progress in our search for jobs. Have I not done so, people won’t extend the help I never thought I need.

Waiting

Applying for jobs is much likely planting seeds. You can’t be so sure which one will sprout and grow as expected.

With that in mind, we must sparingly but intentionally sow applications in jobs we find ourselves aligned with. So far, I haven’t met people who want to be hired in a job they don’t want to be into. From my personal view, I also do not want to apply for jobs just for the sake of getting a job. I make sure that I embody the qualities the companies are looking for from their future employee.

But sending out applications is just the easy part of job hunting. Why? It’s actually the waiting part that challenges ourselves on how we must make use of our time. It even tests our self perception too. So once the applications leave our hands, it’s already beyond our control. We can only guess how the receiving end (in this case, the employers) will respond to a resume that barely tells about who we really are as a human being. Usually, we set high hopes of getting at least a response from any of the companies we applied into.

So what to do in this season of waiting (while spending less to none)? Here’s a list of some of the things you might consider doing:

  • Learn a new skill
  • Engage in sports
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Finish a book or two
  • Volunteer in social work

And the list could go on and on. What’s important here is that you remain productive everyday and make the most of your time while you still have the freedom to decide on how to spend them. Having a job (depends on what kind) is a key deciding factor on how you spend most of your days once you officially join the workforce.

Rejection

Looking for that job for you is like trial and error. You won’t really know which one is for you unless you first try to apply for it.

If you’ve got accepted after your first interview, congratulations! But this is usually not the case for the most of us. Interviews upon interviews and rejections after rejections, we may start to doubt ourselves and question our worth.

RELATED: I feel like a fraud and what I can do about it

None of us really like the feeling of rejection. It hurts. But I think rejections during job applications are essential to narrow down our options and eventually zero-in on that job that is meant for us.

The key principle to learn in this phase is that rejection does not mean we are rejected because of who we are as a person. We are rejected because we might not be the person for the job or not yet the person for the job.

RELATED: The over-educated, idealistic millennial: Real struggles from a Gen-Yer

Job hunting is like a maze where finding that job for you means that you did not stop looking. Persistent determination beats any form of rejection.

Acceptance

Whenever we plant a seed, there’s always a fifty per cent chance that it will not germinate. It is amazing that during planting season, we are called to prepare for all the things the seed needs but growing in itself is not something we can control.

This same principle could also be applied for our search for jobs. We may have prepared all the things we have control over with but once we send out our applications, It is already out of our control. The things we can do after is to wait and pray.

We may also have our specific job preferences such as work environment, compensation and benefits, and location to name a few. But I realized that the Lord knows better about what is best for us.

Maybe you don’t think that God still answers prayers today. Maybe, you do not believe in Jesus. Maybe you think that God is so busy to even notice your prayer about that job you deeply desire. But if you do believe that God listens, keep on praying for that job. If you don’t believe that God does, here’s a verse for you.

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 5:14 NASB

Sometimes, what God really prepared for us is just around the corner. We haven’t noticed them because we are so clouded with the preferences we identified for ourselves and have forgotten the most essential consideration we should have been asking for.

For my experience, I never thought it is flexibility over compensation that I would prefer for a job. But I never would have known about this if God did not direct my path rejection after rejection (narrowing my options until the job for me was actually zeroed-in). And all along, that job was just waiting for me to make up my mind. God really makes everything beautiful in its time.

If you are still waiting for that job acceptance after having a series of interview and examinations, submit that seed of application to the Lord through prayers. He’s in charge of making things grow in their own time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV

Wrap Up

  • Waiting. Choose to be productive everyday and make the most of your time while you still have the freedom to decide on how to spend them. Waiting won’t be so bad if you use it to your benefit (such as self-enhancement).
  • Rejection. You can overcome rejection through persistent determination. Keep on moving.
  • Acceptance. We are called to prepare for all things needed in job hunting but once we did our part, the response of our prospect employers are beyond our control. As we wait for results, we can submit them to the Lord with an expectation that God knows what’s best for us and that God makes everything beautiful in its time.

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