I was sitting at my computer wondering when I would start my new job. I was really excited, and the night before I even dreamed about my first day on the job. I was going to be a project manager at a really cool, bleeding edge high tech company that was recently funded. My new boss had worked managing project managers at Microsoft. I think he left there relatively wealthy, but he couldn’t not work. He would be the perfect mentor: structured, experienced, etc. The technologists at the company were senior scientists of the like I had never seen or worked with before.
As I was sure I was going to start soon, I pretty much stopped doing everything else in my job search. I sent an email to my future boss asking where we were at, expecting him to say “come in on Monday! Let’s do this thing!”
Instead, I got a reply back that said something like “we have decided to go with someone else. Sorry, and good luck.”
I stared at the screen.
This was the lowest point of my job search.
I was sure that the job was mine. I was excited about this new chapter in my life. I was ready to move into a more structured project management environment, and get great training from this new boss.
I had ignored the yellow flags because I was so hopeful. Turns out the ex-MS guy had all of the characteristics of a narcissist and would surely have been a horrible boss. The two other project managers that interviewed me didn’t even know there was a job opening (the were surprised to even be interviewing me). There really wasn’t an opening at that company, and I’m not sure why I was allowed to interview.
Within a year the company had closed down. Good riddance. Karma. I wasn’t sad one bit.
But that morning, reading the rejection email, my already frail world had shattered. I remember going into a trance. I got on the treadmill and just walked and walked and walked. I had been neglecting my physical self as I focused on my job search. It had become my “center.” In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey warns us about choosing our centers. He says that we have to be careful because if we choose a center (like a job, family, school, church, etc.), and that center fails us, then what happens? We are left without grounding, direction, etc.
I walked on the treadmill, trying to make sense of the rejection. It had to be a mistake. He had to have lied from day one. Nothing was true anymore. I couldn’t trust my own judgement.
But I must figure this out. No one else is going to get this money situation solved for me. I had to do it. I had to pull myself together.
Job search experts say that even though you have interviews, keep networking. Even if you have job offers, keep interviewing. Even when you have a job, keep looking for a job!
And the rest of the world would say “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”