Words no job seeker wants to hear…and how to cope

Whether we’re seeking staff or freelance work, we all have to hunt. This means perusing sites like craigslist, mandy.com, monster, indeed, SimplyHired, LinkedIn and others. If you’re lucky, your cover letter and resume will stand out just enough to get that coveted phone call for a face-to-face interview (and trust me, that’s no easy feat these days).

So you meet with the hiring manager, have a great 25-minute chat and then you’re on your way. A few hours later, you send the courtesy email thanking him/her for their time so you remain fresh in their mind. And then you wait.

Being a native New Yorker, patience is not my best trait. I want something and I want it now! Unfortunately, that can’t always be the case (though you can get a mean grilled cheese at 3am at the local diner).

When it comes to seeking work (no matter what your profession is), you are at the mercy of employers. That’s just the way it is. The bright side is that as a freelancer, you automatically grow the ability to develop a thick skin. With that, comes the ability to identify all the typical catch phrases you hear when you don’t land a job:

“Thanks for your interest in the position, but we’ve decided to move in a new direction with it.” (North? South? East? West?)

“We’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities.” (That is, if we don’t wind up going with someone we already know!)

“We’ll be sure to keep your resume on file.” (Along with the 350 other CVs in our filing cabinet).

Bottom line: being turned down for a gig sucks. Especially after you’ve made the effort to dry clean your suit, prepare a portfolio and endure an hour-and-ten minute commute on two crowded subway trains.

When that happens, it’s important to keep your chin up. Allow yourself one hour of moping time, one or two phone calls to vent to friends, even a half-hour of mindless television to get your mind off the disappointment. Then, it’s time to get back on that horse and start all over again the next day.

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