I just have to get this off my chest:
When you are applying for a job, you are…well, applying for a job. You are not making a lifetime commitment. You are not signing a blood pact. You are not tattooing some guy’s name across your chest. You are not signing over your firstborn. All your application says is, “I’m interested in hearing more about this.” That’s all it is.
This means that you don’t have to decide up front whether you want the job before you even apply. You just need to decide that (a) you need a job, and (b) this might not suck. That’s it.
You can fritter away weeks, even months, waiting for the perfect job to be posted on some job board…just so you can apply. Here’s what’s going to happen then: a thousand other people will apply too. Then you’ll spend the next couple of months make yourself crazy by checking your email every four minutes. Odds are you won’t get the job, because a thousand people is a lot. Then you’ll be crushed, and you’ll feel like a loser, and that feeling will make it even harder for you to beat the odds the next time a perfect job comes along. In the meantime, you’ll starve to death, because perfect jobs are pretty hard to come by (and they’re rarely posted on job boards). That’s why they invented the lottery.
You don’t find a spouse by dating only people you are 100% sure you would want to marry. You find a spouse by meeting lots of people. Otherwise, you end up either alone or married to the wrong person (usually, and I’m sure there are exceptions, but they mostly happen on compounds in the western United States, before the government agents arrive). The same is true for finding a job. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince (or princess, or whatever you’re into).
Oh, and here’s another clue: The one you think you really, really want might actually suck. Once I got a job at a place that is a major “employer of choice” in my town. Everyone was envious. Getting that job was like getting into Harvard. Then I started the job, and I hated it. Taking a new job is always a gamble, even after a bunch of interviews. If you think you can tell the good from the sucky just by reading the ad, you’re either crazy or psychic. My money’s on crazy.
There’s no perfect job. There are only jobs that suck and jobs that don’t. Most jobs don’t suck harder than unemployment.
Apply. Get out there. The worst that can happen is that you get some interview experience, and find out where you DON’T want to work. That’s useful information that helps you find the job that suits you. Don’t apply for jobs that are a crazy stretch, but if there’s a reasonable chance that you’re qualified, go for it.
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