You realize you’re unhappy in your current life and have been for some time. Rather than look inward and get to the core why you are so miserable, (do you hate your job or just the concept of working? Why did your parents waste money sending you to private school if you’re just going to be a professional emailer for life? Are you even supposed to be happy? Is anyone actually happy???) you decide to seek validation from complete strangers. Obviously, the fulfillment you seek will most certainly come from someone else.
So, you put yourself out there. You update your social media and online profiles and soon…you find a cute job opening online! Sure, they slid into your DM’s (on LinkedIn) and it’d be nice if you had been set up by a friend or rich family member, but beggars can’t be choosers. You have an interview tomorrow!
I mean yeah, it’s just a casual call with HR to see if it’s a fit, but you still want to make a good first impression. You do some ‘research’ beforehand (social media stalking) and realize you have a mutual friend who is vaguely connected to them. You reach out to learn a little bit more (‘hey, so random, but how do you know mid-size marketing firm? What are they like?’) and you’re excited by what you hear (‘My old coworker works there and really likes it. Want me to reach out?’)
The call goes great and you have an official interview next week! You don’t want to get too excited and you’re definitely still seeing other job opportunities, but you have a good feeling about this one.
Getting to Know Each Other:
By now, you’ve gone on a few interviews already and honestly, things are going great. You’re learning a bit more about their past and what they’re looking for and it seems like it could be a good match. You’ve even met some of their friends and they’re great!
You’re definitely opening up a little bit more but you’re still not totally comfortable. You still overthink every email (‘is it weird I followed up literally 10 minutes after that call?’ ‘Was that too many exclamation points?’) and you freaked out when you accidentally viewed their LinkedIn profile (‘fuck, do they have Premium’) but it’s fine and totally natural. It’s just butterflies!
You mention them offhand to friends and they’re really excited for you. You’re still out there applying for other jobs on Indeed and you know they’re interviewing other people, but you’re considering turning off ‘Actively Looking’ on your LinkedIn. It’s getting serious.
What Are We?
You’ve been on 3 interviews. You sent them all your references. You even followed up with your interviewer and sent them a Wall Street Journal article that was ‘relevant to your conversation last week.’ You’ve only done that once before and it was with your first job and you’d been together for 3 years. And what do you get? Radio silence.
You are starting to go a little nuts. At this point, it’s been almost 3 months and you’ve already pictured your life together. You’ve planned your commute and even picked out your desk! You can’t help but obsessively refresh their social media to see if they’re still available. Not only have you stopped seeing other job listings, but you’ve completely checked out on your current job and every single project is 3 weeks behind. You even told your parents about them! You need answers!
Then, after refreshing your email for the tenth time that half hour, you see it and your heart races – it’s an email from them. You open it and from the first sentence, you know it’s bad news. The professional tone, the vague platitudes, the periods instead of exclamation points. You don’t even need to get to ‘we regret to inform you’ – you know it’s over.
You grieve. You complain to your loved ones and unfollow them on all social media. You convince yourself you didn’t want it anyways. But eventually, you’ll have to face your sad life. And gather the strength to start all over again.