Recently, I have been having a pretty rough time in regards to my mental status during this lovely job search. It’s not that I’m being negative or berating myself. The problem is that searching for a job day-in and day-out since March 27th has been an emotional roller coaster.
The Disappointing Times
While looking for a job, you will come across jobs that you feel like could be your dream job. You will get excited and hopeful, and a majority of the time, you either end up getting a rejection or you just never hear back. If you are lucky enough to score an interview, you prepare a ton for it, which in itself is a stressful process. You then go through the interview process, and you possibly begin feeling even more excited about the prospect of getting this job and working at your dream company. Then, if you aren’t one of the lucky ones, you end up really disappointed that you didn’t land that job.
This has happened to me 2 times during this job search, so far. The one that hurt the most was the one where I made it all the way through the interview process, but was ultimately turned down the position because of their lack of resources/support for a junior dev.
Ever since then, I’ve gotten quite a few interviews, but unfortunately nothing has made it past the first round. At first, it was my nerves during technical screenings/interviews that was hindering my chances. As of recently though, I’ve gained the confidence and enough experience to feel comfortable during those technical interviews.
My Low Point
Just the other week, I had an hour long technical screening that I was super proud of myself for, but ended up getting a rejection shortly after. I was completely flabbergasted, feeling super upset, wondering how I could get any better than I was during that interview. I turned to my parents, my fiancé, and my best friends in tears wondering if I’d ever be enough for a company. This moment was definitely a low point in my job search.
Since then, I’ve had one other interview, which, unfortunately, hasn’t led to another interview, but it did make a light go off for me. This interview was a major turning point and has lit a fire in my belly once again. It was during this interview that I discovered my niche in the tech world.
The Exciting Times
I interviewed for a software development position within a bioengineering research lab. I originally got the idea to start looking for positions like this after attending a meetup that was in regards to data science and medicine. My previous profession was within the healthcare field and I found the topic really interesting. I didn’t feel like I was in a foreign place, unable to speak the native language. In a sense, it felt like I was finally home.
Getting back to the interview, the person who interviewed me had previously worked as a software developer within a concussion research lab and we went off topic for about 10 minutes discussing all of the new and old tools developed to detect concussions. It was during this 10 minutes, that I became rejuvenated and was all of a sudden super excited about my job search.
See, when I worked as an athletic trainer, and I know this is awful to say but…my favorite thing to treat was concussions. Not every one was the same. It was a challenge to treat them and it sometimes required a bit of creativity to help rehabilitate the athletes. I once thought about going to get my PhD, in hopes to work in a concussion research lab. It never occurred to me until this interview that I could still do this as a software developer.
Now, my search has been geared toward finding positions in research labs. My goal isn’t necessarily to jump straight into a concussion research lab, but to hopefully be in one within the next 5 years. I’ll take any experience in a lab that I can get, so that when I go to apply for this dream job of mine (hopefully in Pittsburgh, PA), I have a higher chance and a more impressive resume to show off.
My Pep Talk
With all of that said, it’s easy to see how much of an emotional roller coaster the job search really is. It’s filled with moments of excitement and rejuvenation, but is also filled with moments of complete disappointment and sadness. This is all very common, and I hope by sharing my experiences here, that everyone else in my position reading this realizes that they aren’t alone and that this is normal.
If you are currently in the throes of the job search, I’m proud of you. Keep your head up and realize that things will eventually work out. A company will eventually take a chance on you. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, we just all need to have patience with the process and with ourselves.
Good luck hunting!
Note: If anyone ever needs to talk, I'm here to be a listening ear. Feel free to DM me via Twitter.
Oldest comments (13)
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am not even near the starting point, but it will help me mentally prepared what I should expect.
I think it's a wonderful thing you have a "goal" and "dream job".
I wish I also could have ones in close future.
All the best, and wish you good luck through the journey!
Thank you. 😊
Same situation as you. Currently work full time in healthcare and I feel like I don’t have enough time to practice my coding skills and job search. Every interview I’ve had I have been so anxious (and just possibly a bit burned out) that I forget how to do things that I know how to do. Eventually it should wear off I figure but here’s hoping for something in health tech where I can speak the language and feel more confident! We can do this!!
I was the exact same way with technical interviews and then all of a sudden it clicked for me. I entered a video technical interview after spending the whole hour before crying over getting rejected by another company and just feeling that terrible "I'm never going to be enough" thought. I thought I'd do terrible during the interview, but it was my best yet. I stayed so calm. It was like I finally hit that point of thinking "they'll like you or they won't. Don't be stressed over it".
Good luck trying to find a job in health tech!!! If you ever need any help with anything, please reach out. I'd love to help.
Nice one, I started job search 2 months ago still no sign of light at the end of the tunnel :)
It's there. We will both come out the other side of that tunnel eventually. Keep your head up. 😊
What you have penned down is absolutely true in content and order. Have been in the journey since 2+ months now with no sight of success.
It's definitely a rough ride. I truly believe we will all find a position. It will take longer for some than for others. A few of my bootcamp friends have already gotten multiple offers and accepted positions. We just can't compare ourselves to others and we have to have patience and faith in the process.
Good luck on your search.
Thanks for the wishes and your positive words. Great to have this conversation!
It's not you. It's just the process. It's really hard being a new dev and having all of the competition plus few junior/entry level roles out there. Someone will eventually take a chance on you, don't worry.
Congratulations on following your dreams! I'd encourage everyone looking for a job to keep in mind that the average job search is 3 - 6 months. If you've been job hunting for a few months and still haven't found one, it just means you're normal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you or your skills.
I know this process can be very frustrating as days turn into weeks and weeks into months, but hang in there and keep reaching for your dream job!
Thank you so much for adding this to the discussion. ❤️ It definitely helped me breathe easier this morning.