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The Nine Stages of Applying for Jobs

It’s graduation season, and you know what that means. Thousands upon thousands of accomplished, intelligent, and driven men and women are getting ready to enter the workforce. It’s an exciting time, full of optimism and hope.

Hold onto that hope, dear graduates. Don’t forget it, because you’ll need it as you begin filling out job applications. These are the Nine Stages that you might go through over the course of the next couple of months (or you might already be going through them now, you sneaky overachievers).

Stage One: Excitement

Your search pulled up a job that seems like the perfect fit. You read the description, and it sounds like they’re talking directly to you. You can feel in your gut that you’d do well in this position.

Stage Two: Apprehension

You get to the part about experience at a similar position, and you begin to feel wary. You’re young, barely out of college. You don’t have the experience, and you know that will be a mark against you. Still, the job seems great. You click “apply.”

Stage Three: Annoyance

Why do you have to create a profile on a million different sites to apply for jobs? Whatever happened to just filling out the form online? What good is that online profile going to do you after they reject your application?

Stage Four: Real Frustration

Step 1: Upload Resume. Step 2: Regurgitate all information found in your resume into the application. Seriously, why even ask for your resume if they’re just going to ask for your education history, work history, awards, certifications, and accomplishments on their form anyway? And, of course, the description you’ve written for your previous jobs that, you know, actually describes your responsibilities is too many characters for their online format to handle.

Stage Five: Sweet Relief

Finally, after what seems like hours (and in some cases, may actually take hours), you’ve jumped through all the hoops. Your application is ready. You hit “submit” and get a rush when it says “your application is complete.” This short moment of pure ecstasy almost makes it all worth it. Sure, you have carpal tunnel syndrome and may never use your hands again, but you’ve finished.

Stage Six: Anxiety

Did you know it can take days or even weeks for someone to acknowledge your application? You get the courtesy “your application is being processed” email that sends out automatically when you submit it, but after that comes total radio silence. For days.  You begin to fret over the application. Are you actually advanced in Microsoft Office? You put down that you were intermediate. Is that going to be the determining factor?

Stage Seven: Depression

You’ll never find a job. No one wants you. Going to college was a waste of four years and tens of thousands of dollars. Your own mother wouldn’t even hire you.

Stage Eight: Confidence (AKA White Hot Rage)

You no longer care about that job. You’ve overcome your darkness and realize that you’re awesome and anyone who doesn’t hire you is ridiculous. You use this sudden burst of confidence to apply to 15 more jobs. You will fly higher than anyone ever dreamed, and then you will look back on this and laugh. You are a king in your own mind.

Stage Nine: The Moment of Truth

You open your email one day and see something from that first job you were so excited about. Or, your phone rings and it’s a number you don’t recognize from the city where that job was located. Your gut drops. This is the moment. Do they want to interview you? Is this the “we’re going in another direction” notice? You won’t know unless you open/answer. Good luck.

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