I’m literally so qualified. Why aren’t they emailing me back?
Spoiler alert: it’s not because you’re Queer. And if it is? F*ck them, you don’t want any part of that, anyway. Here’s our strategy for making it work when you’re trapped in unemployment purgatory.
We’ve all been there. You met the recruiter. You sent the intro email. You aced the interview, and you followed up. Nada. You followed up again. You polished up your portfolio and followed up a third time. And your inbox? *Crickets.*
First off? It’s not your fault. There will always be employers that take decades to get back to you, and there will always be conversations that start out promising and end up…a little differently than you expected. And that’s okay! To put it simply, job hunting kind of sucks, and that mysterious limbo period is part of the process. And while it’s never fun, it’s something you can plan for.
Here are Mossier’s tips for riding out the second email slump.
- Set some goals. We’re talking long term and short term, baby! It can take a while to land your dream gig—or even your first one—and it’s important to stay motivated as you move along. Give yourself a few boxes to check off. Sending emails, setting up meetings, and turning in applications can help you build a sense of accomplishment, even if you technically haven’t been hired (yet).
- Keep in mind that people really are busy… Like, BUSY busy. Career busy and personal life busy. No one’s going to hate you for reaching out, but on the same token, you won’t always be first on their priority list. Give them a little time, and don’t burn any bridges—you never know who might turn out to be a valuable contact later on.
- …But be considerate. There’s a fine line between checking in and flooding someone’s inbox. Consider the context. There’s no shame in following up, but if you’ve been trying to reach this person for weeks and it’s simply not working, this may not be the best time. Give them a little space, and see if there are any opportunities you can look into elsewhere.
- Be gentle with yourself. Job hunting can be a long and invalidating process, and it can take a real toll on your body. Honor what you’re feeling and check in on your thought process. A rejection letter doesn’t make you any less intelligent, talented, or competent. The right opportunity is out there, waiting—and since you’re looking for it, you’re absolutely going to find it. And if you need to take a little break along the way, that’s okay, too.
- Find what works for you. Some people like to print out their rejection letters and paste them on their ceilings. Some people (AKA me) think that’s, um, way too intense and would probably cry if they had to look at those first thing in the morning. Everyone has a unique routine that works for them. If you’re a night owl, start those applications at 7 PM. If you like visual reminders, make a schedule, and tape it to your mirror or fridge. There’s no wrong way to job hunt, so as long as you feel like you’re making progress, you’re doing something right.
Finding a job is like anything else in life: it takes time. Be patient, be prudent, and don’t be afraid to scream into a pillow if you need to. We find that when you’re feeling totally frustrated, it sure helps.
Feel like you’re sending in application after application with zero luck? Maybe it’s time to try a new approach. Check out our tips for networking here.