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Stages of reacting to not getting a job you thought surely you'd get

Updated on December 9, 2011

1. Denial.

Maybe they'll call tomorrow. Maybe they have just one more interview to do.

2. Disbelief.

How could I not get the job? It's the most qualified I've been for a position in a month!

3. Beating yourself up.

I shouldn't have curled my hair. I shouldn't have made that joke. I shouldn't have held open the door for him. I should have been more in awe. I should have been less in awe.

4. Catastrophic thinking.

Great, I'll never get a job, my unemployment will run out and I'll never have any autonomy again. Might as well decide what to study so I can be miserably employed like a real grown-up.

5. Telling your mom that no, you didn't lose the job because you're not "a man supporting a family."

She exited the job market when I was born, back when "Help Wanted" was divided into male and female categories. Still, she seems to have missed, among other things, that women are heads of households as much as men anymore.

6. Chagrin.

"We'll keep your resume on file." Yeah, the little round one on the floor with the lunch wrappers in it.

7. Life takes over.

Back to (city)gigs, Mediagigs, Careerbuilder, America's Job Exchange, Snagajob, Monster, Gorkana, Caljobs, LinkedIn and Craigslist. And Bejeweled.


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    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Vicki,

      This just happened to me this week. I had an outstanding interview. One day.. I just got the letter saying, we hired someone else. I made a real connection during the interview and asked if they could give me any feedback to improve my credentials. They said I came over as too ambitious and they didn't think I would stay more than a few years. This is the 2nd time in 6 months I have heard this. It really seems like employers want potatoes with no ambition. I enjoyed your hub and these stages are 100%. Awesome!!