This is a guest post by Eli Joseph, DBA
It’s a great day when you apply for a job you want and are called in for an interview. If you’ve ever yearned for a role, you know the victory that comes from getting that call.
You get ready to meet with the hiring manager. The night before your interview, you barely sleep. You think about how the interview might go as you run through countless scenarios in your mind:
- How you’re going to answer every question
- The way you’ll shake hands
- How you’ll address background questions, especially regarding shaky areas that dot your career path
- How you’ll talk about teamwork
- How you’ll put forth the right attitude: not too eager but not nonchalant
When the big day arrives, you meet the person with whom you’ll be interviewing. There’s a bit of pleasant conversation, and then the process you’ve prepared for finally begins. The interviewer thanks you for your time. You leave and feel great—you nailed it. Now, it’s time to wait for the call about the next steps.
Only that call doesn’t come.
You follow up. It’s a busy organization, after all.
Then you receive word: “I’m sorry. You weren’t the right fit. We have your resume on file if something else should come up.” They might as well have said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and been done with it.
Now you’re filled with doubts. You’ve been rejected and don’t understand how this could have happened. You feel sad and depressed. It was your dream job, and you did everything you could to prepare for it but were still shown the door.
It may have seemed like your dream job, but was it?
By design, people who are seeking a job tend to be optimistic. When you apply for a new role, you almost always will think, “Is this the job for me? Yes, I feel like it is!”
Yet, what often ends up happening is that you talk yourself into believing a job is ideal. It may very well be, but there’s also a chance it’s not. However, you often can’t find out for certain until you gain more experience. And this is the reason that dream jobs are often the wrong jobs in disguise. At best, they may be a steppingstone toward the next progression.
So now what? It’s time to realign with two hard facts:
You are the driver of your dreams.
Even the best of us can get tripped up into thinking that a job is, in fact, a dream job.
For example, if you hear other people talking about their work and how much they enjoy what they do, it can spark interest from you. Before you know it, you’ve latched onto a job as your dream job. It might be a perfectly wonderful job, but that doesn’t make it the right one for you.
It’s also not an uncommon story for someone to become a doctor, teacher, or lawyer because his or her parents encouraged it, all while secretly dreaming about doing something else.
Remember: Your dream job is meant for your fulfillment, not someone else’s.
You can use your failures to craft your dream career.
What you learn from your failures will lead you down the path to something greater. For example, you can learn:
- What you like
- What you dislike
- What you’re qualified to do
- What you’re presently unqualified to do
- What challenges excite you
- What challenges deter you
- What you’re great at
- What you can do better
It turns out that the old adage is true: You know where you’re going by learning about where you’ve been. Failures will always play a role in defining successes. And the sweetest successes tend to be backed by big failures. It’s time we learned from them.
About the guest post author:
DR. ELI JOSEPH is an author, educator, and public speaker who currently serves as a faculty member at Columbia University and Queens College and as a partner and medical examiner at ExamOne, a Quest Diagnostics company. His new book is The Perfect Rejection Resume: A Reader’s Guide to Building a Career Through Failure (February 15, 2022). Learn more at drelijoseph.com.