Are you holding off applying to your dream job because you are afraid you may not get it? You may feel not qualified enough or perhaps your interviewing skills are a bit rough. Who knows, maybe you are just not ready yet. Instead you settle in for something secondary. Something that requires less pressure for you to perform or prove yourself.
Sounds familiar? Actually, this is quite common. It is amazing how many times I’ve worked with clients who refuse to apply for a job at Google simply because they don’t feel confident enough about their interviewing skills. Instead, they keep applying for less than exciting positions just to practice their interviewing skills. That is, until they, presumably, feel comfortable enough to go for their dream job. Except that, they never get to the point where they feel comfortable enough.
Taking risks is always uncomfortable.
Consider the possibility that you are simply avoiding taking the risk and stretching out your comfort zone. And you are using practice as an excuse to justify it. There is nothing wrong with practicing as long as you keep testing your limits by taking on more and more challenges. And what can be more challenging and scarier than going after your ultimate dream?
Going after your dream job will always be scary, no matter how prepared you think you are. And how do you know whether you are prepared or not until you actually try? True, you may not succeed right away, but that doesn’t mean you cannot try again. In fact, having that persistence of trying over and over again in spite of getting rejected is what will ultimately get you to land that ideal opportunity.
Going after the second best will get you to the second best.
Not only it is a safe and logical thing to do to accept a job offer when you have none, most job offers are made to look irresistible. It is hard not to feel excited to start at a new company, learn new skills and get to know a new culture. Especially if for the past few months you were stuck with the old familiar boring job. Or worse, staying at home all day.
How can you possibly win if you were shooting to come in second, or third, or somewhere in the middle as long as it’s not last? Yet, as ridiculous as this may seem, many people do that. We do that because the pain of potential rejection or failure feels far more threatening than not winning. But the real pain is your belief that if they don’t select you for your dream job, that must mean you are not good enough and can never work there. Who would want to be faced with that?
Courage is far more attractive than instant success.
I know, you may disagree with me. But it takes a lot of courage to follow up with and maintain a relationship with someone who already “rejected” you once. Our ego wants to pretend that this person doesn’t exist. Remember your high school crush who wasn’t interested in going out with you? Ironically, we feel and act the same way when it comes to job search. Who wants to apply for a company that already told you they decided to go with someone else?
It is so easy to believe that just because they didn’t hire you this time, they don’t want you ever to apply again. And even if you do apply the second or third time, do you put in the same hope, energy or excitement into your application as you did the first time? Probably not because you don’t want to get your hopes up. Yet, the ones that apply again and again, with even more eagerness each time, are the ones that get the job offer in the end.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.