What was the most frustrating thing about your job search? Apart from not finding a job, of course.

Updated on : December 4, 2021 by Connor Knight



What was the most frustrating thing about your job search? Apart from not finding a job, of course.

I was unemployed for 18 months. The most frustrating part was obviously the financial impact of not working. But I think your question is looking for something more related to the actual job search.

For me, it was the lack of response from many employers. You may have received some kind of response from 20-25% of my requests. Probably lower than that. Even a simple standardized form email saying, "Thank you, but the position has been filled," or "We don't think you are a good candidate" would be better.

Why? Because then I could cross them off my list and focus on other prospects. For each company I applied to, I searched LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Salary.com - Salary Calculator, Salary Comparison, Compensation Data, and various other databases and websites. He was looking for connections with the company, contact names, details about the company, so he could talk intelligently about his business, etc.

All of this took time. Several hours per company, minimum. Most of it was a great employer. Some of this was done before my application was submitted, but some after. If I had known that they no longer considered me, I could have saved time by not doing that research.

I find that companies get dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of applications for every open position. And that responding to each one is not always an option. But it should be. If they have the technology to use keyword filtering to add applicants who are not going to interview, then they should be able to use that technology to produce robust emails informing them of those decisions.

I'm only 30 years old and have had 8 jobs since college, so I'm a veteran. Five things really stand out as horrible.

  1. Late negotiation of the most important factors. Salary, vacation allowance, specific responsibility, and title don't come until after you've gone through the interview process. You can pass with flying colors, get through two days of office interviews, various follow-ups and reference checks, only to get ... a junior level offer at 70% of what you used to. (The more obstacles a company makes you jump, the more likely you are to receive an insult
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I'm only 30 years old and have had 8 jobs since college, so I'm a veteran. Five things really stand out as horrible.

  1. Late negotiation of the most important factors. Salary, vacation allowance, specific responsibility, and title don't come until after you've gone through the interview process. You can pass with flying colors, get through two days of office interviews, various follow-ups and reference checks, only to get ... a junior level offer at 70% of what you used to. (The more obstacles a company throws at you, the more likely you are to get a low, insulting offer.) Or, "stock options" happen to mean 0.05% of an A-Series company. That happens a lot and tends to affect your confidence more than a rejection. (Don't take it personally, it happens to everyone.) Or, you find out that the company allows only 2 weeks of vacation, or 3, but it is that "PTO" grouped shit which essentially means sick days are off vacation. In 2014! Or there are strange terms in the employment contract, such as no disparagement and binding binding arbitration, that don't seem to matter at the time, but mean that you will never get compensation no matter how unfairly you are fired (because you can't sue and you can't disparagement are already in place) and will likely be treated poorly while there. These bombs tend to be dropped late after you've been through a grueling interview process (and possibly missed other opportunities) and a lot of people just want the search to end. Or, for a common example in the Valley, the relocation package is $ 2,000, which is gas money across the country for a college student,
  2. Dishonest representation of quality of work. Machine learning is my field, and a large percentage of the jobs listed as "data science" have very little ML meat. Then there are the companies that list themselves as "Python, Scala, and Java," but 95% of the production code (and almost certainly what you'll be working on) is in Java; the other languages ​​are simply removed to hire people. This doesn't affect the interview process at first, but as you get older, you start asking the tough questions, and some hiring managers take it personally. Good bosses and companies love it when you interview them, but most aren't good, and when you're unemployed, you'd like the less-good ones to at least be options. What's more,
  3. Silly priorities. I was once turned down for a job at a company that used Python because, although I had used Python quite a bit, I didn't know about metaclasses, a fairly new and advanced feature. (I'll use Python or even Java if it's the right tool for the job, but I've never been a big fan of object-oriented programming.) Now, for a programmer to learn a language is not that important. It doesn't take long to get the basics of a new set of tools, if you have mastered the core of language-independent programming. However, many employers expect you to be "ready to go" on the first day in the technologies of their choice, although it invariably takes months to learn a new code base, no matter what the tools are.
  4. The better you are, the longer and more complex your job search will be. This is the biggest and most amazing. One of those middle class myths we were given in school was that if you study hard and become really good at something, job hunting will never be a problem. Unfortunately, corporate capitalism tends to prefer pyramidal command and control organizations. What that means is that once you get good at something and specialize a bit, the pool of appropriate jobs (that make sense in the context of your career and specialty) shrink. "Everybody knows" that job hunting gets harder as you get older, but I only think 15% is explicit age discrimination. Another 15% is a reduced tolerance for bullshit (I came out of interviews that were going nowhere). "It's not you, it's" He's stupid (shortsighted, yes; not stupid) and he usually knows when he's overqualified. In other words, the better you are, the more likely you are to end up in a long, complicated and painful job search. He's stupid (shortsighted, yes; not stupid) and usually knows when he's overqualified. In other words, the better you are, the more likely you are to end up in a long, complicated and painful job search.
  5. Geography. In the context of (4), your job searches go national once you are in the top 1%. You have to choose between putting down roots and accelerating your career. I chose the latter (I recently moved from Manhattan to Baltimore for an opportunity) but I don't think less of people who value staying in one place and building long-term friendships; if anything, I think that's undervalued in the US You may limit the disruption of a national job search, in a way, by living in a "downtown" like New York or San Francisco, but the costs of living in those places are really absurd - you'll save very little, and 'I'll put off having kids until my late 30s, if not 40. It wouldn't be a way to live if there was another credible option.

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