I applied for a job yesterday, one I’d reeaaaaaaalllllly like to have. So I did the application process up right. Really gave it my all:

  • Started a cover letter from scratch and tailored it
  • Dusted off some old tearsheets, scanned ‘em in and made them into nice professional PDFs
  • Polished my resume

Proofed everything three times and then another three times. Fixed the spelling of my last name that I found on the sixth pass (whew!), then read everything over one more time before I hit the contact person twice. First I sent an email with everything attached — even included a link to a relevant online project that’s been hanging around the internest for about 18 months. At the close of the brief attachment-laden introductory email I concluded by advising that hardcopies would be following by regular mail. Because a back-up plan can’t hurt since — however rarely — attachments don’t open.

Then I printed everything out with the resume going on that special thick special resume paper I’ve had longer than my dog Shadow. I whipped out a mailing label and fixed it along with more than enough stamps to the nvelope I’d put everything in nice and neat and got it to the mailbox in time for the last pick-up of the day between going to ge my baby and taking us to get our flu shots.

In my inbox when we got home was a reply from the contact. Were my dreams to be done so quickly? Had the position already been filled? Was I so uniquely not qualified that it warranted a rejection so fast? No. Instead it read “Thank you Will. “I look forward to reviewing your documents.”

As cautious as I am about things of this matter, I can’t help but admit and appreciate that as a good preliminary indicator. Hell just hearing something from the other end is a plus. Even if it’s “thanks but no thanks.” In the past few weeks my decidedly unfocused resume blasting and praying has yielded not much more than a few nibbles and a whole bunch of cricket chirping. I send my stuff out and I hear nothing back. It’s become the understandable and expected standard operating procedure.

And maybe I will end up driving a bus.

Or maybe I’ll get this job. See of all the gigs that I’ve attempted to obtain, I see me and the organization offering it as a wonderful fit. Making me want it all the more.

But then again I wanted that one in El Segundo and got pushed aside. I wanted the one in Long Beach but they said maybe some other time. Why should I get my hopes up again about this one?

And the answer is I shouldn’t — not simply because I might not get it but because it will physically and emotionally hurt if my inflated expectations and lofted hopes are shot down. Taking a break this afternoon from one of my little backyard projects I came in and got a drink and couldn’t help but wonder if the contact had already read my stuff. I wondered if that person had put me on the keeper pile or already thrown me away. And I got honestly depressed at the thought of the latter… that I might not be good enough or don’t have what they were looking for… or didn’t have what they felt it would take.

But I am and I do and I did my best to communicate that.

And that’s when the little voice told me I had to let it go. “Don’t hurt yourself, man” it said.

But I would so rock this gig. It’s not even about the money. Instead it’s for a company I respect and a job that would allow me to do something I think is important and fulfilling!

“And that’s all good,” the voice soothed, “but you’re at a tender place now man. Every rejection — every silence returned, every email not answered or call ignored — your head’s not in the proper place and your taking each one way too hard and personal.”

Well, it sucks!

“Of course it does. Looking for a job blows.”

Especially if you’ve been doing it for a year and your broke — which is why when something like this comes along it’s like a reward for all the anxiety.

“But you still gotta let it go. Trust that you’ve done the best you can and that they will recognize it and get a move on to the next application.”

But —.

“But nothing. You’ll hear from them if it’s right. But in the meantime, do you think pining around waiting for the inbox to ping or the phone to ring will do anything good for you?”

Well… no.

Right. It’s out of your hands now, so are you gonna get a move on and be pleasantly surprised when they do tap you or dig a bunker and get depressed if they don’t.

Oh all right…