Being so disappointed and demotivated by job hunting that you see no point anymore.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by TeacherBelgium, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Have you ever been in that place?

    That's the place I'm in now.

    Being turned down for every job offer I apply for.

    Reason? Not enough work experience.

    I have honestly never been so demotivated and disappointed in my life before.

    To the point that I even wonder what's the point anymore of life.

    I was always told to study hard. That would lead me to a good future.
    Now that I studied hard and want to use it, I'm told that work experience is way more important than diplomas. And even for junior positions they start to ask tons of work experience now.

    I honestly want to give up.
    It's not worth it anymore to me.
    I'm tired.
    Tired of rejection.
    300 applications sent out.
    280 were negative. Only 20 called back. 7 of those invited me for an interview.
    5 invited me for a second round.
    Nothing concrete came out of it.

    I'm literally exhausted.

    I want to roll up in a ball and cry.
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  2. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    When I first graduated from college with my teaching certificate, I put 20,000 miles on my car driving around the entire state of Michigan interviewing for teaching positions. I had 20 interviews including several second round interviews. No job. Just before the school year started, I received an offer from a school in Illinois. It wasn't my ideal position, but I took the job. The next year, I was hired on my first interview back in Michigan and that is the job that I will retire from at the end of next year after 25+ years.
  3. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    So, don't give up. It sucks. But keep trying. When you do get hired, you will have a really good story of determination.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Man, that's rough. But keep fighting. Sooner or later, you'll find the right fit.
    chrisjm18, Maniac Craniac and Thorne like this.
  5. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    The first time I have ever felt so lost in my life.
    What's the purpose of it all, you wonder.
    I was always told that diplomas were needed to get somewhere. Now that same society tells me that work experience is 100 times more important and I'm denied even an entry position because I only have on average 4 years of work experience when you count everything together.
    I'm exhausted.
    With each email or telephone call that comes by to tell me that they're sorry but they're searching someone with more experience when I apply for positions that have junior in bold, I want to cry.

    I think I just lost the purpose of why I'm even trying anymore.

    They want work experience but they don't want to give me the chance to accumulate experience.
    That sounds so contradictory.

    And all cafés and restaurants are closed here so no chance to wait tables either.

    The worst is that some of those recruiters seem to take pleasure in telling people they have not been selected. Today I had a recruiter asking me to video call with her, only to tell me that I had not been selected. She had this '' schadenfreude '' smirk on her face.

    I'm so tired of staying professional and trying to find posh sounding words to impress them, that I'm just on the verge of just begging for a job next time they call.

    The worst is when they give you compliments that you have a beautiful resume or stuff like that.
    You always think to yourself : '' but apparently not good enough to get a foot in the door ''.

    It's because you need a lot of capital for that because otherwise I had already launched my own start up, to give me some sense of purpose.

    The thing is that I don't even know what I can improve at this point.
    I demonstrated my English, Dutch and French knowledge. I demonstrated that I'm capable of understanding and assessing people's needs. I clearly stated that I find emotional intelligence very important. I told her that I believe in life long learning and that I believe one has to always keep improving themselves.

    But it's never enough.

    My brother who doesn't want to work gets proposed thousands of jobs in no time, meanwhile I who truly wants to work get rejected faster than the British Covid variant.

    I asked all of them feedback and each time the answer was the same : 4 years of work experience is not enough for us.

    When they ask my salary expectations I even got so desperate that I said that I was willing to work for 1700$ after taxes per month.
    Which is super low.
    Still couldn't convince them.

    Going to wash it all away with a good bottle of wine I think :-(

    Edit: and the fact that I'm transparent about having had non-Hodgkin 10 years ago doesn't help either, even though it's gone now.
    But keeping that from them wouldn't work in my favor either because they would get to know it anyway through contact with health insurers etc.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  6. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I had a similar story.

    When I got out of my community college, I had 1.5 years of experience as the network lab administrator and tutor, two AAS degrees, and 3 high-level professional IT certifications. I also had three recommendations from professors and nearly five years of cumulative work experience, so as a bright-eyed 20 year old, I thought I'd have an easy time finding a job. Boy...was I wrong. Applied for 260 jobs, I still have the spreadsheet with all the details. Received calls back on 30 of them, was insulted by 25 of them and called a cheater (had a CCNP without 5+ years as a network admin) before being dumped in the discard pile. Had 5 interviews, all of them went to the second round, then got denied because of the CCNP. I applied for 100 more jobs without the CCNP on my resume, got only 5 calls back and one interview that went nowhere because the guy literally didn't show up, then called me half an hour later (after a one hour drive of my own) and told me the position had already been filled and he should have let me know.

    I got plenty of advice, thankfully, and was told repeatedly to get a Bachelor's degree, so I ran roughshod through WGU using ACE and got my BSc Information Technology. Got that degree, applied for another 400 jobs, got called back 30 times and was told repeatedly that I didn't have enough experience for even an entry-level job. I got two interviews, both went well, went to the second round. One got rejected when the team manager gawked at my degree from an online school and said, "That's just a degree mill. Didn't think we'd notice?" The other interview got me an offer.

    Now, that job was one of the worst experiences ever. My boss was insane, I never had enough people to work with (or direct, when I later became manager of a team of 5 people with the workload of 12 people), and I would sooner work in fast food than go back -- but I learned a lot and came out much wiser and much better equipped to handle anything that got tossed my way.

    You'll find something eventually, but it will take time, especially with the global economy going to pot. Keep your head high and your chin up, mate.
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  7. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Dropped out of university in 2004 to work full time and got sacked in 2008. You know, the year of the economic crisis. I managed to get a good job, but I made interesting discoveries:
    • Big companies did not take me as I was a university dropout, which equals "total looser" [sic]
    • If I got a job offer, then because of my connections and work experience
    These are not necessarily bad news for you. If you start networking (maybe with the help of ENEB alumni?!), you might be able to improve your situation!

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
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  8. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    TeacherBelgium, what does your brother do? Can't you get him and your family to help you find something interesting? I would send an email blast or apply to anything and everything. It took time, lots! When I started working over 20+ years ago, I sent a blast of "faxes" with my resume, CV and had a few interviews and worked for a small mom/pop computer shop for a few months, one of the wholesale shops recruited me to join them and was there for a year.

    I got bored - sent another blast out - Got hired for a little over minimum wage at 3 companies at the same time! Decided on the highest paying position which I stayed for 7.5 years (to the day)... People kept recommending me to join the company they jumped to as they know I'm a workaholic and do a good job, I finally did a calculation and jumped ship, was with this new company for 12 years and in Dec 2019, jumped ship to this current position working entirely from home...
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  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I've been there. Multiple times. The feeling that nothing I am and nothing I do is good enough for anybody was often debilitating during my worst times.

    Looking back, there are a few things I wish I understood. I wish I understood that they weren't rejecting me but a few lines of text on a piece of paper. I wish I understood how valuable networking was. I wish I understood how to creatively convert my existing skills into some freelance side gigs to hold me over. I wish I just asked friends and family for help.

    I'm sorry that you're having a hard time finding work right now. It won't be forever. If there's any advice I could give- if advice is welcome- it would be to not give up. Success isn't guaranteed for those who keep trying, but failure is guaranteed for those who stop trying. Trite, I know, but it's at least true and probably the best lesson I can share from experience.

    Also, the drowning your sorrows in a bottle of wine thing might seem like an effective coping mechanism at the time, but it never leads to anything good. Alcohol is a depressant. Surely we shouldn't be drinking things that depress us when we are already depressed? I used to drink 40oz bottles of malt liquor (not sure if you have that in Belgium, so let's just say that it's a sort of beer that's deliberately made as cheaply as possible). To say the least, that was something that never wound up on my resume nor ever came up on an interview, so I probably could have done something better with my time.

    Eventually, I did start doing better things with my time. I borrowed library books and learned personal finance, bookkeeping, cooking, nutrition, fitness, office software, PC assembly & repair, basic auto maintenance & repair, front end development, learned how to be extremely frugal with my money and, of course, took up a couple of languages. To this day, a dollar in my pocket is worth at least twice as much as a dollar in the average person's pocket because I learned the necessity of being prepared for scarce times and because I also learned the joys of DIY. If a penny saved is a penny earned, I'm darn close to being a millionaire just in terms of how much value I've gotten for how little I've been capable of spending.

    Being productive helped my self esteem and energized me to keep on finding new ways to better myself. While I would have never willfully chosen to struggle for the years that I did, I can say that I've come out better because of it.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  10. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    You'll get a job eventually. When you do, work as much as you can, save as much as you can, invest as much as you can, and work on a second stream of income when the time is available, something you can do in your spare time that you enjoy doing and can be grown into a business. Why do those things? Because even a dream job can come to an end sooner than you planned and you can find yourself right back in the same boat again.

    Look at the job you're hired to do as a springboard, never a safe haven.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  11. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    My buddy was having the same issue, every entry level position wanted experience. He asked me, how can I get experience if nobody will give me an initial shot? The short answer, lie like a rug. People embellish their resumes all the time. And in this day and edge, employers are so cautious not to get sued, they often will just say you worked for them from one period to this period. They will usually not give more information than that. Often times they won't even give details about what position you held. Why do you think the "work number" was such an ingenious business.

    I think they have a term for that, "Fake it till you make it."
  12. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I have been in this place too, like others. Like you might be, I even struggled with suicidal thoughts. That led me to 5 years volunteering and then running a crisis line.

    What I learned is that the right opportunity is out there, and that I do best during those times when I keep myself busy. You might pour yourself into a hobby or a new project or some volunteering (COVID notwithstanding), to get your mind off things. Do something concrete that you can look at, and say "I did this. I accomplished something today." Some days, that will be a shower and making your bed. That's enough. Some days, we just don't have it in us.

    Other days, that will be revising your resume and applying to a job. That's enough too. Have you ever read a Wikipedia entry for someone that says "In 1998 he was fired and he never got hired again and he died in the gutter a polylingual tax expert with accounting (edit: and legal!) credentials." Nah. The right thing is out there for you. If you want some resume advice we can critique (I know some French and except for saying CVs should only be 1 page max they seemed to appreciate my critique, hopefully Belgium is similar.)

    And if you want to chat, if you're really struggling, please feel free to PM me. We're all rooting for you.
  13. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Disclaimer- Sorry for the length of this response in advance.

    I've always admired the can-do attitude of our greatest generation (ww2 veterans). I only mention this because future generations have been and are so “instant gratification” driven that when they hit diversity, they just fold and automatically become victims. I’m not a fan of this mentality, so I’ll tell you what helped me when I was in your shoes.

    When I was young and looking for “my shot” I found it very difficult to break into my field. Everyone wanted experience. So I approached the HR director for the organization I was with, and asked for a meeting to discuss “future career opportunities.” Keep in mind, I was really a nobody in my organization back then. I might have well as been the janitor, I was that low on the totem pole.

    I prepped my resume, donned my nicest suit, and approached this meeting in a very professional manner. I explained who I was, what skills I possessed, and what direction I wanted to go in. I asked him to review my skillset, my resume, and discuss with me what red flags or concerns he would have based on his initial assessment. Keep in mind this was behind closed doors, and I was asking for a “no shitter/ brutal response” based on all HIS years of HR experience. Keep in mind during this meeting, my objectives were three-fold:

    1. I wanted to hear his view as someone with his level of experience in HR as to what barriers to success he could gleam from my current education, training, and experience. Especially as it related to what I was looking to do. Keep in mind, I wanted brutally honest feedback, which you can usually only obtain when someone feels comfortable with you, hears your story, and it willing to give you that feedback. You’re a human at that point, and not just another resume.

    2. I wanted him to get to know me and simply put my name in his head. That way he knew I was hungry, capable, and willing. (Putting a face to the name so to speak)

    3. I asked him if there were any projects in need of volunteers. Meaning, to gain experience, I would volunteer my time in order to gain said experience.

    I walked out of that meeting feeling confident that I made an impression, but unsure if those efforts would bear much fruit. (Cautiously optimistic)

    Fast-forward 3 months, and I get a call from said HR Director, “Do you know how to do XYZ?

    I had no idea what he was asking, but I responded, “Yes, I do. What can I help you with?”

    What I lacked in knowledge, I made up for in resourcefulness. I had no idea how to accomplished what was being asked. But I was confident that I could figure it out; so that is what I did- I figured it out! My thought process was this, these people are human. So if they could do it, I could figure it out too.

    Once they discovered I could do “this”, they would ask me if I could do “that.” I never said no! I viewed every project as a challenge and an opportunity to gain experience. Over time, my name got out there as someone who could tackle projects- and soon thereafter, I was finally offered my first paying entry level job in my field.

    Where I got lucky, not only did all that volunteering gave me the opportunity to work on various projects, but it gave me an opportunity to network with various managers at all sorts of levels. People felt comfortable with me, I was now somebody they knew.

    In hindsight, I was flying by the seat of my pants the entire time- not confident of anything I was doing at the time. I was just going for it, and nobody truly knew how far out of my comfort zone I truely was at the time. There are three keys to being employable: (But you only need to master two of them, always striving to achieve the third)

    1. Be on time
    2. Be a pleasure to work with
    3. Do above average work

    That entry level job didn’t last long. I went from an entry level position, to a supervisor, then a manager in less than four years. Then I transitioned into a regional manager position, and now I run operations for the entire state.

    I have always found inspiration from weird places. I once watched an interview with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. (Hear me out, I know I’m going into left field here) The Rock explained when he was looking into making the transition from wrestling into acting, he wasn’t super experienced, he an accomplished actor- nor was he necessarily qualified. However, his view was this, “I have two hands, and nobody can out work me.” People today ask him why does so many movies? His answer is, ‘Because I can.”

    A strong work ethic and the courage to step out of your comfort zone CANNOT be understated. I found the same inspiration from those in the WW2 generation. If you take the time to look at the struggles they faced, versus what we view as challenges today, is a complete joke by comparison.

    I used my buddy’s situation in my previous post as an example. He is (to me) a professional victim. He complains all day long that he applies for jobs, but nobody will give him a shot. His comfort zone has become making excuses for his lack of success. He will spend 2 hours telling me what he “can’t do”, but he spends very little energy telling me what he “can do.”

    I am in no way insinuating that you and him are in the same boat, I don’t know you from Adam. So I don’t know what challenges your facing. But I think the lesions of previous generations have been lost, and we just need to suck it up (a little bit) these days and get creative if you’re looking to make opportunities for yourself.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  14. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    What type of job you are looking for?
    What are you career goals?
    Is there any flexibility as far as location, exact match to your desired job?
    There are many anecdotal examples, advise, personal and others.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It's been perhaps 20 years since I needed to find a job if you don't count running for elected office. I've looked for work in good times and bad and, more to the point, I've hired people. I don't know what the OP's situation is but there are three points I'd offer for whatever you think they may be worth. First, you have to work. If street sweeping is the only job there is, be a street sweeper. I'm deadly serious about this. Not working is corrosive to one's psyche and one's resume both. Second, you have to be willing to go where the work is. If you are a brand new lawyer, for instance, and the only job you can find is an entry level slot in East Sand Dune South Dakota, sorry if there's no vegan restaurant or art theater, you are moving to East Sand Dune. Period. Grin and bear it. Third, don't put much faith in internet based job search techniques. These online services might work in the tech world, I wouldn't know, but don't forget that 80% of the jobs out there aren't recruited for in a general way. Most aren't even posted or if they are, it's only in some narrow place connected with the industry offering the job. Sending out resumes is a waste of time. Talking to people currently working in the industry is key. Networking is a waste of time if all you do is meet other job seekers. I suggest a rather old book on the subject. I doubt if it is still in print but see if you can find "What Color is Your Parachute". And quit looking online.
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  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    One last one is going to hire you as some sort of favor. You need to start thinking about mutual benefit. Yes, you need a job but whoever finally does hire you is doing so because they NEED what YOU have to offer. Identify what it is that you can offer and be up front about it. You're selling something valuable. Someone will eventually buy it. I promise.
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  17. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Thank you so much for all your kind responses. I truly appreciated your heart warming support and advice.
    I have a ray of hope. I got two job offers, after having sent out about 600 applications.

    For this past week, I got invited to 11 interviews through Zoom and Teams, after which I did not pass to the second round for 5 of these because either I lived too far away or I didn't fit into the company culture or I had not enough practical experience.

    Everything need to go fast for all of these companies. Usually the second interview was the day after the first, which was stressful because I wanted to prepare myself as good as I could.

    Something good happened too. I passed to the second round for 6 interviews, fell off for 4, got left with 2 where I passed to the 3rd and final round. Decided to not be formal when I was going to visit them in person, just decided to be relaxed and honest and I'm surprised to say that they appreciated that way more than a formal attitude. I got a job offer after this third round, for both.

    So now I'm left with two final job offers: 1 to be a legal assistant, where I would be responsible for the incoming emails, outgoing emails, incoming post, outgoing post, scheduling appointments and helping to support the lawyers in their daily tasks.

    The other job is an offer where they are interested in a combination of applying both my legal and business knowledge and I would be a business developer for them. I would need to find them new clients, to develop innovative ideas to market their services and I would need to help them with support in legal tasks (paralegal work). So this one would be a combination of business and legal tasks.

    I'm not sure on which one I will decide. I have to decide by next week.

    Pay for the first job, the legal assistant position, is 1700 euro after taxes per month.

    Pay for the second job, the business developer position, is 1900 euro after taxes per month.

    Both are located at an equal distance from my home.

    The first one is a rather well known consulting firm named '' Moore ''.
    The second one is a start up lawyer's office founded in 2018.

    The good thing is that both are entry positions that eventually did not fall over me not having a lot of experience in the work field. They were very patient and understood my concerns and they promised to support me in the first weeks with regular coaching sessions with an experienced employee who will guide me through the initial process.

    I'm super nervous because I don't know which one I will choose and which one better suits me, but extremely relieved at the same time because these people decided to give me a shot.

    I also am in touch with a recruiter who has proposed me to a banking firm for a traineeship. I have an initial conversation with that company on Tuesday where it's the goal to get to know each other and each other's motivation and stuff. That one is a traineeship though and not a job offer.

    I also applied for a job in fintech which I really wanted, it was for Ebury Partners. They are a company that earns money by managing valuta fluctuation risks.
    They eventually turned me down because they thought I was too soft natured whereas a position like this one is for '' hard characters '' as they explained it. Your pay here is based on commission. You need to do cold calls and draw people in to use Ebury for their valuta exchange purposes.
    I was very intrigued by this job position and really wanted to work there, so was disappointed that I was turned down there but everyone in my environment says that it's difficult to earn good money with a job of that nature and that it's for the best that I was not selected.

    So long story short, two job offers are on the table now. I have learned that being too formal gets you turned down too. Once I started to relax and be more open, people were much more willing to give me a chance. I always thought that a recruiter would be more enclined to give a very formal candidate a chance than a very relaxed one but apparently a normal amount of relaxed and social is preferred over being too formal and '' nerdy '' during an interview. Once I changed my attitude during interviews, I started noticing improvement.

    Again, thank you so much for all your kind words. It was a very heavy week where I read up as much as possible on all the companies where I applied, but I'm satisfied that I did not give up despite really having had the intention to at one point when all the emails to turn me down became too much.

    I hope I will have the wisdom to choose the best of these two job offers and that I will eventually find my place in whichever company I end up working at.

    Something that I also noticed is that it was more positive for me when I got a chance to come in person to the company than online. The companies that only offered online interviews because of the Covid measures all ended up rejecting me after the respective interviews, while when I got the chance to come over and talk face to face everything went easier and you get to know each other better and stuff and I made a better impression during the in person interviews than during the online-only interviews.

    So I noticed a lot of improvement this week, whereas during the first 300 applications I sent, nothing positive came out, the next 300 finally something positive came out of it.

    I keep you all updated :)
    You're the best, by the way!

    Edit :
    For those who wonder: I didn't send a personal application to all these 600 job positions I applied for. I used the same letter every time but changed the name of the company and a few details here and there but 99% of the letter was the exact same sent to every company. I installed a app called salesflare that let's you send out mass emails without the recipient seeing that there are other recipients of the same email. A great app.

    I also paid a few euros to give my cv a nice lay-out which to my surprise also helped somewhat.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm so glad that things have worked out better!
  19. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Amazing! I'm so glad you finally found something and you're turning things around. That little ray of light is so important.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  20. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    I kind of feel that TeacherBelgium was already pretty close to getting a job, but until the positive comments in this thread, he wasn't quite there. This thread was just enough to push him through to those two offers. It was all he needed.
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