We all have gone through this feeling after not being moved onto the next round of interviews:
The interview absolutely sucked.
Stop everything you are doing right now and just get calm.
If this was a job you really wanted, you are going to feel it. You are going to feel that disappointment rip right through you, it’s going to suck, and that is okay. You need work through whatever it is you need to work through. This is not North Korea. You are not a robot! Give yourself permission to feel disappointed.
Get mental and emotional leverage over what you are saying to yourself.
You are your own harshest critic because you care, therefore you are competitive. You absolutely have to be if you are you in Product Management. This is where self-awareness becomes very necessary. You need to be able to articulate what you saying to yourself mentally that is causing you to not feel at your fighting best.
When you start getting this emotional some of the things you might start saying to yourself is:
- I really wanted to work there …
- There is never going to be another place like that …
- I am wasting my time.
- I am running out of time.
- This is NOT working.
- I hate interviewing!
- These people are messed up!
- Why am I doing this???
- I am just not good enough …
All of those are fine to say, but one thing you should keep in mind is: Just Don’t Quit!
In life as in business, you are always only a few fleeting moments from winning, just like in the story “3 Feet to Gold.”
Be a champion. A champion is out there to get ready to prove everyone wrong. Be the person that just when everyone thought they saw you at your worst, they are about to see you at your best!
Get the support that you need!
On that note…
It is baffling how many people we see come to our events thinking about getting an MBA to try to get a Product Manager job. You do not need an MBA to get a Product Manager job. An MBA would look more impressive on paper, but it doesn’t gift you the skills needed to succeed at the job.
You need the tools to be able to generate interviews, convert these interviews into offers, and negotiate the best offer for yourself because nobody is going to apply, interview, and negotiate for you. You have to look out for your best interests. When you are not exercising the ownership that is required for you to make a transition, you are being blatantly irresponsible and, worse, unrealistic.
There is already another person in the same room as you with an MBA and they are facing the same challenges you are right now; what makes you think it would be different for you? People want to take the academic route because it’s easier for most people to navigate rather than to deal with the disappointment, rejection, and ups and downs that come with interviewing for their dream job.
There are two parts to this reasoning: first, most people don’t have the tools they need to effectively ride the emotional roller coaster that comes with job hunting and second, they don’t have the support previously mentioned. You need both to make this happen.
It’s important that people seeking jobs understand the importance of having an abundance mindset. People need to understand that there a lot more job openings out there rather the few that you probably selectively handpicked because you envision yourself working there. Understand that you stand more chances to succeed if you don’t corral yourself into a job hunt bubble — cherry picking companies to apply to is a bad strategy in itself and goes against the idea of having an abundance mindset. The abundance mindset has to be connected with having abundant opportunities to succeed!
While you may be applying to companies indiscriminately, you may receive more rejected applications or just plainly not receive replies. Don’t worry, this happens with regularity to people seeking a highly exclusive job in a very competitive job market like that of New York. In baseball, a batter failed, on average, 75% of the time that he is at the plate. In comparison, job hunting may require an even worse failure rate at getting offers. The key personality trait that every job applicant should have is thick skin; getting repeatedly rejected will hurt in the short-term but it will be ignored once you get the job that you wanted for all this time.
One of the most important things one can possibly have is a positive support group that is there for you whenever necessary. You need people at your corner cheering for you that understand what you are going through because they are either riding the same roller coaster you are right now or have already done it. Through this mutual sharing of emotions are you then able to clear your mind and conscience and be positively encouraged to keep on applying even if you keep on getting rejected?