Why Won’t Anyone Hire Me?

I don’t understand how I have such bad luck. Everyone I know is getting jobs, and I’ve been applying for jobs for over a year and I’ve gotten no jobs. Interviews, but no jobs. Statistically it seems impossible that I haven’t had one single job offer. Is it impossible?

I just looked at Facebook and this kid I went to college with posted that he got an account executive job at the best ad firm in the city and and I slammed my hands down on my desk and hung my head so dramatically that the secretary asked if I was ok. (I have a job right now, it’s just a horrible job and I hate it.)

Why everyone else. Why not me.


I’m going to skip the part where I ask if there’s something wrong with you. You’re a smart person. You know what you’re qualified for, you know what you can exaggerate being qualified for. You know how to spell your name on your resume. You’re doing great, you’re just not getting jobs.

You aren’t getting the jobs you are applying for because those jobs never really existed, for you or anyone else. They hired someone internally. They hired a client’s kid. They hired somebody’s friend’s friend. They hired the boss’s niece. Or maybe they really did hire from the pool of applicants, in which case: They got a million applications and interviewed the first five that came in and went with the person who went to the same school as the interviewer.

This is how people get jobs. This is how you are going to get a job.

The past year you’ve spent applying to jobs has not been a waste of time. Some might argue that it has been but I will argue that it has not been. It’s practice. Builds character. Keeps you on your toes. Gives you some hope, even if it does end up dashing it mostly.

Most of the interviews you go on are with someone’s assistant or a low-level HR person who can’t help you. But one day one of those low-level HR people are going to leave to work at a new company, and when that company is talking about a new position they need, and everyone is scraping their brain about who they know that they can put up for it, she is going to remember you, this swell gal she interviewed for this “open position” that went to the founding partner’s neighbor’s son, but maybe she’s still looking now, wonder if she is. And then that’ll be your job and you’ll live happily ever after until one of your friends offers you double the salary to come work for them.

So keep applying for jobs. Make sure everyone who knows and loves you and even people who don’t but would still like to be the one to raise their hand in a meeting and say, “I know just the person for that, sir,” know that you want a new job. Go to bars. Ask people out for coffee. Meet as many people as you can. Eventually one of them will know someone who will know someone who will offer you a job. That’s how it works.

As far as comparing yourself to others: Stop that. What a waste. Every now and then, sure, have a little hissy fit, that’s fine, but then take a shower, wash that shit off, and move on. Those other people have nothing to do with you. NOTHING. They just knew someone who knew someone. Soon, you’ll know someone, too.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.