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Don't get too fixated on any one opportunity
During my last year of college, every senior about to graduate with a Computer Science degree was busy trying to find a job.
Most of us were promiscuous, interviewing with many companies simultaneously. At the height of my job search, I had an interview every day for three weeks straight.
One of my friends took a different approach. He applied to a handful of places, got a single interview with a big-name company, and then focused all of his energy on that one opportunity.
We celebrated together when he passed the first interview, and again after the second. Things were looking good! The company offered to fly him across the country for a final-round onsite interview, and in the weeks leading up to it, he prepared like mad.
You know where this is going. He did his best but didn't get the job.
It was crushing. For weeks, he couldn’t even think about applying somewhere else.
One by one, the rest of us secured our offers. But graduation came and went, and my friend still didn't have a job.
In the years since, he's still never had the title "Software Engineer." After a few years working the door at a local bar, he settled into a different career. By all accounts, it’s going great. Each of us is on our own journey and I’m happy he found a path that suits him.
But even so, I can’t shake this memory of his excitement at the possibility of becoming a software engineer. I feel sad that he never got to try it out and see firsthand if it was the right fit.
If I could go back, here's what I'd tell him:
No matter how great you are, that "we've decided not to move forward" email is going to find you eventually. Sure, it will sting, but it will sting a whole lot less if you already have another interview scheduled, plus a list of ten companies you’re going to apply to next.
Rejection is unavoidable. When it comes, don't let yourself lose time and momentum mourning the loss of the one future that excites you.
If you enjoyed this, check out my post How To Get Your First Software Development Job (Or Internship).
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