When the job you’re dating wants to see other people

When The Job You're Dating Wants to See Other People

//Photo Courtesy: cosmopoltian.com//

Companies just suck sometimes don’t they? They work you hard, give you praise, invite you out to happy hour drinks, and make you feel all comfortable with the team…only to what? Decide they want to invest in other people when things get serious?

Yea, let’s talk about that, shall we. 

I don’t share this experience a lot, but to hell with it, let’s talk about what happens when the company you want to work for, offers the job offer to someone else.

Picture me: fifteen pounds heavier, pre-ombre experimental hair phase, fresh out of journalism school, and apparently a glutton for punishment since I had decided to jump right back into a Master’s program. On top of that, I was offered a full-time editorial internship at a large company in the city. I spent the following year interning every day and taking grad classes three nights a week.

And you wonder why I’m a little mental? 

It may have been one of the busiest years of my life, but it was also one of the best. I loved graduate school and I was getting invaluable experience working for a world renowned corporation and marketing team. Despite being an intern, I was fulfilling the responsibilities of a full-time role at my company. Prior to my hiring, they’d never had someone do my job. It was clear they needed sometime full-time in this role and I was the guinea pig. In my head, I imagined I was getting groomed to do this job as a permanent member of the team come graduation.

But that was just my imagination. 

It was true – my company did want to hire someone full-time to do my job – they just didn’t want to hire me. This became abundantly clear while listening to my boss recite the job description in our team meeting as if the person who already did all of that work wasn’t sitting right across from her.

The worst part was, they didn’t talk to me about it. In fact, they didn’t even consider me at all. Here I thought things were just getting serious between us, and they were off interviewing other candidates. Was this high school? Was I the girl dating the guy who everyone except me knew was dating other people?

Now I’m picturing myself in the volleyball scene of John Tucker Must Die. Terrible movie. Great for this metaphor.

John Tucker Must Die

I handled this “stab in the back” the way many clueless 22-year olds would – I said nothing. In hindsight, I should have professionally approached my boss and asked to be considered. If she resisted, I should have asked for her reasons. All of this information would have been useful as a 20-something job seeker. I however, was not-so-savvy then. Live and learn right?

Instead, I watched them hire someone else. Naturally, I trained this person (twist of the knife) and remarkably developed a close friendship with her (salt in the wound). I finished up my year there, they threw me a graduation party, wrote me glowing letters of recommendation, and wished me well on my post-college job search.

Looking back, out of all the companies that have dumped or screwed me, this experience was by far the easiest to get over. At the time though, I felt like crap. All I could think about was my graduation date getting closer and closer and the company I had spent a year working my ass off for, wishing me on my merry way…jobless.

How was I supposed to convince some other company to take a chance on me, when I couldn’t even prove my value to the company I’d actually worked for?

But surprisingly, it was that experience and that doubt that made me work even harder. Never again was I going to sit back, say nothing, and just let things happen. I was going to fiercely go after what I wanted. And if I failed, at least I knew I tried.

In the game of dating you never want to be the undesired one. You always want to be wanted. But if you’re not the one, you’re simply not the one. Pick up and move on. My company may had always known they wanted to hire someone else, in which case, they wouldn’t have been worth my time anyway. When I look back, I don’t focus on the job they didn’t offer me. I focus on what the experience they did gave me. And ultimately it was that job experience that made me stronger.

3 Comments

  • J'na

    Loved reading this! I feel like a lot of women can relate to this, and I read something very similar once on the site, The Indie Chicks.

    • meredith

      Thanks so much for reading! I was hoping readers could relate – makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that’s been “dumped” out there ;). And I LOVE the Indie Chicks, very inspired by their content and style!

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