Job hunting brings a heap of stress that’s even worse than dating, as you wonder if you’re about to be rejected or get “the call” that changes your life. I was happily employed when an opportunity literally fell out of the sky and landed on my lap. Out of curiosity, I interviewed for the new position, and I was pumped. My would-be-boss and I were definitely sisters from another mother, and the job itself was like a 2.0 edition of what I was currently doing with tons more autonomy, a CEO who seemed laid back AF, and best of all: lots more money. We hugged on the way out, and she winked, saying, “I know we’ll be seeing each other again very soon.” I floated out of the office, already envisioning how happy I’d be at my new gig.
Then, reality set in as I waited and waited and waited. I finally got an offer—and I accepted—but it took almost a month. The thing is, the agony and mind games that I had to deal with are pretty universal. If you’ve ever gotten through the door and into an interview for a dream job, then you understand that these post-job interview feels are so real.
1. You basically dance out of the building as you replay every perfect moment in your mind.
Your would-be boss smiled and laughed at every witty, thoughtful, on-point answer you gave to every question. It was like you were soul mates, destined to be together from 9-5 every weekday and accomplish beautiful career goals together. You can’t believe how your 10-year plan fits in perfectly with the company’s vision for growth! Everything your current job is holding you back from doing, this company promises to fling you into head on!
Bottom line? You need this job. You know this job is your destiny. You would rather flip burgers and live below the poverty line if you don’t get it—but you know that’s not something you’ll have to consider. This job is your bitch! You know you’ve got this as you literally skip out of the building like a school girl. If the coast was clear, you would even do a little cartwheel.
2. You plan your commute.
As if on autopilot, you break out Google Maps to figure out your new commute. If it’s shorter than your current one, you feel like you won the lotto. If it’s the same or longer, it’s okay. You already know which podcasts and playlists you’re going to start downloading now to get you through.
3. You scope out new lunch spots.
Oooh, there’s a Chipotle and a sushi place and a ton of food trucks out front? Sweet.
4. You daydream about your new look for the job.
You were all about flats, cardigans, and leggings at your last job. But you want to step it up at your new gig and as you mentally go through every outfit in your closet, you start making a list of everything you need to toss, everything you need to replace, and how you’re going to splurge for that power suit this time around.
5. But then you start doubting that one thing you said…
The next morning, you wake up with a start and feel defeated when there’s no email from your would-be new boss with an official offer. Then, you play back the whole interview in your memory and cringe at everything you said—especially the things you thought were home runs yesterday. Why the f**k did I tell her that I call my mom three times a day? Why did I tell her that my biggest weakness is delivering bad news? She probably is sparing me with the bad news that I didn’t get the job, because she doesn’t want to upset me!
6. You wonder if the mutual acquaintance you mentioned will actually may hurt you versus help.
It seemed awesome in the moment that your potential boss grew up next door to one of your sorority sisters. But you never really liked that particular sister that much. Also, you never got back to her when she asked you for career advice last year. What if your would-be employer reaches out to her, and your “sister” tries to nab the job for herself? OMG. She always was more of a frenemy and backstabber.
7. You begin full-on stalking your potential boss on social media.
You’re a woman possessed. You need to find out everything you can possibly discover about the person who could potentially change your life and become your new boss. Thanks to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, you now know she’s porced with two kids, has a cat named Gertrude, and just went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory! This is information that likely won’t help you in any way, but it is oddly soothing and keeps you calm. That is, until you switch gears and start looking up everyone whose ever worked at the company and decide that you’re not qualified to work at a place with so many Ivy League graduates and overachievers. Ugh.
8. You start obsessively wondering who else could have interviewed for the job.
You become positive that you’re not getting the job, because even though you really have no way of finding out for sure who else interviewed, you know that these two overachievers you met at a networking event six months ago are way more qualified than you and way better at networking. So, if you knew this employer was hiring, so did they. Eff.
9. But then you start blaming your phone.
You realize that maybe you’re worrying unnecessarily, but then wonder why you haven’t even gotten a call or email with an update. Is your phone updated? Is it working? Is the Wi-Fi disconnected? You start putting your phone on silent so you don’t have to wonder if it rang for a few hours. Then, you have your friends call, text, leave messages and email just to test it out…
10. You pour yourself a glass of wine. Or three.
You need something to take the edge off as you ponder how you’ll ever pick yourself back up from this career setback.
11. It’s suddenly impossible to concentrate at your current job.
When you’re put on a new project at your job (you know, the one that’s currently paying your bills), you’re just so not into it. You barely listen at the kickoff meeting, because you’re positive you’re going to be long gone at your bomb ass new job before this initiative ever sees the light of day.
12. And then you finally get the news.
You got it!!! Or maybe you didn’t. Their loss—and maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Either way, all your friends compliment you on being so calm, cool, and collected while you waited so patiently! Little do they know…
Related-ish: 9 Signs Your Boss Might Be Sexist