In which I have a bit of a wobble …

I had unwelcome news today. Yep, another shortlist I haven’t graced with my presence. Of course I’m going to try to get some feedback on the application to see what I can do better next time, but what surprised me today was how I reacted.

I had a bit of a wobble.

It was a visceral, emotional reaction I hadn’t experienced in job hunting before. One minute fine, next doing a creditable imitation of a deflated balloon. Mrs RPS found me sitting on the floor talking to the dog while propped against the washing machine.

So today has been about running a bit of an inventory about where my head is just now. I’m not naturally given to introspection so that sort of exercise doesn’t suit me at all. Think Gavin Henson’s fear of dance and you have the picture.

I’m still a little bemused but I think I have some of the answers. The big issue was the sheer amount of time, craft and thinking I had put into this particular application. I sought advice and spent time talking with the consultancy handling the recruitment. Trying to get a feel for what the employer really wanted. I was better prepared than ever and produced the best application I had ever produced. So I was disappointed. Hugely.

I clearly didn’t deliver. And that’s the second thing. A job goes by that I want (and believe I could do) because I wasn’t good enough at doing the process. The clock’s running and my family is looking to me to provide them with security. But if I can’t organise myself to get on a shortlist those are hopes will be in vain. I felt I’d let them down.

So, a conversation with the dog and a day’s reflection.

My conclusions?

To start with I am still clearly right in the middle of adjusting to all that’s happened. I made the mistake of assuming that all is well because I have been functioning pretty well. There’s clearly more adjustment that needs to happen. So that’s something to work on.

The other thing is to learn from my mistakes on this application. I used to play rugby to a reasonable level and well-remember the misery of the post-match analysis after a defeat. But we learned more about becoming better there than in hours of pumping weights (ok, minutes in my case). I need to remember and reapply that knowledge here. If there are things I am not doing or indeed doing that are putting me in the bin then let’s see if I can do something about them.

In moments of trial and tribulation I try to do the visualisation thing. Where you remember something that was a brilliant achievement or that felt fantastic. In my case my visualisation is of me traversing a ledge on Sgurr Dubh Mor on the Cuillins in Skye. I’m a hill-walker not a climber but the Cuillins terrify and fascinate me all at the same time. I can’t stop myself from going back.

Anyway I froze on that ledge seemingly suspended in nothingness over a yawning pit of nothingness below. I had a wobble. But the climbing friends with me not only got me off the ledge they got me up the mountain too.

Their secret? Confidence. I knew what I was doing. I was well-equipped and prepared. They reminded me of all that, told me to pull my finger out and showed me how to get to the summit.

That’s what Mrs RPS has done for me today too (although she wouldn’t thank me for saying so in public).

So, I’m ready. What’s next?


About redundantpublicservant

A redundant UK public servant looking for work, sharing his experiences and providing a space for others to do the same.
This entry was posted in Job applications, rejection letters, success, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In which I have a bit of a wobble …

  1. Andy says:

    A sobering post, but you will get there! It made me reflect on my own position…. probably heading, in a few months’ time, towards where you are now, but by then a year behind you in terms of guaging what’s required in this brave new world where we are all “in it together” (except for ex public servants who are at a disadvantage because the coalition has set out to undermine us). Good luck. I haven’t even got a dog!

  2. I am sorry that you didn’t get shortlisted but even more sorry that it has hit you so hard today. That you have coped with the situation you find yourself in so well so far bodes well – but to feel overwhelmed by the change and the challenge you face and to be knocked sideways by the rejection seems quite normal to me.

    As I’ve been reading your blog, your humility, optimism and good humour have been striking. I’m sure that those traits, plus the support of your wife and family, will see you through to good things to come.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    • Dear Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

      With a bit of distance from yesterday I can see having a wobble is not unreasonable.

      Doing something positive afterwards is the key and that’s what I am up to today.

      Thank you for your kind words – they cheered me up no end.

      Best wishes


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