Rejected For A Dream Job After 8 Months

<b class="credit">Chris Guillebeau</b>
Chris Guillebeau

Have you ever spent months interviewing for a job that you just knew you were perfect for -- but didn't get? Last year, I spent about eight months trying to land my next dream job. Two weeks after I'd quit my my first dream job as host of Marketplace, I'd found out about the opening at NPR to be host of Weekend All Things Considered.

It seemed like fate
I thought the timing was, shall we say, more than fortuitous. It was fate! It had to be a sign from the universe. It was the perfect next step in my career, and I really couldn't believe the post was open. This was it!

This was why I'd leaped from a sure thing, without a safety net.

At first, I told myself that there was no way I'd get this dream job. That it was too good to be true. That I was ridiculous for thinking otherwise. I submitted my resume but put up a website where other potential employers could easily find my work.

Still, in the back of my brain, I kept saying maybe -- just maybe -- I could get this NPR dream job.

The stars seemed to align
A couple of months later, in February of 2013, I had a preliminary phone interview with the show's senior producer, whom I liked immediately -- he seemed to get my sense of humor. Another sign! A couple of months after that, NPR asked if I would meet for an in-person interview with producers here in Los Angeles, where they are moving the show from its current home in Washington, DC.

Yes, the show was moving to LA, where I live. Another sign!

On an emotional roller coaster
In between those fantastic developments, I experienced complete crises of confidence, once again trying to convince myself I'd never get this dream job. I thought maybe the disappointment wouldn't be as bad if I didn't have any expectations to begin with. But I was just trying to fool myself, and it didn't work. In the back of mind, I couldn't let go of the idea that I would be the next host of WATC, as we call it.

And It went better than I dreamed for
In June, they asked me to fly out to DC to host Weekend All Things Considered for a whole weekend -- an audition for the nation.

I had the Time. Of. My. Life. It was surreal to sit in that host chair at NPR. Did I mention I interviewed John Mellencamp and Stephen King? I thought I'd nailed it. I really did.

And no one said otherwise.

Then I was rejected
Three weeks later I got the call. I would not be the next host of Weekend All Things Considered. I cried in the shower. I tried not to see it as a rejection, when clearly it was. I'm a stress-eater, and punished my body by consuming large numbers of calories for several days.

I even felt tinges of humiliation because the failure was so public. I knew in my heart that there must've been something I could've done -- and didn't do -- to push myself over the top as a candidate.

Then after all the self-pity, the real ramifications started to settle in. Now I had to find a new dream. And I'm still trying to figure that out.

How have you dealt with rejection and disappointment about your dream job?