Bijan Sabet’s story of his first real job rejection:
I wonder what would have happened if NYNEX gave me that offer.
Sometimes rejection can be your best friend.
In my job searches, this has proven true.
2004 search: Tried to find a software job in Columbus and came up dry. Submitted my resume and interviewed with a major tech recruiter (who masqueraded as a direct employer) who rejected any possibility of development jobs because my resume wasn’t strong enough, and just tried sticking me with bullshit IT temp jobs. Ended up getting tipped off from a college classmate to a great job in Pittsburgh that I quickly interviewed for and accepted a week later.
2006 search: Looked all over New York for non-finance software jobs. Fog Creek wasn’t hiring, although I probably wouldn’t have passed their tests. Eventually broadened my search to include Amazon in Seattle, but got rejected after a long, disorganized, frustrating process that involved far too many people, most of whom were flaky and had no idea what they were doing in the interview process. (What I have learned since then indicates that I would have hated working at Amazon.) Interviewed at Bloomberg and was very turned off by the people and environment, and despite me thinking I bombed the interview, they made me a tempting offer. I almost took it, but I just barely decided to go with a vague offer to do web consulting work by this young guy named David Karp instead, in part because he seemed like he knew what he was doing, and in part because I’d get to work on whatever computer I wanted to make web apps in whatever language I wanted.
That worked out.