9

Context

My partner finished his bachelor's around two years ago. By that time he had multiple positive internship experiences and collected compliments from peers where he worked (some had even thought he was an actual professional, in some situations).

It just happened that his last internship was at a government run company and they don't hire interns, you have to compete for the full time position with everyone else when they open exams, thus upon graduating, he became unemployed.

During this time he has attended some interviews and gotten to the final step in many, but never got a job offer. He is working on the field, informally, for almost a year, but wage is low and it's not what he loves.

The situation is kind of dire at my country right now, unemployment rate is around 15% so you can tell that he is not the only one frustrated.


Current situation

He just got another "no" for a position and suddenly became very sad and started questioning whether he did the right choice for his major or not, 6 years ago. He is even questioning his faith in God, which is particularly delicate for me, as I myself am an atheist.

He stated that he's completely lost and doesn't know what to do next. Here's what I did:

  1. I have some experience with hiring, but in a completely different field. I already helped him rebuild and improve his resume and offered to do mock interviews.
  2. I advised him to start praying again, even though I'm an atheist, to see if he finds comfort in doing so, be it for the king what he has or for asking for help.
  3. Rationalising, I told him we're bound to subjective calls on hiring process that we can't control, but we can be 100% sharp on our objective knowledge and let it not fail us on any tests, so I advised to study and study.
  4. I reminded him that he was beloved by many professors and colleagues, to seek for referrals with them.
  5. Told him to broaden his search for jobs to include opportunities in other cities or even states. My point is that he might get an offer there and even if he chooses not to accept, he will have learned what it's like to succeed on an interview and replicate it where it's actually relevant for him.

I don't know if he's actually competent or not, as I only have his testimonials, but I believe he should continue to seek opportunities. How to comfort him with all the rejections? Should I let him question if he has the skills/qualities to do this job? Are any of my reactions incipient/unclear/worsening his situation?

Thanks!

8

Two years of job searching without any success is bound to dent your self-esteem. I think you said the right things, but the reassurance needs to be maintained until things get better.

He's begun questioning his own professional capacity based on his failure to get ahold of employment (which is not a good indicator). Keep on giving unconditional acceptance, and reassure that his worth has nothing to do with his employment status. It's easy to slip from the state of despair into defeat and depression.

As for specific advice regarding job searching, newcomers to the field often have no idea how many employment opportunities come through connections. Here's an article that says the figure is 85%. Let your partner progressively contact acquaintances he's in good standing with (former teachers and co-workers where he interned, neighbors, friends). It's not asking for a job, it's just commenting that you are seeking employment in this field, and if they hear about any opportunities, get in touch.

From the perspective of the employer, the fact that your partner is loosely connected to his network gives a large advantage He's just the neighbor of my cousin, but my cousin says he's a decent hard working guy who doesn't drink, and that's more than I know than these random candidates!. So reach out and ask for people to pass on employment opportunities.

  • Thanks for the reassurance that I was making the right calls. In fact he started working on getting referrals (my suggestion #3 and yours) and some people have already replied offering help whenever they can, which is helping calm him down :) – ConfusedHuman May 30 at 16:52

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