update: my mother keeps telling me I won’t get the jobs I interview for

Remember the reader whose mother kept telling her that she wouldn’t possibly get any of the jobs she interviewed for? They live together, which made the situation harder. Here’s her update.

When I wrote to you originally, I was at a point where I was really feeling defeated. You weren’t the first person to tell me to stop talking to my mother about interviews and my job search at large.

Prior to your posting my question, I knew I was going to limit what I told my mother about the interview I had that day. And when I got home, although my mom started off by asking how it went, it quickly segued into, “Why do you keep going after these jobs that are so far out of reach?” I said, “I don’t think that’s a fair assessment.” She said I was taking it too personally, and I explained that this is the way her statements are coming off. We ended the discussion soon after that.

While I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, it was truly one of the best interviews I’ve had in a long time – if not ever. I left the interview feeling excited, that I could do the job and do it well and that it would have been a good fit. It really provided the confidence boost I needed. I can take that positive experience with me, as I continue to interview for the foreseeable future. I truly believe that I’m on the right track as far as my job search goes. I’m continuing to get interviews (and now that I’m a regular reader and have gone through some of your older posts), and I’ve seen you mention in the past that when you stop getting interviews it’s time to make changes.

Over the last month, I’ve really tried to take your and the readers’ comments to heart and tried to put your advice into action. I had an interview recently and it happened to fall on a holiday. I tried to claim I was off because of the holiday, but it didn’t work very well. I didn’t tell her where I was interviewing and didn’t really provide any details until I came back. I provided as few details as I could, when pressed. I thought this was the best course of action.

Unfortunately, I just found myself in another discussion with my mother about my job search. Clearly, my efforts to deflect are not going as well as I thought. She feels that I should start looking outside “the box” and not just look at colleges – look at hospitals, banks, residential facilities/psych wards. She feels the competition for administrative positions in higher ed is too high and I just don’t have enough concrete experience to result in a job offer. I know competition is high, especially for administrative positions. And I understand what she’s saying, that I shouldn’t only apply to one type of job, which I can attest to that I’m not. But her suggestion that I apply for things so far outside the box, like a psych ward, isn’t likely to serve me well or get me where I ultimately want to go. They’re more likely to pigeonhole me in a whole new way.

At this point, I’ve come to realization that I may just have to listen to her (though not act on her advice), and let her say what she needs to say.

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