You go online and search through all the open positions, putting in applications to the ones that seem at least vaguely interesting. Most of them won’t bother to respond. One or two might have their interest piqued and give you a call. They’ll invite you to meet in person so the two of you can learn more about each other.
This is where the nerves kick in. You’re excited about the potential prospect but nervous about making a good impression. You might go shopping for a new outfit or shoes, maybe make an appointment to get your hair done the day before. You’ll agonize over what to wear to give off the right vibe, try to mentally prepare yourself to answer any questions they’ll probably ask you. Come up with a list of your own questions, rehearse what you want to say. You might practice smiling in the mirror. You’ll give yourself plenty of extra time beforehand to ensure your makeup is perfect.
You get more anxious as you drive to the agreed upon destination, trying to be sure you strike that balance between being on time but not too early. You meet the person for the first time, you feel tense and a little awkward as you sit across from each other. They ask you about yourself, your education, what you like to do.
You ease up a little as you guys find some common ground and share a laugh. This is going well. You’ve developed a friendly rapport and they seem genuinely pleased to be speaking with you. They’re clearly impressed by everything you bring to the table, and when it’s over you part ways with them promising to call you again soon. You leave feeling happy, excited, accomplished, and picturing your new future. Everything seems to be falling into place, finally.
You wait anxiously to hear from them again, but they never call. What could have happened? It all seemed to go so well! You were so sure this was the one. Cue the next few days of crushing disappointment and self-loathing. You can’t figure out where it all went wrong, what you might have said that was the deal breaker. Did they just find someone better? You’ll never know.
It’s time to start over again, this time try going to an event designed for people on the same hunt as you. Mingle with a different crowd, give your number out to anyone that seems interesting and hope this time it works out better.