The Sound of Silence

The other day I went for a run and I didn’t warm up. Four miles into a 4.5 mile run I got a sharp pain in my calf. Womp womp. Injury.

Now I get to sit around and wait while my mind goes off the rails:

Will I ever get better? Did I do permanent damage?  Should ice? Should I heat? Should I take more fish oil? How long should I sit here? Should I roll out? Should I do more internet research? Should i start walking with 20 pounds of books in my bag? C

And that is just the first 10 seconds.

At least while I am waiting I have a lot of information. Besides the internet, there is my body. I can put weight on my foot, check in with my calf, walk around wiggle my foot, go upstairs, go down stairs. I can check in and get a sense of where I am. That little bit of information alleviates a lot of anxiety.

Waiting without information is the worst.  

Over the last year I and a couple of friends have been applying for jobs. We are all applying for jobs with progressive organizations. While we are a group of committed true believers, we are also professionals who polish up our CVs and attack writing and strategy tests with gusto. We show up to interviews with the same passion we would show up to work, we spend hours on strategy documents, and we take the whole thing seriously.

And what we get in return… silence.

Of course applying for any job requires some patience as you wait to hear if you made it through the first round, and then the second. There is disappointment when you hear you didn’t get the job. There is reevaluation of your skills. There sometimes self-doubt. There are questions about the hiring practices and integrity of the organization. Add to this the anxiety of not having enough make ends meet, and applying for any job can be a rough experience. 

Now add to this mix radio silence from the organization you apply to work with. Whoooo. It is rough.

Over the last year I’ve withdrawn my application from two organizations, a friend of mine just did the same, when the hiring process was just so bad (we are both lucky to have enough consulting work to live off of). A part of what the process bad was getting to the third and fourth round and just not hearing anything from the organization.

How you treat not only your employees, but also your applicants, your interns, and your volunteers shows a lot about your organization. It isn’t just about finding the right fit for you, it is about making sure the people in your sphere don’t feel unnecessarily bad about your organization. How awesome would it be if you interviewed 10 people and told nine of them you weren’t hiring them, and all they could say about the organization is that it is awesome? 

C’mon progressive organizations you can do better.






About JTP

An occasional reader, an occasional writer, an occasional podcast producer, an occasional strategist.
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