What Not Getting a Job Taught Me About The Universe

I had been close so many times! I rarely got feedback from employers but when I did it was usually, “You are our second choice, unfortunately (for you) we went with the other candidate”. This was hard to take. For the longest time I thought that I just hadn’t found the right fit and that it was just a matter of time before I got the elusive offer. Now I know it is not going to happen. I have actually paid attention to what the universe is trying to tell me…

The universe, God or whatever you call your higher being is a great equalizer. It knows when you are not pushing yourself hard enough or if you are in over your head. It never tells you, it shows you. It also doesn’t do what it does to you but for you. If you are not paying attention as I did it will plop you down in the same situation over and over again until you get the hint.

In my case what the universe was telling me was “you are not ready yet to be employed. You are close but you need more training”.

How do I know? I had several interviews go through a lot of stages but with exactly the same outcome (personality assessment, phone interview, skills assessment, personal interview. One personal interview lasted four hours once you added in the technical assessment. What was I to believe?

I knew it 3 months ago but I was stubborn and didn’t admit it. I actually started the process to go back to school then…..

The universe always sends you a red herring to see if you are actually listening. If I was I would have immediately stopped applying for jobs and just went back to school already or realized that the offers for interviews weren’t right. If you are Christian you might say the devil made you do it or it was temptation :). Either way, I wasn’t listening.

If you look at it though a psychological lens you could say my ignoring what the universe was telling me was a case known as intermittent reinforcement. It states that reinforcement for a desired behavior is only given sometimes and not every single time as in what is known as continuous reinforcement.

For example, have a rat press a bar for a food pellet. If you give that rat a pellet only every now and then, he will press the bar far more often then if you never gave him a pellet at all. Trying to stop the behavior is called extinguishing the response. This is difficult to do if you reinforce intermittently.

That is why gamblers have a hard time quitting since they might win every so often. It keeps them going. That was preciously my problem. I would want to give up and go back to school but all of a sudden I got a request for an interview and I exclaimed “Maybe this will be the one!” like the addicted gambler.

All I had to do was pay more attention to what the universe was telling me and forge on, get the training I need to update my skills and move forward. Well this time I am listening. I start school in a month and I am not looking back.

Are you able to recall a time the universe was telling you something and a took a few false starts for you to get the hint? Comment below. I would love to hear about it!

Dan