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A couple years ago I worked seasonally at a retail store. It was actually a boutique store that required specialized knowledge. Also it was unionized and had lots of opportunities for advancement, for example to head office. I felt like it was a perfect fit for me. I'm not trying to make it sound fancy, but I think this information may help explain why I did the following.

Since then I've been trying to get a permanent job there. I was often told "we had just finished hiring a group". I took this to mean keep trying. I dropped off my resume every month or two. Today the main manager was there. Right away he told me "I just don't feel like you're the right fit for this store. I don't want you to have to keep coming back". I asked him if there was a reason in particular and he said no and repeated the statement. I never had an interview with him.

I really had enjoyed working there and thought things went really well. I can't say it went perfectly, I was late once and missed a shift once due to a miscommunication. But other than that I would say things went perfectly. I felt I got along well with everyone. This is why I kept trying to get a permanent position, I felt like the "culture" and "atmosphere" were the perfect fit for me. Other people who I worked with, and still work there, thought I would be a good fit too (which is another reason why I kept applying).

I'm confused what could have happened. There was no interview and when I had worked there I rarely interacted with the manager (which is the case with most people). I guess he must've heard something bad about me. I had worked at another branch, which was not a good fit. I was terminated in probation but the manager said she would give me a positive reference and fill out the forms that I'm eligible for rehire. Perhaps they communicated the information and he didn't want to take the risk. In short I found the other store too slow paced for me.

Specific questions

  1. Is there anything worth doing at this point to get the job?
  2. I don't see how I could've been under the impression that things had gone well and the manager having the opposite view. Especially when other coworkers/trainers said advised me to apply for a permanent position. How can I avoid this in the future?
  3. At what point does it become ridiculous to repeatedly apply with the same company? I wouldn't have applied for so long if I didn't think I had a good chance of getting it.
  4. What is meant by not a good fit? I think it usually refers to personality, or the manor in which someone does the job. Of course this may have been not the true reason.
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    By… moving on. What’s the question here?
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 21 '21 at 3:24
  • @mxyzplk I feel really bad by this. Normally if I don't get a job I don't take it personal. But being so diametrically opposed, having thought I was a good fit seasonally then the manager not even considering an interview. I had been applying for over a year and wish he said something sooner. My question is, how do I get over feeling bad about this?
    – Hedgehound
    Oct 21 '21 at 4:25
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    @Hedgehound you're being rejected for the role. Just try to maintain relation to take your chances if there might be opening in the future. For now, don't focus too much on things you can't control.
    – el-cheapo
    Oct 21 '21 at 5:06
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    Keep in mind that being told that you are not “a good fit” might just be an excuse for some other underlying reason that is uncomfortable for them to address in the open.
    – M_dk
    Oct 21 '21 at 9:03
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    This isn’t on topic for the site. You get over it like you get over being rejected by a date. This is a basic life skill, perhaps try interpersonal.se.
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 23 '21 at 2:49
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Is there any learning experience from this?

  • No job is ever a sure thing, not matter how well you think things have gone before. Set your expectations accordingly.

  • There is no substitute for feedback from your manager. You need to be proactive about getting it if they aren't sharing it with you when they say they will. (Also answers #2 in the new edit.)

  • A lack of feedback from you manager is a red flag. The same is true of very vague feedback.

  • Being passed over multiple times should be a sign that something's wrong. If they'd wanted to hire you and you were applying monthly, you wouldn't have been missed in multiple hiring rounds. Big companies keep resumes/applications on file for months at a time.

I feel really bad about this but am working to move on. Any advice on how I can do that?

  • Accept that this isn't something you can fix.

  • Do not apply for another job at this same company again, not even at a different branch, if you can at all avoid it. (Also answers #1 in the new edit)

What is meant by not a good fit?

People use it to mean anything from how you do the work to "we just don't like you" and everything in between. This makes it an incredibly vague statement. So when someone says that without any additional explanation, what it actually means is, "We don't want to tell you why we don't want you here".

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There is no real question here. Still I'd try to give an advice about what to do. You need to understand that "thinking to be a good fit" and really "being a good fit" are totally independent from each other.

Getting a job generally is about two things: Being able to DO the job (quite important) and matching with colleagues / managers on a personal level (most times even more important).

For some reason the manager thinks you are not a good fit. This might be because they don't like your face or they heard something about you or they simply "feel" like that. It doesn't matter what the reason is. Even if it was something stupid like "I never hire Kevins" and your name happens to be "Kevin"... it is their decision, they do not even have to disclose their real reasoning (and most times won't to avoid getting sued for any discrimination reason or whatever).

You need to understand that they most likely will not change their opinion, even if it is based on a wrong assumption / information that you are able to proof as false. That is simply not how humans work, sad but true.

Coming back over and over again will not do you any good. It will only make you look pushy if you keep trying.

They told you: move on... so you better move on.

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You were terminated during probation for reasons that included lateness, long breaks and missing shifts and have now been directly told you are not a good fit. Whatever your view of the situation is theirs is clearly "This guy is unreliable and we will never offer them a permanent position".

Take the hint, reflect on this experience and good luck in your job search (elsewhere!).

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  • I don't believe your assessment of the situation is accurate. As I understand it, he worked as a seasonal worker for 1 store under some manager (only 1 lateness & 1 missed shift), and at another store (under probation) for some other manager (no missed shifts, but other issues, including lack of work available). The second manager was willing to give them a reference and mark them as available for rehire.
    – zmike
    Oct 21 '21 at 18:29
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    @zmike: You need to read into the posts of op to get a more complete image... this answer takes into account the complete picture of all recent questions of op...
    – Tode
    Oct 25 '21 at 13:23
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You're not necessarily going to get a truthful answer from your manager.

It's not something evil or nefarious. It's more that a lot of people don't like confrontation and they don't like saying unpleasant things. It's why you don't tell your aunt that you hate the $40 Jamaican Decorative Pillow she gave you for Christmas and you ended up donating it to Goodwill. And if she found out you didn't have it, would you answer with, "Because I hated it" or "It wasn't a good fit for the decor"?

Same thing with why they don't want you working there long-term. Could be something you did. Could be something you didn't do. Could simply be they don't personally like you. "Not a good fit" is just a way of saying, "I'd prefer not to voice the specific reasons".

Instead, just move on. Start looking for other opportunities and pursuing them.

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There are 4 questions here and I will answer them all.

Is there anything worth doing at this point to get the job?

No. It's over and you have been told it's over.

I don't see how I could've been under the impression that things had gone well and the manager having the opposite view. Especially when other coworkers/trainers said advised me to apply for a permanent position. How can I avoid this in the future?

It means the boss doesn't like you for some reason. Maybe for no reason. This is just how things work.

At what point does it become ridiculous to repeatedly apply with the same company? I wouldn't have applied for so long if I didn't think I had a good chance of getting it.

After you've been told to stop applying.

What is meant by not a good fit? I think it usually refers to personality, or the manor in which someone does the job. Of course this may have been not the true reason.

It means they aren't hiring you. As before, it could be a good reason or no reason at all. Maybe the manager associates you with a basketball game bet they lost. There is no way to know and you shouldn't expect to.

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Continue applying anyway.

If you want to work there, continue applying anyway. The worst that happens is that they just throw your resume in the garbage each time; the best is that a new manager is hired or the existing manager changes their mind, and you get hired. You lose nothing but a bit of time by continuing, and you stand to gain something, so it's in your interest to continue.

That said, from the context of the other question, it's sounds like "you're not a good fit" is a polite way of saying "you're not a hard enough worker", between being late a few times, watching the clock to take your breaks, not paying attention to the person training you, etc. If that is the case, it's unlikely that you will be hired, but it's possible that repeatedly applying might eventually change their mind.

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    Out of curiosity where does it say these things like watching the clock to take breaks? He probably does say that, but where? Oct 21 '21 at 8:23
  • @deploredbanked "Breaks are scheduled. I set my watch to a timer."
    – nick012000
    Oct 21 '21 at 9:07
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    @deploredbanked In the earlier linked post
    – scrwtp
    Oct 21 '21 at 10:24
  • Not sure why this is being downvoted so heavily. Would any of those that have done so be willing to explain so that I can improve my answer?
    – nick012000
    Oct 21 '21 at 14:21
  • I didn't vote but I disagree strongly that OP should continue applying if they're trying to get over having been rejected by this company. The previous edit made it clear (and is still visible in comments) that this is wearing on the OP mentally.
    – BSMP
    Oct 21 '21 at 15:38

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