The first job interview I had post-grad went very badly. I think I did okay at the interview, but I learned a lot of things about the company that were not going to work for me:
1. During our busiest time, everyone was expected to work extra hours Monday through Friday and work half a day on Saturday. This was going to last about 3 months and include my birthday month. (One of the biggest reasons I chose the field I'm in was to have regular Monday through Friday 9-5 hours and not have to work on the weekends).
2. I already knew that the exact job I was applying for had a busy time of year, but this company basically had 2 times of year like that instead of just one. The other busy season was during the summer. While extra hours weren't required during that season, we basically could not use any vacation time during the summer.
3. While the position I applied for was close enough to home, we were going to work at another location for 3 months of the year, which was about an hour or more away. The interviewer told me that with traffic, I could be looking at work days that were 7 to 7, where I'd leave home at 7:00 AM and wouldn't get home till 7:00 PM during those 3 months.
4. My potential manager was very hard on people and several people had quit the job after just 2 weeks because of how the manager treated them. The interviewer said that you needed to have thick skin to work there.
I went home that night and emailed the interviewer saying thank you for the consideration, but I did not think that the job would work out. At the time, I told my boyfriend that what happened was a secret - that if his family or friends asked about the interview, I wanted him to just tell them that I didn't get the job, rather than that I told them no.
The thing is, I lived with my parents at the time. It wasn't like I had my own place or had children and needed to take whatever job I could get to support myself or my family. I was in a situation where I could be as discerning as I wanted to be. And yet, I felt a HUGE amount of pressure to take the job because I didn't have a job or any other offers. This wasn't the only situation like this - I have tons of stories of recruiters pushing me and not respecting my time and my choices, but I never told those stories because I felt like I had to have a job already in order to complain. That was wrong. That was not okay. Sure, I was the only one in my social circle at the time who didn't have a job yet, but there was nothing wrong with that and it should have been no one else's business.
Now that I have a steady job and my own apartment, everything feels different. If I wanted to find a new job, and I found one like the one described above, I would have no problem at all telling other people why I turned it down. When you already have a job, people are much less judgmental about how selective you are. They act like it's okay for you to be selective because you already have a job. It also sounds more socially acceptable to say, "The job I currently have doesn't have any of these issues, so there's no reason to move to a new job that does have those issues." More so than if you just weren't willing to accept those things when you didn't have a job to begin with.
When I think of how I felt back then, back when I didn't have a job but felt pressured to accept any job I could get and to pretend to not be entitled, I just want to say that I never want to be one of those people you can't talk to. I never want to be this person who has a job and therefore expects everyone else to have one at all costs, and looks down on people who don't. I don't ever want anyone to feel like they can't share with me if they want to quit their job or not take a job that they've been offered, no matter what. I don't care if you have a job. I don't care if anyone has a job. I mean, I care in the sense that I want to see my friends happy, so I want to see people find things that make them happy. I want to see people achieve their personal dreams. But I don't have any generic feeling that everyone "should" place having a steady job at the top of their list without regard to what those individual people want. I don't want to be the kind of person that anyone would have to lie to, the way I felt I had to lie to people and say that I didn't get that job that I turned down. You can tell me. I promise. My having a job will never change that.