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  • Writer's pictureAlis Hâf

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (or so they say)

Firstly, a quick side note. Part of this post was written in the middle of quite a depressing time for me in my job hunting process, all I seemed to get was a bunch of rejection but  another part of this post I wrote when I’d come out the other side having been offered a job that may not have been what I ultimately dreamed I’d be doing but I’m still excited to start and be challenged by. So in a way being able to read back and see where I was and where I now am, has actually proved my thoughts wrong and I now do agree with the motto what doesn’t kill you, in fact, can make you stronger.

Part I.

Im sorry but unfortunately you don’t have enough experience for the job. We feel that you should put your skills to better use than with us. It was very close but we decided to go with the other team.

These are just some of the things I’ve heard recently when I’ve applied for a job or had the opportunity of being offered to stay at an agency for a longer placement. Rejection after rejection, at least that’s what its felt like recently. Every time I steel myself up for the same words hoping for a different answer and every time I hear what I’ve heard again and again it slightly chips away at me and that hope I have of finally getting something.

You’re told to expect it after you leave university. You won’t get a job straight away, or you have to pay your dues so don’t expect to get that perfect job straight away. It’s even drilled into your university experience, visit the careers team, make sure you have your CV and portfolio up to date, don’t waste your time how about a part-time job? My mum works at a university so I’ve understood the importance of being career ready. Throughout my time at university, I used the careers service, worked my way through their employability awards, worked as a Student Ambassador in my spare time, dedicated time in my summer holidays to volunteer, get part-time jobs and work at a few internships. For a lack of better words I was the cliche university student, my friends always commented on how I did so much, yet I felt I was doing the bare minimum to keep myself career ready, and where did that get me?

Maybe what I’m dealing with is what everyone goes through and I just can’t see to handle it – but it does seem that everyone else succeeds and I don’t. I’ll see someone who worked fewer hours in the studio than I did or someone who spent a summer interrailing with friends, get a job and think well how can’t I?

Part II.

So where am I now? For one the rejection didn’t stop me did it. Secondly, I’ll shortly be starting a job that last year may not have excited me or have been my dream job but I’m now wholeheartedly looking forward to it challenging me and to learn so much from it.

Looking back I can properly reflect on how I felt and some of the things that contributed to me feeling as though the word had it out for me.

  1. I had too much experience for a part-time retail job but little to no experience in an advertising/marketing job.

  2. Also the problematic cycle of having to have the experience that leads to getting a job but also having enough experience to get you those opportunities that can give you more experience. It sounds complicated but when jobs want you to have had two years of experience but without getting that job or a similar one you won’t be able to get the experience required.

  3. The job climate. It’s shitty for graduates everywhere. Especially living in a small town where opportunities in marketing are next to nothing and advertising even less. This also made me to wonder where I should actually look for jobs too.

In part, the rejection actually helped me to realise what I actually wanted from life, where I actually wanted to be at this stage in my life and how I wanted to live. Since before I left school I felt a huge amount of pressure to succeed and I felt as though I had to get a job straight out of uni. But when I stopped at the beginning of this summer and actually looked around at the number of people my age that were actually in full-time jobs it was a small percentage and now rather than feel that not having a full-time job at 22 is the end of the world I’m looking at it in a different light.

I try and think that part of this has been fate. I was meant to go through these trials to come out stronger on the other side and to realise what I actually wanted from my life before it was too late. It still makes me feel sad when I think about what could have been but all I have to think about are those Kelly Clarkson lyrics and I do feel stronger.

(P.S: Sorry to finish on such a cheesy note!)

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