22 October 2017

Persevering for Success in the Face of Failure

It’s hard to look at the bigger picture when it feels like life is not going exactly as you planned. Why do I not have my dream job yet? How am I ever going to be able to afford a mortgage? I know how it feels like your whole world is shattering in slow motion whilst everyone looks on like they’re at the movies. Popcorn and slushy included.

If you read my last post, then you’ll know that I was talking about finding confidence online. Particularly the ideologies of being encompassed by everyone else’s highlight reel and comparing it to your own behind the scenes.

I’m jobless. There’s no secret in that. I quit my job in March to travel the world. Now, I’m home with nothing but incredible memories, an empty purse and blistered fingers from flicking through newspaper ads and ferociously typing new Cover Letters for every new job application that I send. I sit in my bed with my laptop every day and scroll through the updates of my friends who seem to be living their best lives. Stable jobs with frequent dinners out and shopping trips to London.

I believe in myself, I believe in my ability to get into my dream career and absolutely smash it. Because I know I’m persistent, motivated and damn hard-working. But lately, I’ve been struggling with the effects of others not believing in what I have to offer. I'm almost 25 and still working in retail, with a degree in something somewhat unrelated to my chosen career field. I can see why employers might be put off. And in that way, job hunting is hard. I have sympathy for myself but also respect for anyone who has ever been jobless or in a job they don’t like, all the while feeling stuck, working hard, relentlessly for a second chance.

Giving up isn't an option. If I want to travel more one day or buy a house and have a family then a new job, salary in tow, is what I need to 'succeed'. And there are days, many, many days which are filled smokey and dark with the haze of failure.

"You're not qualified." "You are not talented enough." "You don't deserve success."

It's not wrong to doubt yourself and it most certainly does not make you a failure, even though every sign might be saying it. To quote a man that taught me more in 7 books than countless tutors did in 4 years at university…

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light!”
- Albus Dumbledore

It's coming, perseverance in the face of failure is where you'll find success.

Feeling sorry for yourself is fine. But feeling sorry for yourself too much can be even more devastating than the failure itself.

Ok, so it does royally suck that out of the hundreds of job applications I sent off, very few even got back to me. Even less wanted to meet me in person. In the three months that I have been searching for something new, only three companies/recruiters sent that "hey, you might have what it takes, let's arrange an interview!" email. That works out at about 6% of job applications were partially successful.

I've spent a lot of time asking myself what I'm doing wrong, what do the more successful candidates have to offer that I don't? Why is it fair that you're judged on 1000 words from your cover letter and CV? Why can't I cut a break? Why am I not better?

Giving myself that time to wallow in my self-pity was more damaging on my self-esteem than the rejection letters (or lack there of) entirely. It's great to ask yourself questions, find out what you could be doing better because you can learn from that, but you mustn't dwell on what couldn't be because there's something better waiting for you on the horizon.

Figuring out where I was going wrong was what helped me to grow. I've been applying for digital marketing roles. Something I think will satisfy both my needs to be creative but also strategic and purposeful about my creativity. I have a degree in Art and have been marketing this blog for over 3 years, so that makes send, right?

Wrong. I learned very early on that "experience is more valuable than education." Employers appreciated that you studied hard to learn your stuff but they wanted to see that you can apply what you know, successfully.

So apparently, this fun space on the internet that has grown from nothing, wasn't adequate experience. It wasn't with a company who could vouch for knowledge. Even though you can see it, in black and white in front of you. Weird.

But, I understand.

So I went out, enrolled in a Social Media Marketing course online and proceeded to send out emails asking various industries to take me on for work experience. Ok so I haven't done so well job hunting in the past, but I figured out where I was going wrong, then learned from my past failures and moved on.

Don't forget the past. It sounds ridiculous, right? But I've been through this all before. Maybe it would have been less painful this time around, had I remembered how I tackled it back then.

A couple years ago before I got promoted to my current position, I was fed up with my employer and how I was treated, even with veteran service to this company. I sent off hundreds and hundreds of applications, with unique and individual cover letters over a couple month span. I then got beaten down and demotivated when I heard nothing back. This time around, it's like de-ja-vu.

You can't forget the past and not expect to repeat it! Learn from your mistakes and never make them again...

And here I am now, on the 22nd October editing this post which I wrote weeks ago to try and motivate myself. To get me out of that post-interview failure funk and finding new opportunities again. After spending a month or so in my drafts, I've rediscovered this beauty and how much it helped me to finally find today. So what better time, than to share my news...

I GOT A JOB! I got a job in the industry that previous interviewers told me I wasn't qualified for. And for one of the biggest company's and brand's in the world.

So take this as your primary example that you should not live your life worrying about what has happened in the past or things that might not happen in the future. We must learn from what has happened and let it lead us to the positives waiting to be discovered in the next chapter.

Follow your dreams, live your life and most importantly, believe in yourself!

Love always,

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