To get hired, you must first get rejected.
When I was still in uni, I couldn’t wait to graduate! I thought my life was going to be like in the movies. I would complete my degree and a good paying job would fall into my lap, right?
Looking for a job is hard work. I remember preparing my resume and sending out about 50 copies every 24 hours for a whole month before my final exams. Yet, it still took me a month after graduation to get a job that was somewhat related to my degree. It was already hard enough trying to get a job with minimal experience under my belt, but the more “we regret to inform you” emails I received, the more insecure I started to feel about my skills.
It was really difficult not to blame myself for not doing more during my undergraduate pursuit. I started to feel like maybe the reason I was getting rejected from all these good jobs was because I just simply wasn’t good enough. My skills and personality seemed to fit exactly what the job postings were asking for, so why was I being rejected? Also, how was it fair to judge my abilities off a single piece of paper? Finally, I came to the realisation that I shouldn’t be looking at the rejection emails as rejection. Instead, I started looking at them as another reason to motivate myself and get more experience.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
See, among the jobs that I had applied for, many of them were in fact looking for candidates that had more experience in the field, even though it wasn’t exactly stated in the job description. I even got rejected by some of the companies that I had dreamed of working for while pursuing my degree. It made me want to expand my search more, to look for opportunities that still equipped me with the experience those very companies were looking for.
Every “thank you but please try again” I received now became another reason for me to keep looking. I had more reason now to keep searching for experiences that would one day qualify me for the job. I changed the layout of my resume, dedicated an entire Sunday to updating my LinkedIn profile, and made sure I was registered to every job posting website available. I even searched for local networking events that were open to the public and tried to attend as many of them as I could. Eventually, my perseverance paid off and I found a job that, though might not be in my ideal industry right now, I believe will still give me the experience I need to finally get to where I want to go.
The truth is, I think I was still very lucky to have found a job so quickly after graduation, but I do want to leave you with this last piece of advice: take every opportunity presented to you, whether it be volunteering overseas or attending the next networking event at uni, and live it to the fullest. Keep your hearts and minds open and a world of opportunities will open up to you in return. Whatever you do, always remind yourself that not getting your dream job can only motivate you to want to better yourself. Before you know it, you will have had so much experience you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself!