Having to do job applications when you’re on the first day of your period should be illegal. In an un-written rule sense. A universal understanding that it’s actually better for everyone if you make a soft nest, swathed in pug puppies and furry cats, hot-water bottles, slouchy clothes and an all-day run of the Gilmore Girls.
Alas, I have to put on my ‘big boy pants’ and get on with life. Not just function but apply myself. Be at my most winning, confident, sharp, savvy, diligent and persuasive. All in effort and on paper. I could of course be doing all these applications in my pjs but at 25 I may not fully know my alcohol limit, I do however, know a pyjama day is basically only acceptable if you’ve just been dumped. Brutally. Pyjamas are for relaxing and there is NOTHING relaxing about applying for jobs.
To apply for each job, I have to convince myself I can do that role, really picture myself in it in order to be convincing on paper. I cannot convince myself that I am an asset to any company in my teddy-bear print soft-brush flannels.
The problem with my particular ‘method-acting’ approach to job applications, is that in envisaging yourself in the role and convincing yourself it’s perfect for you, it only makes it feel even worse when you don’t get it.
My two most recent
dumping corporate rejections made me realise my current place in this life: the limbo land of the under-experienced but overqualified twenty-something.
The first position I went up for was truly dreamy. I had longed for the opportunity and was hugely excited at the prospect of that role. After the interview my feedback was that I lacked enough experience. The lucky bugger who got the role was fantastic at it, which I have taken as inspiration to strive towards.
The second job opportunity for that company I went in full-guns blazing. All my personal and academic experience on display. My task was to come up with a ten-minute presentation with their specific job-role aims in mind. I spent three solid days working on this presentation.
Fitting for the role, I hand-made every aspect of the presentation. I’d gone beyond power-point. I had to demonstrate all the skills and experience I could bring to the table. I hand-painted. I painstakingly researched. I even cut-up an old text book and stuck the images on because our printer broke. I read and re-read the brief and was by the morning of my interview, proud and confident of what I had achieved in meeting it. It was the one interview in my life I felt the most ready and confident for. That was until their opening greeting:
‘We are so sorry, you got sent the wrong email. The brief to which you were tasked is actually for a higher-level job. For which we have no current openings. You didn’t actually need to do a presentation.’
I could not have felt more like a complete an utter boob.
I couldn’t even casually shrug it off and slip my memory-stick power point presentation discreetly back into my pocket because I had handmade it… ON GIANT PRESENTATION BOARDS.
It was huge and colourful and now taking up an awful lot of desk space. I was still permitted to do my presentation but it felt redundant and like I was just wasting everyone’s time. I faced the panel, had a good grilling and answered everything as best as I could. Negotiating the narrow doorway with my GIANT presentation boards, I left the room utterly perplexed.
I had no idea if it had gone well or not. A few days later I got my courtesy rejection email and so I guessed no, it had not gone well. Then I got a phone call from the interviewer. My interview had in fact gone well. So well that I didn’t get the job. I was informed that I had displayed how over-qualified I was for that role.
They felt I would be bored, I would then move on to something more suitable and then they would be back to square one. Which is exactly where I am now. I saw that job as a step-up and was excited for it. I am, however, grateful for their feed-back and the offer for me to come in for any chats and advice.
So now I am crampy and cranky, trawling the internet trying to hook a job that fits my golden-mean of experience and qualifications. The truth is, I have no idea what that is. I guess through the whittling process of future rejections for roles of which I’ll be under experienced or over-qualified for, I’ll find it. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, it’ll be just right… although hopefully, without the family of grizzly bears.
If you enjoyed this post why not check out ‘Dating Decisions: Does the Career Make the Man?’