Now I’m no career expert by any means but I’d love to think that I offer people pretty decent advice when it comes to job seeking, career opportunities and even interview technique. I actually genuinely love helping or mentoring people in their discovery to finding what it is they want to do. I think I’m just naturally really curious about people and love to find out more and when it comes to careers I’ve have my fair share of mixed experiences. I think now I’ve finally found (for now) the right balance between a job I love, and my passions outside of work. I’ve had rejections, but I’ve had lots of successes too and although things haven’t always been smooth sailing when it comes to my career, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. Most of all, I’ve built upon my character, I’ve learnt to deal with testing situations, and I’ve realised the power of hard work and perseverance. Finding and actually doing a job you love in modern times is damn hard; competition is fierce, the process is hard, people can be dicks (excuse my french), and the world is constantly changing. I’ve thought about a couple of things which hopefully will seem like some sound advice for you and your career.
If at first you don’t succeed, seriously keep trying
I got my first job by writing in to the company almost every week until they had no choice but to call me. Even when I went for an interview there, the hiring manager said to me, ‘you’ve written in a number of times’. To be honest I was probably really annoying but at least it got me in to the building. From there, it’s down to you to impress. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the job hunting process and feel a bit crappy when you’re not getting the offers or you aren’t getting the job, but I’ve realised that everything is a learning curve; what you did not so well at, at the last interview, you know not to do or improve on for the next one. Keep going and don’t give up, because if you give up, you’re not even giving yourself a chance.
Take the rejections, it wasn’t meant to be
Everything happens for a reason and you will get the opportunity that is meant for you, I truly believe that. Getting rejections can be hard, but it’s a part of life and it’s part and parcel of job hunting. The less personally you take it, the more you can bounce back and carry on going. There will be times in your career where you don’t always get what you want, but something better may well come along. I know I’ve been in some tough work situations, but when I look back now at how stressful it may have been, I realise that the right thing happened in the end.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and own it
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from working for a large multi-national cooperation, is that everyone is different. No two people are the same, which means there is plenty of room for you to be yourself. As the saying goes, everyone else is already taken and you should be proud to own the person that you are. I’m naturally really introverted and at work I often find myself surrounded by extroverts and feel like my voice is being lost. I used to really think this was a detriment to me and that I wouldn’t be able to be credible if I wasn’t heard or I wasn’t loud enough for people to recognise me. I’ve recently realised the power of an introvert and actually you don’t need to be loud to be successful or get ahead, you need to be confident in your ability (of which you have in abundance when you believe in yourself) and you will be credible and it will get noticed. You are who you are, and the people around you shouldn’t make you question that. Of course there’s always room for self improvement, but theres a big difference between development and just plain old acting like something you’re not.
If you don’t at least LIKE it, then don’t do it
We spend on average, 9 hours of our waking time at work. That’s more time than you probably spend in your house! If you can’t stand being there, then life can get pretty damn depressing. I’ve recently moved into a role that is quite challenging, but I really enjoy it so I’m happy for the challenge. It amazes me how many people actually really hate their jobs and hate going to work, and of course we have to work to make a living. The thing is, there are endless opportunities in this world to do anything you want. Do something you love, it honestly makes a difference, and the only day you’ll hate is Monday… because everyone hates Monday.
It’s just work
I remember the General Manager of the company I used to work for saying, ‘at the end of the day, we can all work hard when we are here… but it’s just work, don’t let it be your life’. It’s so true- we tend to get really carried away with working life, spending ridiculous hours in our offices and over working to over impress. The truth is, that not many people care if you work silly hours, because they probably aren’t there to pick up on it. Of course, if you’ve got deadlines, and its a busy period, you might spend longer at work and it can be really stressy, but generally once you’ve left the building or signed off, you should learn to switch off. The work will still be there tomorrow, so tend to it then, and if all goes tits up anyway, it’s probably not your dads company anyway so don’t worry about it…. unless it is :/
Use your resources
As much as we complain about modern technology and things like social media, we are actually incredibly lucky to have everything we need at our fingertips. The resources are endless- from books, to the internet, to social media to actually going and talking to a real human being, its all there to use at our disposal. We can find out the answer to almost anything and watch 100 youtube videos on interview technique and even find the questions asked in an interview on some forum somewhere on the net. It’s a case of putting in the effort and utilising those resources. We have LinkedIn- and undeniably incredible resource that connects people from a professional perspective. You can know about your interviewer before you go into the interview. Use these resources; you are expected to.
Talk to people
I used to be really afraid of asking too many questions, as I’m naturally someone that seeks the answer for myself. I think I always feel like I’m disturbing people, and I just like to get on with things. Being in my current job, I’ve realised the power of speech! There are never too many questions that you can ask, no question is dumb, and you’ll find that people actually like being asked questions, or it shows your interest and your eagerness to not only learn, but also share what you are doing and take others on your journey. When it comes to finding a job, don’t be afraid to ask around, seek advice and learn about what people do. Networking is really key to success, the more people that know your interests, the more chances and opportunities open up to you.
Everywhere you go, the gang goes.
You’ll never get the recognition you deserve unless you shout about it. Keep people informed of your work and include people in your projects. The more you do this, the more recognition you get and more chances you have to excel. Shares your successes with those around you as it all means very little when you don’t have people celebrating and sharing that happiness with you.
Success is a journey, not a destination
Where you end up is not that important, what’s more important is your journey and what you accomplish and experience along the way. Everything is a building block and there is always more time and room to build. As long you keep trying, you won’t fail. Try everything you can, take risks and make leaps. When all is said and done, you’ll have the knowledge, the experiences, and the adventures that you had along the journey. No one really knows what they actually want to do, and until then, everything is an experience.
Skirt – H&M
Shoes – Zara old (similar here)
Top – ASOS
Coat – ASOS (similar here)
Tote Bag – Michael Kors
I’m still pretty early on in my career and have loads more to learn and experience I’m sure. All we can do is make the effort, utilise our resources, take risks, follow our dreams and ultimately enjoy what we do. Talk to me about your experiences, would love to hear about them 🙂
Images courtesy of Chandan Sojitra