I have been very fortunate since I started working when I was 18, that I have never really been out of work for long or found it hard to find a job. This was mostly due to working jobs of a seasonal nature that had a high demand for people such as retail or summer camp. These past three months have been the longest I have gone without working since I started working, and it has definitely been weird. Starting out the first month was great, I was still in Canada and definitely needed a break after the months before. I took the time to go exploring the areas around me and spend as much time outside and in the mountains as I could. After a couple of weeks, it certainly got a little boring and I was ready to be back doing something and being busy but I would have to wait. Then coming back to Ireland it was nice to have a couple of weeks to get accustomed to being home and get to see some family before the job hunt began.
As I said I have mostly worked short seasonal jobs for my work life with the exception of my first job that lasted for 4 years while I was in university. I have never really known what I wanted to do and took the past few years to travel, getting jobs in different countries to give me the chance to do this. Over the past year or so I have been thinking about what I want my next career to be and what I would be interested in doing. That is where I thought about digital marketing with more specifically social media marketing or content marketing. I have always been quite a creative person and social media has a large part in my life. I was able to gain some experience in this while working at camp and running the social media channels which only helped me to realize how much I liked it. Social channels are really a place where a business can interact with their customers on a more personal intimate level and I really want to be a part of that. Along with this I know what power creating content can have in influencing a decision about a brand or purchase, I have had it happen to me on many occasions so I knew that this is where I wanted my next job to lie. And, that is how we come to today, as I try to find a job in this new space to gain more experience and skills.
While I have a little experience working at Camp, many people don’t see that and understand it and I also have no formal education in this area. I decided to upskill a little and took some courses from Google and Hubspot to help give me more insight and training about the things I had been doing. This also just served to show me how much I was interested in this area also and how I wanted to learn more. Then after my first round of job applications and refusals, I decided to gain more skills and do an online course. This is a paid course with the Digital Marketing Institute which will give me a diploma when I successfully pass the exam. The course so far has been very interesting and it is nice to do things at my own pace and it is just online. This will be another thing to add to my portfolio and hopefully, give me the advantage to get my foot in the door. I am hoping to finish before the end of the year and I have learned many new things which I know will help me on this career adventure.
Job hunting at any stage of life is hard and you go through many different stages. The excitement at finding a role you want and getting everything ready in your application, getting nervous when you hit that submit button. The waiting game to see if you will hear anything back. The anxious nerves getting ready for an interview hoping you will say the right things to impress the person. The happiness at getting the job offer and starting something new. Of course, for 99% of the process, it doesn’t go like this at all. You spend hours scrolling through and reading job postings, sending off dozens of applications to ones that interest you. You wait days to hear something only to get the email that starts with ‘we regret to inform you’ or sometimes get no email or communication at all. Sometimes you get to have an interview and you think it goes great, only to find out ‘they went with someone else’, and then you start the process all over again. This never-ending cycle of trying to find a job that will not only give you experience and sustain your livelihood but one that you will also enjoy and that will push you to be the best version of yourself. As the saying goes, if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.
This whole process can be hard, getting knocked down at every turn, knowing in yourself that you would be amazing at the job but also knowing that the other 100 people who applied feel the same way. It gets you down thinking, I am really good enough, should I even apply at all when you get rejection letter after rejection letter. You start to think am I really qualified for the role or will I even be able to do the work, should I find something else, something easier. Then you have a stern chat with yourself, dust off those thoughts, and continue on again, sometimes things in life are hard. Sometimes you have to fail, again and again, take risks and try something new to succeed. I heard once from a TED talk that ‘when applying for jobs men will apply if they only satisfy 60% of the criteria whereas women will only apply if they satisfy 90%’, and this stuck with me. I am that person who will read the description and think I don’t have all those qualifications, I’ll never get it, why should I apply. But I should apply, recruiters are not only looking at the hard skills and qualifications but at the soft skills, who you are as a person, how you will fit in the team, and why you want to do it. Since hearing this quote I have tried to take the risk, apply for jobs that I may not know everything about but I am eager to learn. Yes, it is hard to hear the rejections but I have also gotten interviews and all it takes is for one person to see a spark in you and want to take a chance on you.
So this is my long-winded way of saying, if you too are searching for a new job whether that be in something that you have done for years or something you are trying to get into, take the risk, apply for the job that you don’t feel 100% qualified for. You will never know don’t know if you don’t ask, all they can do is say no and that’s the same as if you never applied but there will be moments when someone will say yes and that is why you do it. I have been doing this for the past 2 months and no joy so far but I am not giving up. I have decided I don’t want to do a job that I won’t feel happy going to every day because life is too short, I am lucky that I am in a position right now where I have a little time before I need to make money and I am hopeful that I will find something that will fulfill me before that time is up.
So if you too are on the job hunt right now, I wish you all the best, know that you will find something and, keep your head up.