Sunday, 16 March 2014

Why Graduate Job Hunting Is Like Relationships

I bet you read that title and thought 'Oh goodness me, where is she going with this one'. As many of you may or may not know, I'm in my final year at university. In fact, I am 3 months away from finishing and 4 months and 2 days away from my graduation ceremony. Not that I'm one to panic or anything (note that fine hint of sarcasm) but I feel like I'm slowly sliding down a hill with nothing to hold onto whilst heading towards a big fiery pit (Like that sad scene in Toy Story 3, oh you know which scene I mean, admit it, you cried). Overall I am still unemployed.

Admit it, that image left a little twinge in your feelings

I have applied to what feels like a hundred jobs and have been rejected so many times that I'm beginning to think after all those 'It's not us it's you' rejection emails I am the sole reason Ben & Jerry's is still in business. Throughout this long, horrendous, cruel, soul crushing (am I getting my point across?!) experience, I have noted that the whole job hunting process is a lot like being single and looking for a relationship. Not that I go out handing CVs to random guys on the street or I don't do that...okay it was one time and he was very similar to Leonardo DiCaprio okay!

Finding The One
I'm often told you have to kiss many frogs before you find your prince. Is this the same for job hunting? Over the past 6 months I have fallen for many jobs, given my all to them, poured my heart and sole to them, bared it all! Only to have my heart ripped from my chest by 3 cruel words 'Your application was unsuccessful'. I cry, cry some more, burn all 'why you should work for us' leaflets that bare their name and logo, question myself 'Could I have done more?!', felt angry 'Well I'll show them when I'm a CEO of Facebook AND Twitter at the same time' and visioned them coming crawling back through emails of 'We're so sorry, we promise to never hurt you again, we didn't mean to reject you, work for us please?'. Eventually after these stages of separation it's back to the drawing board and it happens all over again.

How you still single? Don't worry you'll find someone some day! There's plenty more fish in the sea!
Single people of the world unite, at some point in your singleton life you were graced with the above sentences. If I had a penny for every time someone said that I'd be able to pay off my student debt, go on holiday and skip this whole job hunting process.
The same applies to job hunting. I often get 'employers would kill for someone like you in their company' 'How has any job rejected you, you're just perfect for that role', 'You're just so efficient and someone is going to realise that soon and hire you'. Ah right okay. I'll be honest, I know I'm a brilliant employee. I have a personality, I'm driven, I take pride in my work and I'm innovative. However none of the above translates through a job application. It's so frustrating to know you can do the job standing on your head whilst blindfolded but that can't be seen through a piece of paper. It's like, if you're going to train a dog to sit, do you turn to the dog and say sit and expect it to understand the meaning of the word? No. You show the dog how to sit so in turn they build the connection between the word and the action. Whoa I'm going off topic.
It's like when you know you're a wonderful person, which lets face it, you all are. You're friendly, caring, passionate and the sun shines through your personality. You know you're perfect for that guy you've been eyeing up. Yet from a distance he can't know all that and therefore overlooks you. It takes time to shine, the same goes to job applications.

You belong with me
So you founds the one. The job description is everything you've ever dreamed. The company in hand is all you've ever dreamed of being employed by. You visualize yourself in the morning commute to the office wearing your hot shot power dressing outfit, Starbucks in one hand, leather satchel over the other. You walk with pride down the corridor to your office whilst filled with aspiration of a productive and adventurous day. This optimism trickles from your mind down to your hands, through your keyboard and into the job application. The more you think about it the more you believe you'll get it. You send your application and wait for weeks on end thinking 'This is it. This is the one. It's meant to be'. After weeks of mini heart attacks every time you hear the email notification sound you see it, the 'Application Response' email. This is it. This the moment. You open the email to a long winded paragraph about the large number of applicants, the appreciation of your enthusiasm and the regret to inform of 'It's not us, it's you, you're just not strong enough'. You then learn they hire the hotshot business grad who's never worked a real day in their life but they had that one 10 week internship in London so quite clearly they're perfect for the job unlike your years of part time work and volunteering, ideal for the role. Ouch.

The same goes to relationships. You work hard to be noticed, the way you dress, the way you style your hair. You laugh at his jokes, you spill him with compliments. Only to be overlooked by giraffe legs over by the bar with bleach blonde hair wearing a dress that reveals more then it covers. Ouch.

Que the Taylor Swift 'You Belong With Me' marathon accompanied by a tub of Ben and Jerry's whilst searching 'inspirational quotes' on Pinterest.

Oh wow we got up close and personal there didn't we. Well, now you know how every grad job reject feels. It's tough world out there. At least we think it is, we don't really know because no one will employ us. Have faith, the government needs us to pay taxes so someone's gotta employ us at some point ;)

L.Bel xoxo



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  2. literally finished up writing an article/rant about job hunting and decided not to post it. And then I found this your article which definitely made my reconsider my decision. It was simply brilliant, funny and well put. Loved it!

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