I’m feeling quite down today, and I feel like it’s a fog that I’ve been trying to fight through for a long time. I have been job hunting for about 6 weeks now and have been on countless interviews, talking about my blog, my degree from Otterbein, my magazine and my vast knowledge of social and digital media. I have gone on these interviews and done everything by the book. I put a portfolio together that displays work that I have completed all the way back from my sophomore year in college. I bring copies of my magazine, I talk about how I overcame ulcerative colitis and how it has motivated me to start a new life for myself.
Nothing has come from any of these interviews. I received my first rejection email of this job search from a company that I spent many hours interviewing with, went to the office 3 different times and tried my best to be as confident as possible. I researched the company, studied the job description and prepared myself thoroughly. I sent hand written and emailed thank you notes.
When I hadn’t heard from this job for a few weeks, I became anxious. I checked back in inquiring about the position. No reply until another 2 weeks later, saying that they enjoyed talking with me and that my qualifications were impressive, but decided to go with another candidate that was better suited for what they were looking for.
Naturally, I was upset. But, it was the first rejection and I knew that there was still so much out there to try.
I went on countless more interviews, all of them feeling not right, or like they didn’t quite fit with me. Even though my health is incredible right now, I still get tired easily and I need to always be aware of my stress levels. I want a job that that feels like home, a job that I have such passion for that I not only help the company grow, but I actually grow with the company. I want a job that cares about me as a human being, where I meet new amazing people everyday that I can study and learn from. I don’t want my next job to just be a job. I want it to be a passionate love affair with work.
I had 2 amazing interviews about a month ago now, both in the same week, both in completely different areas of work, both would be great jobs. As I was driving home from Columbus this morning, I received a familiar email that immediately sent me into tears.
They stated that my passion was amazing and that my credentials were impressive. That they enjoyed getting to know me. They told me I would go far..
But reading between the lines told me that I might go far, but not with them, and to put it bluntly; that hurts!
I’m not feeling as upset about the actual job, but I am feeling disappointed in where I am at in my life as a 25 year old woman. I feel like I should be conquering everything in my path and killing these interviews. But I have nothing to show for those interviews that I thought were so great. I feel like I’m letting my family down. I worked so hard in college, I have an honors degree, I have an amazing portfolio that is full of projects that I worked so hard on, especially my magazine.
What I have to question at this point is why I’m truly not getting these positions. Is being open and sharing my magazine and my blog and why I started them, the two things I’m the most proud of, killing me and my chances of ever gaining employment? Do I need to hide what has shaped me into the person I am today?
That just doesn’t feel right to me.
It’s no secret that my disease took 2 years of my life, 2 crucial years. My mid twenties. I feel like I’m at a fork in the road, literally, and I don’t know which path to take.
Throughout my suffering, I relied so heavily on my faith, that God had a bigger plan for me and I was suffering like this for a reason. I see that reason now in the people that I talk to every day that tell me that I’ve helped them. But when I received my second rejection email this morning I began to question my faith and I’m having trouble understanding what the lesson is supposed to be in all of this dismissal.
I live for learning and being inspired by powerhouse women such as Kelly Cutrone and Diane Von Furstenberg; they both worked so hard to bring themselves up from nothing. I’m sure they were rejected countless times, but those facts don’t make it any less easy to deal with whats going on right now in my life. What I feel that I need now is guidance. Advice. Am I going about this the wrong way? What is it that these ad agencies are looking for?
I’ve tried to read articles and keep up with their social media trends, all while dealing with the anxiety of when or whether they’re going to call with good news or bad.
All I want in a job right now is a chance to live life how I’m supposed to be living as a 25 year old, strong, healthy woman. But is that just a concocted thought that was put in my mind all through high school and college? Get a job. Get a good job. Work hard. Do whatever it takes. These are all things people in my generation were told in school. But, should I really be so worried about what society has crammed into my brain? That I should put work first and keep working until I can’t even hold my head up anymore? Is that what life is supposed to be? Or should I work towards a different direction?
One of my favorite stories I’ve ever heard from a woman who has made something amazing out of her life, is that of Arianna Huffington. She was a hard working, non-stop, corporate American true success story. She was on Ellen one day talking about how she used to work countless hours in a day. One day, after a long day of work, she was tired and slipped and hit her head on the corner of her desk from fatigue. Waking up in a pool of her own blod, she told Ellen that she knew she had to change her ways. That she couldn’t keep working just because she believed that was what was expected of her. She wrote a book on this idea, entitled Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.
In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.
On a overview page on The Huffington Post talking about Thrive, they explain how money and power have consumed modern day society and have caused people like me to feel high amounts of pressure that we should be doing nothing but working constantly.
“As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success – money and power – has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters.”
Maybe instead of sitting behind the computer and sending out resume after resume and perfecting my Linked In and my cover letter countless times, I should keep working at what I love to do, which is helping people by telling my story through writing this blog and my magazine. My boss Alicia helped me to see that bigger picture this morning when all I could see through my tear soaked eyes was myself drowning in my own disappointment.
When I think about how badly I want a job that I love, I think first about how much time I would be willing to put into that position. The answer is any amount of time it took for me to be the very best at what I am doing. And that’s why it’s so upsetting to me that I have gotten more rejection than chances to prove myself.
I guess where I’m stuck now is where to go next? I was upset earlier about the thought of losing my faith over everything that has happened. I feel like I’m being punished for something. Ever since I was 22 I’ve gone through so much trial and tribulations, when is something good going to come my way? When are the dreams that I want for myself going to come true?
I absolutely despise feeling sorry for myself, and I’m not writing this blog post because I have that, ‘woe is me’ feeling, but more because I feel alone, especially in handling all of this while having to be open about what I went through with my ulcerative colitis. I watch my healthy friends get up in the morning and go to these amazing jobs that sound so empowering and like so much fun.
There is nothing I want more than to be tired because of a hard day at work.
The way I deal with hurt feelings is to write, so, the first thing I thought when I saw that email was, “I need to write and reach out to those who may be facing the same challenges as me.”
Or maybe someone who finds my story and my work intriguing and worthwhile will read this post and give me a chance. I’m trying to keep the mindset of, “Nothing will ever happen if you don’t try.”
So, I’m going to keep trying and keep staying hopeful. It’s so tough and its very upsetting for me, but if there’s one thing that I’m good at, or try to be good at, is putting one foot in front of the other when I am faced with major challenges.
If anyone has any advice or a similar story, please share it with me! I need all of the encouragement I can get and I feel like this blog is such a great platform for not only inspiring and helping others, but also helping myself.