I’ve had eight job interviews now, I think, and not a single one of the interviewers has seen fit to give me the job. You parade yourself in front of these legions of people, prancing like a pony hoping to impress, and it all amounts to nought.
Somewhat depressing, you might think. And yes, it is upsetting; I’ve entertained all the usual clichés. I’m no good, everyone else is better than me, what was I thinking, blah di blah.
And yet, I am haunted by the old adage… that tough times show you what you’re made of. Nothing worth attaining is easy. The most striking realisation I’ve received recently is that there is no external arbiter striking off the number of times you’ve tried and failed on a chalk board; that no one seriously has to know how many job interviews you’ve had and not “passed”.
Maybe Gmail knows because it’s the receptacle for all those rejection emails. Gmail knows my dark secret; and so does anyone who cares to search it now I’ve immortalised the fact in a blog post. I suppose I wanted to make something productive out of my pain, and I am and always will be a writer, so this is the result.
You feel better because you have to. Because there are many kind people in your life, hopefully, that will repeat platitudes at you until you do. They are platitudes because they are true – “there’s always hope”, “just keep going”, “I know it’s hard sometimes” – but they are hard to remember. The emotional fraught-ness clouds your judgement until you are just howling in despair.
If you dig deep, you’ll find you’ve always got that tiny reserve of effort that was just lurking out of sight. It doesn’t make it any easier and maybe there’s still a very long way to go, but you will keep going and that’s the important thing.
What does make it easier is your flatmate sharing his dinner with you because you were too ill to trudge to the shop and buy something yourself. Or your boyfriend nattering with you for ages because that’s what girls like to do, and, well, he likes it because you like it. Or your long-suffering mother photocopying pages from self-help books and emailing them to you at work.
People make it easier. Getting a job is one of the hardest things to do in the world; or a job you actually want, anyway. I suppose all those insecurities will never go away: that I’ll never amount to anything, there’s a fundamental flaw in my character, or, worst of all, I’m just a girl.
But you don’t have to listen to them.