As a final year student, absolutely the worst question I could be asked was “what are you doing after uni?” My answer was always, “getting a job in London” and I made it sound so easy. I’ll move to London, get my dream job in marketing and start living the city girl lifestyle I’d been dreaming of.
How optimistic was I?! Job hunting is hard anywhere, but the level of competition and opportunity in the capital make it completely overwhelming.
Firstly you have to decide what type of job you want, made ten times harder when you don’t even know what jobs are out there and you see adverts for jobs you never even knew existed! Then you have to decide whether you want to work in a start-up, a small tight-knit team where perhaps you can feel like you make more of an impact, or a larger corporate company with international offices bringing travel possibilities and greater chances of sinking or swimming.
Then you have to actually find the jobs. Trawling through linked in and indeed, career websites and essentially finding the same jobs on every single one of them. Sending off thousands of CV’s to get maybe 10 replies. 7 will be rejections, 2 might be invitations to participate in an online test that will take you about three hours to then be told that all positions are currently full, with only one being a telephone interview that will result in another online test.
It can really feel like one massive, encapsulating and draining circle of application and rejection. But with each rejection or interview you undoubtedly learn something new.
I actually really enjoy interviews. #controversialopinion
At the end of the day, they want you to do well, they need someone to do the job hence why they are interviewing in the first place. All an interviewer really wants to do is find out if you are the right fit for a company. I like to see an interview as the chance to go into the offices, meet members of the team and see whether or not it would be a fit for me, it’s a two way process. I guess it’s a bit like speed dating, you both want to find out each other’s best qualities and see if you have that spark. If you are interviewing for a job you are passionate about then you already know all the answers. You know why you want the job so all you have to do is tell them!
I am by no means claiming to be an expert at interviews. I’ve maybe had 7/8 in my life! But, out of those 7/8 I can say that by seeing the interview as an opportunity rather than something terrifying, I portrayed myself truly and confidently in each one. It’s a hard skill to practise and I’ve not by any standards mastered it, but it’s a skill I am so grateful I was taught at school. As we got older we would have interview practise days, where we would have recruiters or managers brought in and we would be interviewed for made up jobs.
One such interviewer started by shaking our hands as each of us came in the room. We were then split, roughly half and half. The half on the left were told they wouldn’t be considered for a role after their initial handshake. They lacked vigour, intent and firmness. The right half had made it past the first hurdle.
This has stayed with me for two reasons. Firstly, because it was the most savage thing I’d ever seen at 16. Secondly, because it showed me just how important it was to be confident.
So I guess, in amongst the chaos of the city, it’s important to be confident. Remember why you wanted to work in London/that industry in the first place and show that passion to everyone else. People told me I was mad for wanting to move to London, it’s too fast, too big, too crazy, but for me I knew it was the only place where I’d have the career opportunities I wanted. Whilst the dream is seeming a little far away at the moment, in the midst of interviews and researching, knowing that I’m working for it is making it that little bit more exciting.
How do you deal with looking for a job? Do you have any tips for job hunting? Leave them in the comments I’d love to read them!
PS! The photo’s were taken on interview day – keep your fingers crossed for me!!