I was rejected in 85 job applications. I stopped counting how many interviews I had attended till date. I studied journalism but never got into a media house. Things didn’t work in my favour so I decided to move out and look for a job. I became desperate enough to settle for a shitty place, just to stay employed.
I was stuck in the “can’t get a job because I have no experience, can’t get experience because I can’t get a job” trap.
It was really frustrating to invest so much thought, time, and energy towards finding a job and get rejected. The companies expect you to have a ton of experience or work for peanuts. I am going to share what I learnt from my mistakes so that others can learn from it.
I learnt my lesson the hard way, but you don’t have to. If you are still in college, start applying before college gets over. Don’t expect your college to find a job for you, they don’t care once you are out. Starting early will also ease your stress levels. There’s a higher chance that your application will move forward if you apply earlier.
Find a supportive mentor who you could talk to about your career and who could guide you in developing skills and personality for achieving success. Connect and reach out on LinkedIn. People are eager to help – just don’t spam them with direct applications. I know that If I had reached out to seniors in the media industry and developed connections, I would have got the guidance I required. I never had anyone to guide or mentor me, not even friends. I was on my own.
For technical people, it’s important to keep practising to stay updated. For others, it’s important to work on your required skills and stay updated on latest events in the industry. Never get carried away by friends who encourage you to waste time by drinking and loitering, especially towards the end of college. When you are going to struggle with job hunting, none of these people will be there to help you. Use your resources because they are there for a reason! Getting interviews can be hard, and the last thing you want to do is blow an opportunity and have regrets about not practising enough.
Applying online doesn’t always have to be the go-to method. The best thing that works is word of mouth referral. Naukri, Monster and Times Jobs are full of spams, where you will get bombarded with irrelevant job consultancies which will exhaust your energy and time. Never underestimate your LinkedIn. Use it to build connections with all the seniors in your industry. The hiring process will go incredibly faster as well when they know you through LinkedIn.
Never underestimate the importance of building your resume. Make sure your resume is up to date, clean, and has zero typos and errors. Make use of paid online tools to build your resume – it matters a lot. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying to and cut out what’s unnecessary or irrelevant.
There may be times when you are desperate for a job because you’ve remained unemployed for a long time but never settle for a lesser salary. Never take up a job if it isn’t exactly what you were looking for. In some ways, it can be a good thing, but in other ways, the job might not avoid gaps in your resume. The reality is that once you settle for something lesser, you might find it difficult to find a job where they pay more. That’s how things work here – the HR decides your salary based on your previous salary. Some people will tell you that “any experience is good experience” but it doesn’t mean that you study MBA and take up housekeeping for experience. I am finding it difficult to find a job after leaving the NGO where I was paid very less.
If you’re reading this, never lose hope. Never look down on yourself. Be confident and proud of how far you have come in life. Never feel down after getting rejected, it’s their loss, not yours. Everyone around you is going through the same process, but we just don’t seem to understand or see it. Just remember that everything works out in the end.
If your only interest is in the paycheque, you will never be happy in life. You should always focus on what you can learn. Work on your skills outside of your job. Trust me, focusing on money won’t help you in the long haul. What’s the point if you are not happy with that job?
This one’s important. Companies want to see what you know outside of your syllabus. Make sure to learn something new. Always stay updated. If you have to join a new course, you should consider learning it. I felt like I lacked work experience, so I joined a digital marketing course. Just remember – stay involved and keep working hard. I promise you that it pays off.