Is it time to review your job-hunting approach?
My last blog post about careers featured an open letter to recruiters due to discriminating job listings. Recently, after a session with a career counsellor, it was clear the biggest issue I was actually facing was my own attitude.
I have decided to write about my personal experience as it may be helpful to others who are now going through the painful process of finding a suitable opportunity to move on with their lives. It can feel like moving upstream, you put a lot of effort into it but hardly move an inch.
Even though I could actually give the workshop about dressing up for a job interview, the whole journey to get to that point has been challenging to say the least. So I welcomed my career session at Smart Works with open arms and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
The ability to sell oneself is usually taken for granted, especially if you have luxury retail sales experience, where achieving high sales targets on a daily basis is a prerequisite. Nonetheless, to the career counsellor it was obvious I didn’t know how to do it.
Looking back, I remember being very good at selling shoes while working for Christian Dior and the reason is simple: I love shoes! As I kept voicing my frustration about the whole recruitment system, all she could hear was my negative attitude towards myself.
That was an insightful moment, I was indeed trying to guess what people were looking for and editing things out of my CV in an effort to be perceived as a suitable candidate. She pointed out that my versatile career path should not be seen as a weakness but a strength. “You should own it!”
After being rejected so often over such a long period of time, it was inevitable to start questioning my ability to succeed and even believing the negative voices inside my head. But somehow, I became oblivious to all this, developing a tunnel vision about the whole process.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh
It was really helpful to have an input from a professional, after all recognising the problem is always the most difficult first step.
What helps me to keep going is my drive to set up my own sustainable fashion business, and the ability to express my creativity while promoting my freelance services on this website.
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill
Recently, I have also joined LunchClub to meet entrepreneurs who are building up their businesses, and ideally startup investors. It’s a professional networking app powered by algorithms that connects people based on pre-established objectives.
Job-hunting is an isolating experience and the best way to counteract this, is to actually make a deliberate effort to meet other people and learn from one another.
It has been really interesting to meet others who are actively pursuing their dreams and who are also passionate about sustainability.