I knew that getting my foot in the door was not going to be an easy feat. I was prepared for the ‘no thank you’, the ‘we will let you know’ or even the ‘your skills aren’t up to scratch’ … complete silence, however, threw me a little off my game.
I had the weirdest reaction this week when I sat down to write some emails. Panic. I am 27 years old, with a wealth of (education) work experience and am certainly no stranger to the application game… and here I was, worried that someone, working in a world so foreign to me, in a position I probably don’t realise exists, will be sizing up the wide-eyed, bushy tailed newbie, tentatively knocking on the front door.
Teaching jobs are easy to find and filtering them by subject is a piece of cake. Applying for them is also not a problem – because at the end of the day, schools are pretty much all structured the same, you know what you’re going to get. This is different – this is nerve wracking. It’s like being the kid at the birthday party whose turn it is to pin the tail on the donkey. Blind fold on, spin, spin, spin… off you go, good luck!
These people do digital, these people are print, these people do wedding invites… There are ads out there from mining companies and a property corporation!? What would I be expected to do for them? For some reason, I don’t think my intricately drawn illustrations of beautiful people are what they are looking for. I can’t say that guessing and going with the flow are my most known characteristics.
I haven’t even mentioned the e-mail writing aspect of it, yet. How formal or casual do you go? Efficient, professional… cold? Or personable, charming and risk sounding like a Nanna who’s misplaced her meds? Will robotic writing give way to quirky repertoire – or worse, desperate pleading? And what exactly is it that I’m looking for? Internship, work experience, a job, the chance to come in once a week and wipe down your computer screen and dust off your keyboards?
The problem with people like me is that we should never be left alone. Silence leads to overthinking and concocting these negative, imaginary scenarios… At least I have the creative process to fall back on (something I’ve always been able to rely on to escape my thoughts). Here’s something I’ve created over the last few days. Several of the elements I’ve created in the past – but never really figured out what to do with them next. Like different pieces of a puzzle, I guess I’ve figured out where they belonged!
The falcon is light and is a reminder to remain lighthearted and not get too down on myself – the flamingo is balance and reminds me that we may sway and tilt in life but remain upright and you’ll be fine. Maybe I’ll have something more interesting to share next week. Any suggestions or pointers on what you did to get your start – don’t be shy now!
Life is unpredictable. How much comes down to dumb luck? Or good timing? How many people get to where they want to be by putting in the hard yards and how many make it through with the old, 'it's who you know, not what you know' saying? Let's face it - it's a mixture of them all!