Before we get going, I will say that I am not the most experienced ‘job rejectee’ in the world of fashion.
The ‘single’ application I carefully submitted, enthusiastically interviewed for and was swiftly rejected from (which was actually only an internship) does not carry the weight of the “I’ve applied for 46 jobs, 2 apprenticeships, 21 internships and received nothing” story.
But that shouldn’t matter much because the stress of not being hired is not a competition unless of course you want that title and are happy to carry the trophy, in which case you are very welcome. My point being, although I only applied for one job during the summer of graduation I still had all my hopes crushed when I received this:
Thank you for your time earlier this week, it was lovely to meet you.
After much consideration, I am afraid that we will not be pursuing the interview process further, only due to the fact that I require someone with more experience within a press office.
I wish you all the best on your job hunt and career within the fashion industry.
I still remember that day and this email! For legal reasons, I’ve altered her real name to ‘Your boss’, which is what she might as well have been because in my head I had already started working there. A warm day in London equals an even hotter train commute, which is probably what pushed my usual day-dreaming self to the point of complete hallucination on the day of that interview. As I walked from Bond Street tube station, through Central London’s back streets and alleys I started plotting out my new life:
“I might pick this pub for my ‘new starter’ drinks – it looks nice enough for us fashion people to hang out in. Oh birthday drinks too – but Christmas drinks will come first. We probably already get some type of staff happy hour discount or something. Perks of the job!”
“Yup, it’s definitely going to be flats for the commute-to-computer walk. 11 mins is far too long to trot in heels, especially in the mornings – especiallyyyy when it’s winter and I’ll be freezing. Mmmm, I better look out for a coffee shop too, for my hot chocolates”
“And I love how Central we are. I’ll probably be too tired to hit the shops after work anyway and just do damage on ASOS. That’s if my computer isn’t within my bosses view”. (Disclaimer: Boss view or no boss view, ASOS was always lurking in a minimised tab)
I had painted a life full of events and emotions. A life I knew I’d be living by Friday because you always hear back by Friday – right? Well Friday came (which was actually a Wednesday, currently rebranded as Hump Day) and a single email of less than 100-words shattered my (day)dreams. So you get my point, job rejection is job rejection! The number of times doesn’t matter but what does is how you duck and dive when grenades disgusted as emails are thrown at you and your career prospects.
Here are 4 tips that’ll nurse your open wounds and get you back to full health in no time:
An infected finger does not equal a sick body
Job rejection can really have you feeling down about life as a whole! Especially as you see people that graduated the same time as you, that didn’t grind at as many internships as you get ‘your’ job. Well, misery likes company and before you know it, you’ll start dragging and dropping all areas of your life bottom right into the trash. Although you STILL may not have a job, what you do STILL have are great and supportive friends, a family that isn’t going anywhere (no matter how moody you get), spare time to do all the things you’ve been itching to do (most jobs only give you 25 holiday days a year anyway), a mind that produces amazing ideas and most importantly, a future that is ahead of you. It isn’t all bad and it will get better.
One company does not represent the entire industry
Last week a friend told me that she’d never apply for a role in luxury fashion again because one of the top companies had rejected her. Even when she came across a new role that was literally perfect, she painted it with the same black brush. Her theory is “Since that luxury company doesn’t want me, no other top company would either”.
I quickly reminded her that ‘one body’ is not EVERYbody. So just because two companies are on a level playing field, does not mean that they operate in the same ways and they certainly don’t look to hire the same type of people. REMEMBER – they’re most probably competitors and definitely not on the same team – every squad is different!
You WILL get no’s
It’s as simple as it sounds, you will get rejected because everyone does. Do me a favour, ask around and let me know one person that has a 100% interview success rate. And if you do find that someone let them know that I’d love to do a story on them. It’ll be the perfect ‘ALIEN INHABITS EARTH’ piece and will hopefully make me really famous.
Mind over matter
We are creatives and if we can’t use our imagination then let’s quit right here, right now. And I know you’re not ready to quit, so create with me. THIS is what your mind should tell you about interviews:
– I’ve been invited to have this one-off exclusive experience at the [insert company name] private office.
– Hundreds applied but I’m one of the ‘chosen’ few that get to go. And guess why – because they want to know all about me. Literally. They said I could come and speak about my uniqueness for about an hour, Q&A style.
– I’m going to wear something that communicates my professionalism, whilst complimenting my personality. I mean, it’s my moment.
Too far? Or maybe not at all! What you make of the situation is completely up to you. The more interviews you go to, the more experience you stand to gain. Make of it what you may.
Feed that to your mind and make it a moment, the outcome will only become an added bonus. Good luck!
Words by Dior Bediako