It’s finally happened. For the past three months, I have been applying continuously for multiple jobs, over 100 jobs in total and I am proud to announce I have a job in the media industry. During this time, I have been working at Marks & Spencer’s, earning some cash to survive whilst spamming companies with my credentials. Quite honestly, it’s been a drag. Three months may not sound like a long period of time, but when you are continuously getting put down and rejected by a multitude of companies, you can become defeated and unproductive.
I knew from the outset, it would be a difficult task to get into the media industry, considering how competitive it is and the fact I am not the only one that’s finishing university with a degree. I may have a first class degree, but that doesn’t seem to be the only factor jobs are looking for. I began applying for graduate schemes for the likes of Channel 4, ITV, BBC and so on. I then applied for jobs being a photographer, cinematographer, production assistant for the likes of Superdry, Topman, Sky and many more. However, as time went on, I was slowly drip-fed rejection after rejection.
Rejections reading “We have considered your application and would like to thank you for the interest that you have shown. However, you have not been shortlisted for interview on this occasion.” and “I am sorry to inform you that you have not been selected for an interview on this occasion. Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to provide individual feedback.”
Rejection Roundabout; the most mentally stressful roundabout you will ever go round. I was forever waiting for an opening, an exit from the brain-melting dizziness I was suffering. This might sound dramatic but as I am typing this, this is honestly how I felt. Plus, I have to be dramatic to get somewhat of a response.
I was constantly referencing rejection roundabout as a joke, laughing on the outside but deeply down in my thoughts on the inside into why I am not getting anything. Like, I’ve taken so much advice onto how I should have my CV displayed and how I should present myself within interviews, it got to the point of repetition and frustration.
One day, I saw a job opening for a company in Oxford, where I live, as a Junior Video Editor. It said they was looking for someone with a degree, they weren’t asking for experience which was a surprise, especially as they said I would be working with high profile clients. I was optimistic. It’s right on my doorstep, I have all of the qualifications, surely, they cannot reject me. I was right. The recruitment agency said I will be interviewed by the company to see if they would like to progress further with me. I was elated, ecstatic, relieved that my time and effort into job hunting had paid off. Every other company I got interviewed for was either over the phone or via Skype and it’s safe to say, I didn’t get to the next stage with any of those.
This was my first face-to-face interview, three months had passed and a company was finally willing to meet me in person. I dressed up in a full piece suit; waistcoat, jacket, cufflinks, the lot. I made the effort. If I wasn’t already confident, the suit further exuberated my confidence. I was ready to beat the competition. I knew it was me versus four other candidates and I knew I had to impress. I made sure I got the first slot. First impressions count as they say. You don’t want to be the guy in the middle that everyone forgets. Before I entered, I was nervous but as soon as I entered the office, all my nerves had disappeared. I spoke to them about my experience. I joked and laughed with them about my time at university. We did not stop talking. The husband and wife duo seemed, from my opinion, impressed with me. I couldn’t pick out anything bad from what I said to them, which was a positive. I done my research, I had all the requirements they asked for, I hoped I was likeable, what could go wrong?
The evening after the interview, I got a call from the recruitment agency. At this point I was at work, explaining to one of the girls I worked with at Marks & Spencers about the interview. As I answered, I was preparing myself for bad news. I was ready for that rejection. However, it was positive news. An unlikely outcome but he asked if I was available the next day for a second interview. Of course, I leaped at the opportunity and said yes immediately. As soon as I realised and put into perspective what happened, I didn’t know what to do, do I celebrate? do I be nervous? what do I do?
He mentioned the second interview would incorporate a high-profile clients manager within the room. I was cursing myself, swearing to myself, trying to calm myself down that this is actually happening. For obvious reasons, that night, I was unable to get any sleep whatsoever. To be honest, that might be an over-exaggeration, like 3 hours sleep. Nevertheless, I woke up, pimped up again in my blue suit, only changing the tie and adding a pair of expensive sunglasses, just to seem… cooler, so to speak. I rocked up, done exactly the same thing as I done before. It worked the first time, surely it would work again, right? I knew I was in a battle with this other person, I was prepared with all my theoretical ammunition. Additionally, using my charm and wit, or what there is of it. The manager had exactly the same reaction as the husband and wife duo, from my perspective. We talked about what we could do for the client. We bantered about how Arsenal are possibly the worst team in the Premier League (not sure how he took that as an Arsenal fan but, hey-ho). He seemed impressed with me.
The next day, I was planning to go out with mates in the evening to see one of my friends, Adam, off before he goes to France for the year. The recruitment bloke texted me to say we should have a verdict by the evening. Was my evening going to be an evening of celebration or an evening of drowning my sorrows into why I’m not getting into the industry? I was sat on the sofa with my friend, George, watching American Vandal, p.s. do not recommend. Anyways, I always keep my phone on silent, but not this time. I had it ready for full blast ping mode. I kept turning my phone on and off, eagerly awaiting the verdict whilst secretly wanting to know who this other person is that’s competing against me. It got to around 8pm. I got a message come through from the agency… “The company has come to the verdict that they would like to hire both of you”.
THANK GOODNESS. They said they could not make a decision as we both expressed different qualities and they now have plans in place to build a team at the company to create media content for their existing high profile clients. I was over the moon. I was jumping all over the place. George didn’t know what to do or say, Chester would not stop barking and my parents had me in a chokehold of hugging. I may have went out that night taking somewhat of the limelight away from Adam but he was buzzing for me too. All of my friends knew what I was searching for and for them to see me beaming from ear to ear with happiness was good enough for them. My hangover however was not welcome but I partially blame George for insisting we had multiple tequila shots. Thanks, George!
To all my friends reading this, I am sorry if this comes across as bragging or insensitive as I know you may currently be going round and round rejection roundabout, but I can’t help but be elated to finally have a job in the industry I have been studying for. To those friends still on the roundabout, you’ll be off soon. Don’t give up, especially don’t give up for a job you don’t want for the sake of getting a job. Push for what you want and then go out and get absolutely slaughtered off of ridiculous amounts of spirits (drink responsibly, kids).
I am super excited to start my new job. It’s essentially the perfect job, especially just finishing university to get something of this nature. I can’t go into too much detail about the job as it may have repercussions towards me. To the company I will be working for, if you are reading this, I am overly excited to get started, if you can’t tell already. You have given me a great opportunity to get my career off and running and I am going to grab it with both hands, creating high-quality content that you will hopefully be proud to share. To the next step…