I wrote a post a few months ago about how I was looking for a new job. A job in a totally different field.
I’ve worked with my current company for 15 years. It’s something I fell into after I finished university. I was talent spotted and very quickly found myself on a placement to become a manager. And here I am, 8 years after doing various management roles. I am, quite basically, just not interested in retail.
When I envisioned myself writing this update, I was hoping it would be a celebration of a new job.
I always envisioned myself as being an employable person. After all, I’ve scored top marks in every interview I’ve had within my company and I’ve always got the job. I feel like I interview well and know what to say. I am responsible for a lot of things in my current job. I have a degree. I am employable.
As I’m in charge of HR and recruitment in my current role, I find myself interviewing lots of people. I know what to say and what to avoid!
Well, apparently I don’t.
I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs. I started looking at HR, admin and payroll type jobs. I thought I’d be a catch because I am in charge of that at my current workplace for 350 staff. I am the manager. I manage the staff that work on those departments. 8 years of leadership skills for the top supermarket in the UK.
My plan was to get closer to home, get a job and then work my way up to management level again. Turns out I can’t even get a basic admin job.
There was always something I was lacking.
Excel skills, the experience is using the payroll system that every single company in the world uses apart from mine. Audit qualifications – even though I stand over all audits in my store.
I had a few calls from recruiters regarding this type of job. It was such a massive pay cut for me and at this point, it seemed like I’d have to be taking a pay cut of around 10k to get a job! It’s disheartening to hear that you ‘might need to reassess your expectations on the salary’.
I then asked myself why I was settling. I was sticking within a role I was already in and knew but what I really wanted to do is something to do with social media and digital?
So I started looking for digital marketing jobs. My applications were ignored. Lots. I can’t even begin to tell you about how many applications I sent that got no response.
I started getting used to being ignored. If I was lucky, I’d get a generic rejection email.
I started to get a few phone calls from recruiters. They seemed nice and excited that I’d be a fit for the role. They would say they were going to put me forward and then I’d hear nothing else. Nada.
At first, I used to get my hopes so high. I thought this would be the one. I’d research the company, stalk on LinkedIn and imagine myself working there.
Once or twice I got a call back to say they didn’t want to interview me due to my experience.
I had a few meetings set up with some recruiters from Reed. They either cancelled or after not touching base with me when promised and me getting fed up of chasing up, I just gave up on that.
Eventually, I had a phone call with someone who I had personally emailed a few weeks ago. Someone wanted to interview me! After what felt like months, I finally had an interview at the end of November.
A few days later, someone else called me saying their client wanted to interview me. Both for digital marketing roles!
I was so excited as I figured I was in a good position to get at least one of these rolls.
The first interview went really well. I felt like he was impressed with my answers and I was very happy with the outcome. I could not have done any more to prepare. So when the phone call came a few days later saying I didn’t get the job, I was heartbroken.
The feedback was: I seemed a bit nervous but that didn’t get in the way of my chances, I came across well and seemed very competent, but they went with someone with more experience.
The second interview came. I was told to create a portfolio, which I spent a full weekend sorting out. When I got into the interview, it felt like he hadn’t read my CV as he seemed shocked when it came to my current employment. He was under the impression this website was my full time job. That aside, it seemed to go well. He didn’t look at the portfolio though and a few days later, I got an email saying ‘He said he liked you but went with someone with more experience’.
At this point, I was getting a bit frustrated. While thankful for the chance, I was a bit annoyed about the lack of experience feedback. My experience is on my CV so why interview me if that is going to be your feedback?
A third interview came along and I was asked to look at the websites SEO and give some recommendation and bring along some examples of graphics. I updated my portfolio that wasn’t looked at and did a full SEO audit report on their website. I decided to go all out. I did all the stops that I went through in my blog audit guide post and laid it out in a nice PDF document, along with some recommendations.
This interview was with two people. Again, it seemed to go really well. They seemed very impressed with the audit I did.
They said I’d get some feedback by the end of the day and they would want me to meet the managing director at the end of the week.
I had no feedback by the end of the day. No invite to meet the managing director. I knew the answer was a no. So two weeks after when the recruiter called me, I didn’t answer.
I felt so demotivated and discouraged that I couldn’t stand to listen to more rejection. She left a voicemail asking me to call back for my feedback. I called back and she didn’t answer.
She never called again.
I never called again.
I just couldn’t listen to it.
Christmas happened and hardly any jobs have been advertising and at the moment I am just trying to work on my headspace a little.
It’s hard a real impact on my self-esteem and if I am totally honest, I feel very struck and trapped. I’m working on a few skills and then I’m going to reassess.
I’m currently studying for a CIM level 4 in professional marketing qualification and I’m learning Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
I also emailed some digital agencies to ask if I could work one day a week unpaid for a few weeks for experience, but I guess they’re not interested as they never replied!
It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and I haven’t enjoyed it one bit. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time, money and emotional energy.
So yeah, there’s an update for you.
Still wanting to change career, but my current game plan isn’t working. So on to the next.
Please, can anyone else who has tried to change career tell me that it is possible…