For those who know me or have been following my life’s adventures through my blog, you know the unexpected path my life has taken the last 2 years or so and more recently in the last 7 months. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions, days filled with stress and anxiety, other days filled with peace and assurance and till today I still have no idea what life has in store for me. I still have my dreams and ideas but I’m no closer to knowing how it’s all going to play out. That being said, there are a few things I’ve learned and I’m still learning through this journey, in this space that I’m currently in that I thought I would share. Maybe they’ll encourage someone, resonate with others and hopefully give you a better understanding of what life looks like from my point of view.
I’ve been actively job hunting for about 4 months now and I still haven’t had any offers yet. I’ve applied to several places, interviewed at a few, I’ve done assignments and still nada. One of the things I’ve learned is that, if you’re in a situation like mine, you will doubt yourself. Multiple times. You’ll feel confident when you get positive responses asking you to interview or telling you you’ve been shortlisted (or was it longlisted?). But then comes the silence. Unfortunately, most places don’t even bother to let you know where you stand and when you do hear back, you’re told that although they were impressed with your credentials and it was a difficult decision to make, they’ve decided to go with someone whose expertise matches more closely with what they’re looking for. Or some variation. It’s a pretty good way to let someone down without completely crushing their self-esteem; however, when that’s the only response you get to the positions you’ve applied to it starts to mess with you in a major way. You start to doubt yourself, your skills, abilities, you name it. You start to wonder if you’re even in the right field. You start to wonder what you did wrong. You start to feel like you’re not good enough. That’s what happens with me. I’ve come to realize that, it’s perfectly normal to react this way. We’ve been conditioned to believe that all we need to do is play our part and things will fall into place. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, you’ll doubt yourself, you’ll question things and that’s okay. It’s completely normal (in my books at least). Nevertheless, you shouldn’t dwell there. It’s not easy but with practice, it becomes easier to bounce back from disappointment. You remind yourself that even though you wanted that job (or whatever else) badly, it’s not the end of the world that you didn’t get offered the position (it might feel that way but it isn’t). There is something out there for you. Something better than you could even imagine. And when you think about it, almost everyone has had doors closed in their faces but that doesn’t have to stop you from persisting till you find that position, opportunity etc that is just right for you.
Another thing I’ve learned is that you may not get the support you want from your family and friends and you have to be okay with that. Not to say that you won’t have people supporting and encouraging you, you will but it might not always be in the form you want it to be. When it comes to making major decisions, such as finding a job, everyone has their own opinion and their way of doing things and inadvertently, you’ll be given a lot of unsolicited advice. Most of it comes from a good place but may not always be helpful or what you need at the time. It can be especially frustrating because, your opinion or thoughts or feelings are usually not taken into consideration before advice is given. However, if they’re anything like my family and friends it means they love you and they want what’s best for you. The how is usually the issue. What works for me is to have an honest conversation and let them know how I feel and what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and what I need from them. This usually works. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. And if that doesn’t work, that’s okay too. You just remind yourself of how far you’ve come and where you want to be. As long as you know you’re doing what’s best for you, that’s all that matters. And they’ll eventually start to see things from your point of view or at the very least understand you a little.