Why you should never give up

I don’t really write about my job search. Not seriously, anyway. Any job-related posts on here are just for fun, because I’ve been too nervous to post too much about the personal details of my seemingly endless search.

I include a link to my blog in my CV and, more often than not, interviewers will tell me they’ve read my blog. So before I publish anything I think: ‘what would a potential employer make of this blog post?’

Also, I’ve never quite been able to convince myself that moaning about no-one wanting to hire me won’t put potential employers off. So I haven’t wanted to write candidly about my frustrations or failed interviews - up until now. 

I recently interviewed for a junior copywriter position. I won’t say who the company was, but it was a great opportunity and one that I won’t deny that I really wanted. In the space of a month I had three interviews with the company, with five different people in total.

In my second interview I was told that I was in competition with two other candidates who were equally capable. I was given the impression that they were struggling with making a decision, mainly because they told me exactly that. I was then invited in for a third, less formal interview. Two portfolios, a writing test and days of preparation down the line, I received the long-awaited phone call.

I was told that they’d chosen someone else. It's never easy to hear you haven't been chosen for a job, but I would never hold it against a company for interviewing and then not hiring me. This particular case, however, wasn't so straightforward.

I was told that there was absolutely no negative feedback to give me. They said that my writing, my interviewing, everything was great, but that in the end they chose someone who had more experience than I did.

I can never be sure that what I was told was entirely true. But let’s assume it was. I was beaten to a junior position by someone with more experience, yet I was ‘equally as good’ in terms of my abilities.  

When I was told I hadn’t got the job, the thought of giving up did briefly cross my mind. But after allowing myself to mope around for the rest of the afternoon, I soon found my senses again. It might be naïve to believe that I’ll eventually get an amazing job after spending so much time trying and failing to find it. But being naïve is better than being someone who gives up on what they know makes them happy.

I couldn’t explain to the company how much I wanted the role. I couldn’t tell them how hard a time I was giving myself, and how I’d began doubting myself after almost a year of solid job applications. I couldn’t tell them about my anxiety, and how in each interview I felt like I was going to explode.

I couldn’t tell them how ready I was to work my very hardest and overcome the anxious demons that had been multiplying from spending every day on my own, attaching my CV to endless emails. I couldn’t tell them how proud of myself I was that I’d survived three interviews, and couldn’t wait to feel the same pride at the end of every working day.

Not having a ton of experience should not outweigh potential or talent, especially not at a junior level. Lack of experience is not a weakness, nor is it a good enough reason alone for not being offered a job. In some ways my lack of experience is a strength. I haven’t got years of experience, so the level I’m at now is my own doing and it’s only going to improve over time.

If you’re in a similar position to me, remember that being determined to carry on through the setbacks is an amazing quality to have. I’m not worried if an employer reads this, because I might be frustratingly, stupidly, obnoxiously naïve, but I don’t give up on the things I want.

Working towards your dream career despite the challenges proves how much you value your life. Waking up every day and not being excited just isn’t good enough, and an extra year of experience is no match for that.


  1. Beautiful post. Hope you succeed in the career path your passionate about.
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  2. Keep at it! You'll land something eventually, and if they told you everything about you was fine it's just lack of experience, well, that means you're doing everything right. That's huge. Imagine if they told you "we just don't think you're very personable" or "your resume needs work." At least you have those covered.

    What I always hated is when I'd go through a job interview process and then I'd find out that interviews were merely a formality and they hired from within. Or they hired the boss's brain dead nephew. Or if I'd go through three interviews and then they just never called back. Most places won't tell you you didn't get the job. So at least you got told up front that you didn't get it, and they told you they liked you. I'd say comparatively that's some pretty decent news, and if they're hiring again down the road and you still don't have that dream job, maybe they can still fit you in.

    Also, I would never put our blog on my resume. That seems like an instant, one-way trip to the garbage can.

    1. Thank you! Haha you should definitely put your blog on your CV - no-one could ever say no to you then! In fact, they'd probably give you a raise before you even started! Starting to sound a bit stalkerish. I'll stop now.

  3. Great post, and sorry about the unsuccessful interview process. Interviews are so draining, it's awful to go through them essentially for nothing. The 'not enough experience' excuse is bullshit at best, especially for a junior role.

  4. This post was exactly what I needed to read right now. I'm currently struggling to find myself a job and every fruitless email or complicated application form makes it harder and harder to press on with it.

    I was recently offered a job with a company I had interned at (doing the exact job I'd been doing unpaid for a month), but then they realised they couldn't just give it to me - there were HR procedures and application processes to go through. "We'll have to interview a couple of others, it's just a formality, it's basically yours"...and then they gave the job to someone else who I know for a fact has less experience than me but happens to be ten years older and therefore more suited to a supervisor role than I am. Needless to say, I wasn't best pleased and it was a major knock to my confidence for a while. But I'm trying to stay positive and I can tell you that reading this certainly helped!

    Chin up, I know something will come along soon and I'm sure the opportunity will be even better :)

    Hannah's Haven

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Hannah! That sounds like it was a really frustrating situation to be in, sorry to hear that. But they obviously didn't deserve you! x

  5. I actually found you because I decided to follow the people a certain company I'd applied to follow, in order to get tips on who they like and how I could get their attention.
    I'm in a similar situation. I'm a Japanese translator, having lived abroad for the past 5 years. I want to go home because it's like a foreign country to me now and I just miss being around "my tribe". But the job market is so hard. I applied to a bunch of travel positions since, being an expat, I have travel experience that's hard to beat. But even a crummy company offering a poor job with a poor salary rejected me. It's really easy to get down about things.
    Hang in there. We'll get through this and be awesome and have shiny happy jobs that make us want to jump up out of bed every day.

    1. I LOVE the idea of a happy shiny job! :) aw, good luck with your search!