It’s not often I talk about how hard work and determination doesn’t always pay off. Confused? Bear with me. Although I make a daily conscious effort to stay motivated and driven, this attitude alone doesn’t solely guarantee you success. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning so far in my 20’s and I’ve recently began to appreciate just how not getting what you want, can at times, be a huge blessing.
Let me take you for a trip down memory lane, back to when I first graduated from University. After my long summer off relaxing and enjoying what was left of my “student lifestyle”, I decided that I was as ready as I would ever be, to try this thing called adulting. I mapped out a few career paths that potentially interested me and with my Psychology degree in hand, I made sure that I was proactive and applied for at least one job a day, if not more. Over the next couple of months, I was lucky enough to get a ton of interviews, and at one point I had 3 or 4 in the pipeline; I was on a roll! I thought it wouldn’t be long before job offers were thrown at me… and in a way I guess it wasn’t. After a month of job hunting I was offered a role in merchandising for a big fashion retailer that I loved. However, I really wasn’t prepared for not feeling excited at this news. As soon as I left the interview, I received a call and was made the job offer but my gut was telling me that the job wasn’t for me. I was torn because I didn’t want to reject it straight away as I knew it was hard enough to get interviews, let alone be offered a job this soon after graduating. A week soon passed and I had not yet heard back from the other interviews I attended. It came to the point where I had to give them an answer. I decided to listen to my instinct and not accept a job that my heart wasn’t fully set on and I would gamble on the possibility of being offered one of the others. Unfortunately the odds weren’t in my favour and I didn’t get any of the other jobs. I was back at square one.
“You are exactly where you need to be”
Feeling frustrated, stressed and anxious that I had made the wrong decision, I was angry and doubted myself. However I powered on through and (surprisingly) rejected more jobs. I battled an internal struggle with myself, as I knew my worth and didn’t want to accept internships or jobs in London, on a wage that would barely cover my travel purely for the sake of experience. Instead I worked temp jobs to keep me going and to build up as much “experience” as I could. Finally some 7 months later it all paid off. I was offered a job that suited my skill-set, interested me so much more and also paid a decent wage! Fast forward to the present day, I am now working for a leading fashion retailer where I funnily enough actually recruit for merchandisers. I am so relieved that the stars didn’t align for me back then the way I hoped, as the thought of doing such a number-centric role day in and day out, really isn’t my dream job. Truthfully in hindsight I was just desperate to be hired anywhere and I now know that I definitely wouldn’t have been happy in that role, despite how much I wanted it at the time.
I am now currently in my early-mid 20’s and the idea that, “You are exactly where you need to be” has helped to keep my quarter life crisis at bay. Living in an age where comparison to others is so prevalent as it seems like everyone has their life together on social media, it is so important to remember that the majority of us are in the same boat. To be quite honest with you, seven weeks into 2019, the majority of my plans for the year have mostly gone to pot. I’ve found myself in a mix of uncertain, anxious, frustrated and at times even scared feelings. This somewhat mirrors how I felt back when I turned down those early job offers, as my plans hadn’t fallen into place the way I hoped they would in my head. Yet, it’s times like these I try to remind myself how not getting what you want, really can be a blessing. I’m learning that we are not tested to show our weaknesses or what we haven’t achieved, but to show our strengths and what is possible instead – a lesson I will try to remember throughout the remainder of 2019.
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