The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

The awkward moment when you have to apply for your own job

on July 19, 2013

My temp job at a publishing house (where I’ve been working for the past seven months), has finally been signed off as a permanent position. This sounds like good news, but the harsh reality is…. if I apply and don’t get it, I will lose my job, descend deeper into my existential crisis, and join the millions of other unemployed graduates who are currently flailing around in their pyjama-bottoms, questioning their life choices…

As a temp who’s been out of university for a whole year without seeing any evidence that my English Literature degree is actually worth the 24K debt reminder smirking out at me from the bottom of my filing cabinet, I’m no stranger to the whole crying-into-a-massive-stack-of-job-applications-whilst-shovelling-ice-cream-and-or-wine-into-my-face situation.

But that feeling of impending heart-attack is amplified tenfold when it’s your own job you’re applying for – a job you’ve grown to love, with people you don’t want to say goodbye to. I didn’t realise I was going to feel like this when the job started being advertised – I guess I was always confident that it had my name written all over it… But this is really stressful, and all kinds of awkward. And I just want it to be over.

I keep telling myself that it’s going to be okay. I’ve been in this job since the start of the year, I’ve made good friends, I know what I’m doing, and I’m good at it. But that doesn’t alter the fact that there will unquestionably be somebody who applies for my job who has more experience than I do; there always is. And, from what I’ve seen of the real world so far, experience always wins.

But who says that a super-experienced person will do a better job than I’m doing right now?  Particularly at entry level, ten years experience isn’t necessarily a good thing, or necessary in the first place. Why take somebody who’s set in the ways of another company, when you could take somebody with fresh ideas, who’s willing to learn and develop with yours? Everyone has to start somewhere; if employers keep picking people with ten years’ experience over graduates, there will come a point where nobody has ten years’ experience (except the retired), and EVERYONE will be rolling around in their pyjamas having existential crises, having never gotten that first break…

I need to be positive though. If I wind up jobless, my plan is to take some time out, and try something completely different – have some real life experiences. I realise that going travelling may not help me hit a load of buzzwords on my CV, but it might help me recharge my batteries, reassess what I actually want to do with my life, and all those other clichés. I’ve been looking at writers’ retreats in Europe, and some of them look really beautiful, and exactly what I need. I want to go somewhere new, for at least a month. I want to write, screw my diet and eat loads of amazing food, and just live. Because what I’m going through right now sure as hell don’t feel like living.

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