I know the title says “best thing that ever happened to me” but my stomach is clenching just reading it.
No one likes failure. ESPECIALLY NOT ME. I am an only child. I usually get what I want. So the concept of failure- of not getting what I want- is fairly foreign to me. Now I could go on about all the things I did not fail at but that is not the point of this blog post. The point is the one thing that I did fail at.
So some time in January, I came across a job opening for a magazine journalist. I didn’t want to apply because it seemed like I was never getting chosen for journalist jobs. I forced myself to send in an application because the week before that my floor manager had told me not to stop looking for a job in my field. “Hey, maybe it’s a sign”, I thought to myself.
I sent in my application and got a really positive response. I applied for a half-day position so I could still keep my steady job that I liked. However the person doing the hiring suggested that I apply for a full-day position as she was impressed by my blog and my writing. I was thrilled and I agreed. I was so excited. Someone liked my blog and my writing. A MAGAZINE SOMEONE LIKED ME!
We arranged an interview. I was excited, nervous, anxious all at once.
I bombed the interview. I implied that I thought Media was a dying industry. Which I do because every Media outlet I planned to work at was either closing or already closed. I also mentioned that I saw myself in Marketing in five years. Also true. Because Media was not hiring.
By the time I left the interview I knew that I would not get the job. But it hurt nonetheless.
I waited for the deadline for the job to pass. Then I waited another day. Then a week. And then I cried. I cried and I cried and then I cried some more. I gave myself a week to cry. Then I picked up my bright yellow highlighter and went back to my notes on Digital Marketing.
It hurt that journalism kept kicking me in the face. I gave up so much to write. While friends were busy with boys and booze, I was writing and pitching articles. I’m a twenty-three-year-old with ten years of writing experience and the only writing I do at my job is emails.
Once I was done crying, I wallowed with some Gilmore Girls. More specifically, I watched the horror that was Rory’s journalist career.
At times like this I seriously doubt that I will ever make it as a journalist. But maybe I am just not meant to. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have the opportunity to actually try out journalism before making a decision. However it does not look like that opportunity is coming anytime soon.
Once I accepted that I didn’t get the job and was going to be stuck in a Call Center for the foreseeable future, I had some decisions to make.
The excitement over my interview taught me a few things:
- Someone in the journalism industry liked me and my blog
- Someone thought I was worth interviewing
- My attitude in the interview might be the reason I will never get another job
- I was miserable before the job opening
No 4 was vital. I had never felt as excited or alive as I had while preparing for that interview. I thought it would change my life. And it did but not in the way I expected.
I spoke to my manager about wanting to try out Marketing. He agreed to speak to our Marketing team. I threw myself into my Digital Marketing course. I picked up new tips and tricks for my blog.
However I still felt like I lacked that excitement that I had for the interview. I needed to do something that would excite me. I felt like my life was in a rut. So I did what anyone in a rut does- I booked me a holiday. But before that holiday, I made more of an effort to be with supportive friends and family.
When one of my friends heard my sad sob story about my ten years of writing experience and no job, she told me to watch The Bold Type.
As a rule I do not watch shows about magazines because they depress me. As a college graduate I thought my first job would be something like “The Devil Wears Prada” (and it was but for a completely different reason- I’ll talk about that some other time). Instead I got “Postgrad” without the happy ending.
But I gave in and watched The Bold Type because it has been ten years since my first magazine internship and three years since my failed freelancing gig. I was not going to be a journalist. But I would find a new dream. I had to. So I watched The Bold Type and I fell in love. This was not a show about a magazine. This was a show about female empowerment and life and love. I was hooked.
I am sad to have “failed” the interview for my dream job. But honestly that single failure has taught me so much. I feel like I’m finally living instead of just going through the motions in life. I am disappointed to be a call center agent instead of a journalist but nothing lasts forever and all I need is one “yes” to finally get me in the door.
Or maybe not.