Learn To Decline Job Offers

garrhet-sampson-178990.jpgSometimes, like me, you end up learning the hard way but I can’t stress enough how important it is to feel comfortable in your choice regarding your career.

Whether you are a graduate or just desperately in need of a new job, you should always think twice about jumping straight into that job that seems too good to be true….

If a job sounds to good to be true…

Don’t be swayed by the pressures of friends and family pushing you into a role, if you feel even a slight bit of unease at the prospect. For a period of time I was working in such a toxic environment that was so horrible, I begin losing sight of what my dream job was, and in my desperation ended up applying to every job that I was alerted to. Learn to take a step back. I didn’t. I applied and interviewed for various roles which were nothing like I imagined or even wanted. When I removed those rose tinted glasses I saw things for what they actually were!

Trust your gut

I once took a shot and applied for a role which I thought was a little out of reach. I didn’t have the experience required. So you can imagine my excitement when I was picked to attend their interview?! It was for a leading Luxe Sportswear brand which I have always adored. I was incredibly naive and was quickly seduced by the immense perks, free clothes, free gym classes, invites to cool events etc, etc. I mean, who wouldn’t turn that down! I was even given the choice in the interview to be promoted to a managerial position, bearing in mind I was a 22 year old graduate! Sadly, the pay was A LOT less than was initially quoted, the free gym classes and events never materialised and those free clothes? I wish! Some were free, however I ended up having to spend almost £200 before I’d even started working… I painted a pretty amazing picture of how unreal this opportunity was to friends and family, some didn’t agree and I wish I had listened. I had a gut feeling from the interview something wasn’t right but convinced my friends, and more so to myself, that this was the best job ever!

Take your time to job hunt!

In another instance I ended up applying for a role which deep down I never wanted. My parents pressured me, knowing how sad and frustrated I was in my current job and only trying to help! I aced the interview and began working there. My initial reservations regarding the establishment turned out to be the tip of the iceberg! Staff morale was rock bottom, poor customer service, rock bottom pay (lowest I have EVER been paid!) combined with a bitchy atmosphere; made me want out. Pronto. Luckily, months later I was free!! The only thing I regret was applying in the first place!

Moral of the story? Trust your gut instinct!

If a job doesn’t feel right, doesn’t sit well and fills you with unease, decline. Even if you can’t pinpoint why you feel that way. Maybe you feel bad vibes from the environment, team or even the interviewer, I urge you to step back, analyse the situation, sleep on it or have a change of scenery to think hard about it. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a role you feel uncomfortable about or let a hiring manager intimidate you into making a decision. It is perfectly reasonable to ask for more time, a contract, more answers etc. before accepting anything!

 

Good Luck!

Love Career Girl

Xo

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Staying Motivated & Positive Throughout the Job Search

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Don’t you just hate it when your parents & friends constantly enquire about the status of your job hunt?! “Have you had any interviews, how’s the job hunt going, got the job of your dreams yet?”

I’ve been there and it’s frustrating as hell. Gone are the days when you could just walk into a job and be set for life. Today, you’re battling with millions of other just as good, if not better graduates, combined with (pointless) online applications & selection criteria; in addition to horribly stressful interviews.

Psychometric tests & situational tests… for what?

I remember in my quest last year to get a job, I applied to work at a well know supermarket chain (so glad I didn’t progress!) Cue personality tests & situation tests, passing this a phone then a group interview. All to work for a little bit above minimum wage, essentially stacking shelves. Crazy in my opinion. There is no way you can gauge whether someone is fit for the role, intelligent or even passionate for the job if this is what you have to endure to get to the final face-to-face interview. I also read somewhere that CV’s are gone through a screening process (applicant tracking system) & often discarded way before a human has even seen them! Certain tag lines within your CV are scanned to filter them out. So take it with a pinch of salt if you apply online & never hear back.

Months and months of searching, applying & being constantly rejected can seriously take its toll. I have shed many a tear of frustration. I found it incredibly depressing, stressful and hard to stay upbeat & motivated!

So this is what I did…

Get a job, even if it isn’t your dream job.

Hey, it’s all experience and you never know, network and you could achieve the job of your dreams. It is much easier and less stressful to look for a job if you already have a job. Having an income is great and it gives you a hell of a lot more to talk about in your interview.

Network like there is no tomorrow

You never know who might be hiring so it’s always worth striking up a conversion, even with a stranger. Many companies and hiring managers do advertise; but a staggering 95% of jobs* are never advertised!!!

Dream Job Lists

Write down a list of company’s you want to work for or roles that you see yourself doing. Write some job goals, things you want to get out of that job, whether it is to save money or career progression. I desire a job where I’m always learning & constantly being challenged. Focusing on what you want will help drive you in the right direction. Trust your instinct and do a job that feels right for YOU!

Also, Linkedin is a great way to learn about jobs. It also has a great feature where you can instantly apply for a job, complete with your CV & Linkedin profile. Once you get Linkedin and know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll be fine.

Attend Interviews

It sounds insane & a waste of time… but hear me out! If you are offered an interview for a role – even if it’s a job you’re not interested in, GO FOR IT. If you can afford it, I highly recommend attending as many interviews as possible because gaining experience in a variety of interview settings will prepare you for so much!

Job hunting is stressful & tiring so don’t forget to treat yourself! Go out with friends & have fun. If you have a job, jam pack your days off with things you want to do.

*This stat is based on my own knowledge & experience!

Good Luck!

CareerGirl Xo

Wondering Why You Never Got The Job? There Never Was One…

rawpixel-com-340966.jpgAnd if your dream job is advertised, be cautious!

Summer of 2015 I religiously applied to jobs online. I spent hours perfecting my CV and Cover letter and successfully completed numerous online applications. So, you can imagine my shock & annoyance when I received many automated responses saying the vacancy was filled weeks ago. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me and sadly won’t be the last… Since then I have spoken to many hiring managers and HR personnel and this is surprisingly common. In another case I applied online for a role and went to the interview, only to be told that they changed the job specification!

The point I’m trying to make is that, from my experience, you should take rejection from roles you’ve applied for with a pinch of salt! Due to this, I highly recommend networking or, at the very least, really researching the job role in depth, who the interviewer is and exactly why there is a vacancy in the first place.

I naively didn’t realise when I first started job hunting just how devious some hiring managers can be…

Jobs are posted then never taken down

This happens a lot. I’ve been sucked into applying for many jobs, only to find out they were filled months ago but no one bothered to take the advert down!  This especially occurs on places like Gumtree but also on big brands own website, whilst their current jobs take forever to be posted, if at all.

‘Fake’ Jobs are posted

Often, it tends to be recruiters who do this, but supposed job postings are advertised in the hope of attracting lots of candidates. These candidates CV’s will then be kept on file for recruiters generating a huge pool for future use, should there ever actually be a job later. And sometimes, individuals will copy your CV – so been careful

Internal Hiring / transfers

Although a vacancy is advertised, what goes on behind the scenes may be very different. Many employers and hiring managers will post a job advert, go through the motions of selecting and interviewing candidates; knowing full well they won’t hire you. Effectively, they are wasting your valuable time and energy. They may have already organised hiring internally, or nepotism might be at play…

Hiring Freeze 

Some companies will advertise and interview candidates knowing that a hiring freeze is imminent, but want to gauge the talent that’s out there. The interviewer might actually love to hire you but hands are tied and money in the company is tight so can’t afford to take you on, so don’t feel disheartened.

It’s a shame many employers don’t offer feedback or say who they finally hired and why.

Let me know if you have ever experienced this! As always, good luck in the job hunt! Let me know if there is a topic you want me to discuss 🙂

Career Girl xo

Overqualified & Inexperienced… What I’ve Learnt

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So I graduated class of 2015 and it was great. What wasn’t so great were the months and months after graduation when I was job hunting. I really do think our generation has it the worst. I naively thought graduating with a BSc Psychology 2:1 would ensure I would achieve the job of my dreams almost instantly, given my past job hunt and interview success rate.

Oh how wrong was I!

In fact, what most people don’t know or realise is just how depressing the job hunt can be! Honestly, I felt so unbelievably low, spending ages and ages writing pages and pages of ‘Why I should be Hired’ blurbs and cover letters, for what? Only them to be sent through the black-hole of the internet. To receive an automated, undesirable ‘Thank You’, don’t call us we’ll call you. Oh, and you’re lucky to get that!

Over Qualified & Inexperienced

It is so disheartening job hunting online. I did as every other graduate seems to do, I applied directly to companies and signed up to the likes of Milkround and Reed. Word of advice? Don’t bother, save your time and energy as it’s so saturated! I wish someone had told me that!

After a while I did have a few job interviews, all really good experience from group interviews, panel interviews and psychometric testing but unfortunately was pipped to the post due to being ‘over qualified or for lack of experience’ – If I had a pound for every-time I heard that….

Rejection, Rejection & More Rejection!

Anyway, being constantly rejected based on something you really can’t help is possibly the most frustrating thing ever. Nearly reaching the end of my tether and working in a dead end job I decided I drastically needed to do something… anything. Eventually, I decided to sort out my Linkedin as other people were getting into it and I thought hey, what the hell.

Surprisingly, I have had quite a few job offers through Linkedin and I would definitely recommend it!

Let me know in the comments your experiences tips and tricks to securing the job of your dreams!

Good luck job hunting!

 

Love Career Girl xo