Becky is 29 years old and lives in Devon although she was originally from Lancashire. She is now a Marketing Coordinator and studying for her MA in Marketing & Digital Communications. This Hey It Gets Better Story is all about her job hunt after she graduated and how she went from a job she hated to her dream job .
How I Went From A Job I hated To My Dream Job
At school you are told if you get a degree employers will be banging on your door, so when I graduated in 2012 with a Psychology degree, I naively thought that this achievement combined with previous work and volunteering experience would mean I would find it easy to get a job. But boy, was I wrong! I applied for hundreds of jobs and graduate schemes, including entry-level admin jobs, but I was either ignored or rejected as I either did not have enough experience or I was over-qualified. The HR manager at one company told me, “We think you would do an amazing job but you don’t have the experience”, and The Job Centre said I should offer to work for free. So frustrating! After 5 months of solid job-hunting I ended up working at an awful call centre. I felt like I should feel lucky for finally landing a job, but I hated every day. A couple of months in, just before Christmas, they ended up firing most of the new starters – myself included! This eroded my confidence and self-esteem even more. I could not believe I was back on the job hunt again so soon. I hit rock bottom and at the time I could not see how things could get better. But 4 years later I had landed my dream job in marketing and owned a beautiful home with my partner. I actually look back at that awful call centre job and laugh at it now!
Discovering What I wanted To Do
A couple of months after I was fired, I got a job as a support worker and worked in adult social care for the next 2 years. It was amazing being able to help people and while I loved the job, it was hard being on a zero-hour contract and I wanted something more challenging. I got a job as a customer service assistant at a bathroom company while I figured out what I wanted to do. As I enjoy helping people out, and love variety too, I would always offer to help on different departments, and this meant I picked up new skills. Even though I knew it was not going to be a forever job I tried to make the most of the opportunities on offer and also being on a salary meant I was able to get a mortgage and buy my first home.
Finding My Dream Job
At weekends I was always out and about exploring where I lived, so I decided to start an Instagram page and blog to showcase the Cotswolds. I built quite a big following in a short amount of time and it enabled me to learn new skills such as how to build a website, social media marketing and photography. This made me realise I wanted to pursue a career in marketing and I saw a marketing job pop up at a luxury property company which sounded amazing. I applied despite having no marketing experience apart from my blog. I landed the job as the Director admired what I had done off my own back. I absolutely loved my job and sometimes had to pinch myself as I could not believe I was paying paid to do something I enjoyed so much!
I have now been working in marketing for over 2 years and I have just started my MA in Marketing & Digital Communications. Looking back I have learned a few things:
- It is ok to not know what you want to be when you grow up – Some of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do whereas I did not have a clue! I have learned it is fine to switch careers and you do not have to be stuck in a job you hate. I know someone who started their career as a teacher but is now working as an Occupational Therapist, and someone I worked with at the bathroom company is now training to be a solicitor. Every different job you do will teach you different things, for example working as a support worker taught me how to keep calm in stressful situations. Just follow your passion and you will get there, trust me.
- Have the confidence to put yourself out there – I felt really silly applying for a job which I had no experience of, I thought my application might have been laughed at! But I knew I could learn and really give the job my all, so I made that clear in my application. Embrace the opportunities which are on offer to you so you can learn and pursue your passion. This may be at work, or maybe in your personal life such as volunteering or trying a new class. There are some great courses online now, some of which are free.
- Try not to compare yourself with others – I often looked at other people my age who I thought were more than successful than me and would get down about it. Remember you do not know the full story, what you see on social media is only a small snippet.
But most importantly, things will get better and you be able to look back on the crappy days and realise how much you learned and changed since then.