I went for an interview in London last week.  Being back on the Kent to London commute, I felt like I’d never been away.

It’s been six years.

Having recently graduated, my options were start at the bottom of a new ladder at half the salary I left London on, or go back to the same rung and see if my attempt at ‘bettering myself’ had made a difference.

As far as jobs go, it’s made things worse.

After applying for forty jobs, I got one interview.  I found out today, that I didn’t even make the shortlist.

I’m a little confused.

Pre-degree, I worked as a ‘Personal Assistant.’  In my time away, this job has now been upgraded to ‘Executive Assistant’ and, it seems, my services are no longer required.

If I’m honest, it smarts a little.

“But a PA’s a PA, right?  What does it matter if I’ve never worked for a bank before?” I naively asked a recruitment agency.  “Ooh, they won’t like hearing you say that.”  No, I’m sure ‘they’ won’t.  But my point was this.  If you’re intelligent, proactive and organised then does it matter that you don’t have a ‘banking background?’  I was told that yes, now, six years on, it really does matter.

For me, in this post-degree fugue I still find myself in, this is disappointing but not devastating news.  A reality check.  However, for my younger, less experienced post-grad friends, how are they faring?

It seems most of them don’t really care either way.  At least not yet.  Some are working for charity, some are working on farms.  Some are on internships, earning a pittance but loving the novelty of being in a working environment.  I don’t have the heart to tell them it will soon wear off.  None of them having a mortgage or a family to provide for and so there is no urgency in joining the rat race.  They have the luxury of taking their time.  But the pressure will soon be on them.

When I was emailed, “Good luck with your job search – I am sure you will find the perfect fit,” I wanted to scream, “but you didn’t even give me a chance!”  Instead, I politely emailed, “I hope so too.”

The one positive thing to come out of this?  It just makes me more determined to continue trying to do what I really want to do – which is write.  It always was to write.  And I’m fortunate.  I have a very supportive partner who believes in me – even when, some days, I don’t believe in myself.

So maybe, just maybe, there’s a new ladder I can begin to climb.

My own.

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

2 replies on “A New Ladder”

  1. I love how your tone seems to change and really pick up pace and passion in the last part, when you’re talking about what you REALLY want to do.

    There’s something about the hamster wheel/job application procedure that makes us question if we’re good enough to ‘fit’ the job description.

    And yet, it’s precisely our unique identity, personality and passion that bring out the best in us.

    I’d highly recommend John Williams’ best-selling book “Screw Work Let’s Play” – in fact there’s a guest post by John on my blog right now, so take a look and see what you think.

    Good luck with your writing. I’m sure you’ll create your perfect fit 🙂

  2. Hi Grace, thanks for the comment!

    Getting the email from the interviewer was bittersweet – I was surprised I didn’t make the shortlist, pleased because I didn’t really want to go but annoyed because I’d have done a great job – all in one! I didn’t even get to see the person I’d be working for and it was that which annoyed me the most. How can you judge someone without even meeting them? *sigh*

    Thanks for the heads up on the book – I’ll definitely come take a look. I’m very passionate about writing and am always open to hearing what people have to say on making a living out of your passions!

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