I’m sitting on a train home from an internship interview – for something that I was incredibly interested in, at that. Paid, over the summer, right off a Link stop. Ideal. I’d prepped my portfolio, wore my favorite floral patterned pants and planned my day to have the interview in Seattle. The place was even a two minute walk from a Lush – I’d be in moisturizer heaven!
And I didn’t get it. And that’s okay. After a lifetime of being worried and anxious about outcomes, I’ve realized something: other people getting things isn’t bad, just like getting things won’t always be good.
PR is competitive, and people can experience burnout solely from interviewing and seeming to never get the job. The thing is, if we let the competitive field get to us, it can make further interviews and job opportunities negative.
I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t be bummed or you have to be enthused about the outcome – but here are a few reasons you should at least feel like you’re okay after not getting The Job (TM).
You Were Interviewed In The First Place
Not every resume and cover letter gets an interview – most get slipped in the ‘no’ pile based on arbitrary things – your cover letter didn’t address what they wanted you to address, your resume didn’t have a skill they were looking for, they’d hired someone from your university who they weren’t a huge fan of, the HR director decided that any entries from March 14 2017 were instantaneously invalid. Some resumes don’t even get a glance beyond your name and phone number. Some people choose dumb fonts for resumes, it’s beyond their control.
And even then, some people don’t make it past the phone screen. If you were screened for a call, and made it beyond that, they thought you’d had potential that others didn’t have. They took the twenty minutes it takes to conduct a phone interview, and that’s an accomplishment – there’s only so many 20 minute phone calls someone can make without going absolutely crazy.
I’d say being even chosen for an interview with the company I interviewed with was an accomplishment – 120 people applied, and 8 were interviewed. Eight.
If my math is right, if I was the least perferred candidate of the eight, I would be in the 91st percentile of applicants. That’s better than my SAT scores.
Maybe It’s Not PARTICUARLY Your Field
We all have our strengths – and by pursuing a PR degree, I feel I’m fairly well rounded in enough fields that I could try business or marketing or things that are similar. This particular internship was digital marketing – which is close enough to PR to be applicable, but I can understand why someone with a marketing degree and further marketing experience and training would be chosen over me.
In the interview I was a part of, the four candidates I knew did better than me (there was one-on-one interviews after I was dismissed), all were pursuing degrees in marketing. While the group I interviewed with had me, the PR major, (and possible Public Policy double major… we’ll talk about that in another post), a computer science major with a minor in business, a data analysis major and an international business major, marketing was none of our expertise – but rather an extension of our abilities.
As much as I would LOVE to know more about SEO and strategic placement than a marketing major, I really don’t. I can write a press release faster than some people would be able to read the said press release and know everything about enhancing a brand, but I’m just not someone who’s had experience specifically with marketing digitally.
It’s just not my niche, and that’s okay.
Stuff Works Out
I can use that portfolio again – I can wear the floral pants again. I can find an oppurtunity that’s a better fit, something that’s a different path.
I’m not a religious person, but stuff works out for some reason or another. Something new will come around. Maybe the job you didn’t get wouldn’t work out with friends and family, maybe the work environment wouldn’t be the best fit for you.
Either way, in the end, maybe it’s the best possible scenario that you didn’t get this particular job – something new will roll around.
In my case, I feel the world is pushing me far into public affairs, so maybe that’s where I’ll end up. Or maybe something else. We never know.
Just do know that not getting the job now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future – it just means that the one you actually get will be in a place with an even better Lush nearby.
Or maybe not, the Lush at Westlake IS really nice. Not a better Lush maybe, but a better place for you to be.