Monday, 2 July 2012

Just Call Me Diva !

Diva Universal (Philippines)
Diva Universal (Philippines) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know how you always hope Mondays will set the tone for the week in a positive way? Well sometimes however hard you try ; things still go belly up !

Just like so many other weeks before, I’ve spent the last week waiting to hear about another entry level opportunity, that I would give my right arm to do and more importantly have the passion and aptitude to execute perfectly.

I pulled together a strategic presentation outlining what I would do in the role, complete with platform/brand ideas; which was deemed good enough to see me through Stage One.

Stage Two was a writing/technical assignment the results of which I’d been waiting for and received this morning. All of this before I even got to talk to one person at the company.

That being said all my efforts ultimately added up to a big fat nothing. I received the news in that compassion format, known as email.

It was one of those short HR standard paragraphs,

‘Dear candidate, unfortunately we were overwhelmed by the high standard of applicants’ blah, blah. I couldn’t help but smile when I also saw that I had been thanked for ‘my obvious passion’ for the company.

At the beginning of my long-term job search, I’ll admit to getting thoroughly ticked off by this type of employer ‘interaction’ which really offers an axed candidate nothing in terms of feedback, except to say that you didn’t get the job.

Now I always, always ask for feedback as to where I can improve and what was missing from my application. In this instance, annoyingly it was two ‘minor’ technical points (small), but apparently the finite difference between being cut or progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Then apparently there was a feeling that my blog Divasdelite was not attune to their brand. The fact that I would be representing their brand message and therefore taking on their brand voice, not Divas, seemed to be completely lost on them.

Being told that in their opinion I would be giving off a ‘Diva’ connotation that maybe at odds with my actual personality, was the last straw for me. I responded immediately.

Thanking them for their comments, but also directing them to my makeup blog and online event reviews, as the best possible evidence of a grounded, warm, diverse individual who is anything but a diva in the classic sense of the word.

Just someone, like so many other people right now, who are looking for an opportunity to show a prospective full-time employer what they can do.

The past year has a pretty joyless one with an extended job hunt that has ruthlessly ground me down, to the point where I have felt at times I might never have a proper job again, despite having a solid work history; and being motivated enough to go to night school to get my degree, while working full-time before this bloody work drought set in.

The only thing that’s kept me absolutely sane is my blogging.

I’ve taken on jobs I’d never, ever thought I would do or have to, rather than queue at a dole office. I’ve stood behind the counter in a shop and served my ex HR Director, whose ‘where did it all go wrong ‘look on her face was just the type of humiliation no one needs or deserves.

There are been mornings when I could barely face the walk into town to the library, where I would join the other ranks of job hunters, combing the wanted columns and tapping away furiously away completing numerous online applications, usually resulting in not even the basic courtesy of a response.

I can honestly say I’ve tried everything. Called up old contacts, joined agencies (23 in all!), sent speculative letters, produced more presentations than I ever thought I had within me and still I am hanging on in there with short-term drips of work that just about keep me afloat.

I’ve found the whole experience, demoralising, humiliating and incredibly disappointing. I’ve even hidden away from friends and family for a time, because I was so ashamed of having to admit just how ropey things have been.

For someone who’s worked since she was 15 and grown up with the mantra that if you work hard, good things will undoubtedly follow - progress in my life and work, at times it’s been totally soul destroying, or just plain irritating like today.

There are those out there that have either allowed or been engulfed in the hopelessness of their situation and I’ve watched several really talented individuals recently, effectively ‘disappear’ before my eyes, because they gave up fighting to stay afloat.

I’ve dealt with all my ups and down in the only healthy way I could, I have chosen to fight back with my words, self belief and dare I say it attitude.

If I’ve had a good day, I’ll blog about it. If I’ve had a day like today I own it and write about it, let go of it and start again because tears and woe is me just doesn’t cut it when you’re in survivor mode.

I’ve also received an abundance of Twitter ‘love’, from complete strangers who’ve supported me and encouraged me to keep plugging away. That door will open. Not sure when, but it will open and I will get that elusive yes.

If that ability to keep getting up, even when you keep hearing ‘No’ day after day, makes me a diva then so be it ! I’d rather the survivor, who actually knows what the true meaning of being a diva is.

A mentally strong, independent; sometimes difficult, stubborn but definitely never a boring female, who keeps getting back up, no matter what is thrown at her.

To all of my fellow divas, I salute you, send you hugs, wish you well and ...let’s keep on plugging to get what we want !

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Gerard McGuickin said...

Darlin' I am one of your fellow Diva's! In my opinion, the company you were applying to has missed out on a great thing with you - their big loss. They'll end up with some drone clone that'll smile & say all the lovely things they want to hear.

Reading your words I can hear heartache, despair, sadness & anger... I can also hear hope, believing, being and wanting. You are so going to make it to better things. It is meant for you. The big G up there, something or somebody is just making you try really hard for some reason. Consider them bitch-slapped by me ;-)

Big love & hugs xx

Igor Josifovic said...

In a nutshell: you might be a diva, but what I know after reading your blog post: you are a talented and passionate writer! Reading your post was incredibly pleasant despite its harsh topic. I can't believe you've been struggling so long for a proper job. With this omnipresent cruelty called economic crisis I lost track on which country is doing bad and which is doing somewhat better. But it seems that nowadays it is just bad or worse. Sigh! But I second my friend Mr. Grey - I can see your inner survivor shining through your post. You are not giving up nor are you giving in. Go for it, diva! Get what you deserve! You are worth it!!