Open Letter to My Fellow Job Seekers
Updated: Jun 13, 2020
I chose the wrong profession.
I know it, I’ve known it for some time now. But changing direction mid-career isn’t as easy as saying, “I’m going to change careers”. I chose the wrong profession, but this is where I am and where I’ve spent the last decade-plus of my working life and for the most part, I don’t regret it.
I am a Visual Communications Designer. Not a Graphic Designer. Not a Web Designer. And, contrary to the opinion of the the recruiters who keep calling and emailing me from parts of the country unknown, I am not [yet] a Web Developer.
I am a Visual Communications Designer and I am good at it because I understand what that means. But in the context of The Hunt…it doesn’t seem to mean very much. This recent job search has been long and arduous and soul-depleting. I have screamed, cried, and stopped short of putting my fist through something, anything. I have blamed myself for choosing the wrong profession. I have blamed myself for being ineffective in the presentation of my work and of myself. I have blamed myself for not being good enough despite all of my efforts and evidence to the contrary.
And I’ve heard the theory that things are working out this way because I need to run my own business. I’ve considered, but I’m not an entrepreneur and I won’t be shamed for that. Someone has to own the business and someone has to run it, I don’t mind being the latter. So I submit my applications and I talk to the recruiters and hiring managers and yet, here I still am and the most difficult part is – I don’t know why.
But here is what I do know:
I know that I am intelligent, thoughtful, creative, insightful, and am a well of ideas. I know that I am always learning and growing and maintaining a can-do attitude even when I feel that I can’t. I know that I am hardworking, dedicated, and will be an asset to whoever decides to take a chance on me. I know that I am amazing in a team environment for I am positive, inspirational, a motivator, a cheerleader, a support system, and overall good for morale. I know that I stand centered within a community of people from different backgrounds, career progressions, financial and social statuses, who will all step forward and validate everything that I believe about myself.
But here’s the gotcha – the person with the job doesn’t know that I will commit myself to that role and ensure that I am meeting and exceeding whatever is expected of me. They don’t understand that my experience is an example of the things that I have done, not the limit of my capabilities. They cannot see nor fathom the scale of that community surrounding me, cheering me on, and believing in me even when I have failed to believe in myself. They do not know the champion that they are passing on.
And that is okay, for despite their lack of insight, I know who I am.
And so it is with my fellow job seekers…your search has possibly been long and arduous and soul-depleting. Maybe you have screamed, cried, and stopped short of putting your fist through something, anything. But as difficult as this journey may be, remember those things that you know about yourself. For all the rejections from jobs you never interviewed for, you did interview for, you interviewed and were left to assume rejection [thee worst, btw], YOU are not being rejected. A construct of you formed in someone’s mind who doesn’t know YOU, is being rejected. So to that end, in this process…do not lose YOU. Do not allow yourself to lose sight of what makes you genuine, unique, special…what makes YOU.
And lastly but just as important, remember that this is just a journey…and every journey has it’s destination.
Keep your head up!
Miki Starr is an author and digital content creator by profession. She has published 9 novels and co-authored a book of poetry. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she now resides in Hopkins, Minnesota with her composer spouse and their cat-babies, Hendrixx and Ella.