Over the last few weeks, I’ve been searching online for a steady job that will provide me with much needed income. In February 2017, I lost my main freelance contract. This hit me hard both mentally and financially. The contract that had ended provided me with steady work throughout the months. This meant a decent cashflow too. Since then, things have been tough because I’ve only managed to find small odd jobs through ProBlogger jobs. I kept pushing forward, and finally heard back from a company looking to hire a full-time content marketer. This was a perfect job for me because I have more than 2-3 year’s experience writing content, managing writers, keeping deadlines, collaborating with other writers, and researching. I filled out the application, provided some writing samples, and was happy to hear back the very next day. The company had several applicants so they decided to put everyone through the pre-screening process. Here’s what was required…
1) The employer asked everyone to write on this topic:
“Write at least 500 words, up to 1,000 about a list building strategy you decide. Make sure to include pictures. Tip: don’t use much space on your introductory.”
2) We were asked to write down the amount of time taken to complete the entire assignment. This meant to calculate how much time was taken researching and writing the actual assignment.
3) And the assignment must be done individually without any outside help.
I knew after reading the above requirements it would be pretty nerve racking. Firstly, if I let my fears of completing this assignment overwhelm me, then I would be in no better position than I was before. I needed the job so I had to keep pushing forward no matter how I felt. The best case scenario was that I get the job. And the worst case was I didn’t, at which point I’d keep applying.
Secondly, it was a great learning experience and would prepare me for the next time. I know new experiences are scary, but it’s only when you face them head on that you’ll know how to conquer them.
The employer gave us 3 days to complete the assignment and hand it in. I started researching right away and wrote my content on the second day. On the final day, I made some final tweaks to my content, listed the number of hours spent on the assignment, and handed it in right on time. This was a Friday so I didn’t expect to hear back until at least Monday.
On March 27, 2017, I heard back. The employer was impressed. He wanted to schedule an interview so he sent me a link to his calendar so we could setup a time slot. My interview was scheduled for March 31, 2017 at 11:30 AM.
This was the first time in a while since I had an interview for a full-time position. The interview took place on Skype, where we went through a series of questions. He asked me about my experience, content writing process, how I would track conversions, life outside of work, and salary expectation. Overall, I felt the interview went very well because I answered 4 out of the 6 questions with confidence, and only had slight problems with the other two questions. However, we both agreed they were tough questions and not applicable to the type of work I would be doing. As for annual salary expectation, I had no clue how to answer because previously I would be paid per project; this time it would be per year. He gave me the weekend to come up with a number. And, after researching what content writers with 7+ years’ experience get paid, I emailed him with an expectation of $42,500 USD. This would roughly be $57, 375 CAD or $4,781.25 CAD per month (working from home :)).
I forgot to mention there were 3-4 other candidates, which he had to interview. After all the interviews, the interviewer would write back with an answer within a week.
Friday, April 7th, 2017
I received the email at 3:00AM from the employer, and found out I didn’t get the job. I was crushed. This job was a good fit since it was a full-time position with great pay. The email started with a brief thank you and then went on to mention how they decided to select another candidate. Here’s a quick excerpt:
“This email is to let you know that we have selected another candidate.”
“You were an exceptional candidate for the job”
“While you were not selected for the current opening, I did not make this decision lightly. Your future applications will receive a thorough review.”
So, I decided to write back two days later to find out why I wasn’t selected. This way, going forward I could work on gaining the experience and knowledge to better my chances in the future. The reply was basic and to the point:
“We found a candidate with more experience and a better cultural fit with the company.”
I had no idea what he meant by” cultural fit” so I did some research and came up with the following:
“At its core, cultural fit means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their employer’s core values and company culture”– BusinessNewsDaily
At this point, I was like whatever, and took control of the situation. What do I mean?
I’m not going to let this experience deter me from accomplishing my goals. I’ve now set even higher standards for myself going forward. I decided I wanted to share my experience and my thoughts with all of you so here they are…
First, I decided to share this experience with you because I’m sure many of you have faced a similar situation. By being transparent about my feelings, I want all of us to share alternative ways to deal with our emotions. I’ve written extensively about the importance of not letting a negative situation hold you back and make you depressed. It’s even more important when living with bipolar.
Next, I want to systematically provide you with my thought process…
1) I’m going to treat my experience as a “learning experience”. I won’t question what happened, and know it happened for a reason. I’m sure there’s a better job out there for me, which will allow me to grow even more and provide greater flexibility.
2) After reading the rejection email, so many thoughts entered my mind. I thought I wasn’t good enough or experienced enough. However, I stopped myself from thinking these negative things by focusing on what was written in the email. In the message, he stated, “I was an exceptional candidate” and “The decision was not easy.”
There is no point in thinking anything else but what was written. Creating things in my mind will attract the wrong type of energy. Plus, there’s nothing else I can do anyways…right? I didn’t get selected so let’s move forward 🙂
3) I’m using what happened as a learning experience to fine-tune my interview skills and gain even more experience. Contract work is different because you get selected by the quality of your work and if you can get it in by the deadline. This opportunity was a full-time position, with a complete process I’m not use to. The experience has taught me a lot about the type of questions to expect and has made me more comfortable with the Skype interview format.
4) If bipolar disorder can’t stop me from conquering my dreams, there is no way I’m going to let a failed interview stop me. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder has so far been my biggest challenge. And I’ve still managed to grow, becoming a person with focus, skills, and great relationships. I’ll apply the same mentality to manage bipolar and make positive changes to my career.
I’m reading a lot more, and continue to apply to full-time positions every day. I know sooner or later something great will fall in my lap. I believe you attract the type of desires you put out in this world so I’m focusing on finding an even better opportunity.
For everyone who has gone through the same experience, you have no choice but to move forward. Keep focused on your end goal and put out the right type of energy in the world. You create opportunities by believing and attracting what you want in life.