For around three years, I worked casually for a magazine. This casual job was pretty good I was a Fashion and Beauty Assistant at a national mag, working two days a week in my dream career.
But I was also coasting a bit. I kept the job because I had an angelic boss who was both a mentor in the industry and also the queen of empathy. Two years in a row she allowed me to take extended leave for three-month travelling stints, because she knew Id come out of a restrictive religious decade of life feeling like Id missed out on all that gap year stuff.
So yeah, things were pretty cushy but I wasnt pushing myself or developing career-wise. I supplemented the two days of work with casual shifts at a retail store, and doing that meant I could afford a cheap share house room and weekend beers.
Until both jobs disappeared at ONCE.
First, I lost my casual job in retail. A new boss slashed the senior staff hours because, frankly, we cost the brand too much money and they could save on juniors. This sucked, but I still had the mag job to keep me somewhat financially afloat. I felt fine.
But then, that fell through.
My boss brought me into a meeting to tell me theyd decided to end my contract. The brand needed to make cuts, and my casual job was one of them. I was gutted even though I understood why theyd cut my role, I felt humiliated for some reason. Ive since learned being made redundant feels that way even though you know its not personal, it FEELS personal.
Now, I was panicking. I had rent to pay. Food to buy. And no income, whatsoever. I started reaching out to industry friends Id made at fashion and beauty events people I just considered mates, but now became vital resources for finding a new job.
After multiple responses of Im so sorry Mel theres literally nothing going where I work, I was feeling pretty stressed.
I considered going back into nannying Id done it through Uni and knew the money was good. But I also knew myself Id just keep coasting. Now I was forced to look for full-time magazine work, I had realised I felt really behind on my career goals. It was now or never to properly pursue my dreams.
Then my friend Justine called me. A job at the magazine she worked at was open Editorial Assistant. Entry level, but full time and working across beauty as well the department I truly wanted to end up in.
I applied, got the call up for an interview, and gave it all I had. I got called a week later with the great news that Id landed the role.
That was all luck, really. Im aware that it doesnt go that easily for everyone. But its how my attitude changed that was the real lesson for me. I was motivated. Id finally made the leap out of my comfort zone albeit a forced leap and into full-time employment in my chosen career. I felt like I was finally focused and hustling.
I would ask for extra work in areas I wanted to improve. I went above and beyond for the beauty department. It was like my post-Uni keen bean energy had returned, and I could sense my bosses noticing my swift progression.
Then, six months into my job there was an opening for my dream role, Beauty Editor at Girlfriend Magazine. The role Id always wanted since I first realised I wanted to write for magazines in Uni. Normally I wouldnt leave a job six months in but this was an exception. This was The Goal.
I gave my application and interview everything I had, because now I was hyper-motivated. Id had a win getting this full-time role and it spurred me on to chase my bigger dream. Id lost the fatigue I had from doing the same job for three years with no progression, and had some real momentum happening because Id made a strong step ahead in the industry. I went into the application process with confidence, and my hard work paid off I landed the job.
I basically went from absolute dire straits to my dream job within a year, and while I absolutely think some of that was luck sometimes you just get a good run I do feel losing my casual job was the catalyst for me actually focusing on my career trajectory instead of coasting.
It was still hard, the period where I had no job, no prospects and was trying to work out which direction to take next. Its incredibly difficult to keep pushing ahead when you feel that deep sense of rejection that comes with losing a job even if you know its not personal, like I said, the feelings are still there and hard to shake.
I guess Im telling my story in the hopes that for some of you, it might help you see that lifes curve balls arent always destructive. Sometimes they are my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling through long-term unemployment. It doesnt make you a shit worker, or a bad hire. Job hunting is hard as shit, and things dont always magically fall into place.
But sometimes a job loss is the push you needed to take a step, in whatever direction that may be.
Go here to see the original:
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