Recently, as some of you may have read in Week 15: The good, the bad and the unexpected, I was offered a job.
For six weeks. As a temporary marketing assistant at Orion.
There I was making a show card for an author event when I was interrupted. A girl came into the small meeting room, smiled and said:
‘Hello, are you Rebecca?’
To which I replied in the affirmative.
After my confirmation she then asked me to come into John’s office with her (I hadn’t the foggiest clue who John was but I followed regardless) because she had a ‘proposal’ for me. Surely my future husband couldn’t be here? Bent down on one knee in John’s office?
I followed her, trying to remember all the things I’d down during the 7 days of my internship. What could I have done wrong? Wracking my brains, we arrived at John’s office.
She shut the door. It must be serious.
I sat down and she explained that John was on sick leave and she was swamped with work. She’d asked my mentor if she knew anyone good to help and she’d recommend me.
And right there and then, I was asked to stay on and help for the next six weeks. Working 9:30-5:30 as a Marketing Assistant. A temporary but PAID position, with all the perks of a permanent employee. Like major book discount. Score!
I nodded like mad, my face about to split in half from happiness, my eyes at risk of leaking with joy. I wanted to giggle and scream and jump around and dance. Simultaneously. But I held all this pure, fizzing excitement in, trying my best to remain professional. She mentioned something about a meeting and a contract and I nodded some more, soaking in the reality of what had just happened to me.
My hard work, perseverance and sheer determination had finally paid off. I now have a job with a well-respected and amazing publishing company. Albeit for a short time but who knows where this could lead. This is my break, my chance, my shot. This is my beginning. My life is finally starting.
In truth the past few months have been hard. Harder than hard. I’ve been a little depressed, fed up and sick to the back teeth of life. There is only so much rejection a girl can take.
But I know that I am not alone in this. There are so many of us, deflated graduates applying like mad, who just can’t seem to catch a break. And people don’t realise how demoralising it is, how relentless and hopeless it really does feel.
I’ve endured a lot of opinions this year. I’ve been told numerous times to do something else, to just get any old job. I’ve been told to bite the bullet, swallow my pride, people have said I’m too fussy, too ambitious, etc, etc, blah blah blah. The list goes on.
Being told to forget my dream and abandon my ambition so many times, only made me stronger and more desperate and determined to succeed. Because this is my life, my career isn’t anyone’s decision but mine and I know exactly what I want to do, however difficult publishing is to crack into.
Working in a Hospice taught me that life is short. It doesn’t last very long. So why on earth would I want to spend my short life investing the majority of my time doing something I hate, or something that my heart is not in? Just to obtain money. What good is money if you dread the working week? You don’t marry someone you don’t love, you don’t eat food that you can’t stomach.
Refuse to settle.
For any of you struggling with your ambitions and those dusty dreams of yours, don’t listen to those negative whispers, those words of wisdom that aren’t so wise. Follow your heart, if you have a passion, a dream, then don’t you give up. Work hard and you’ll get there, it will take a while and it won’t be perfect initially – we all have to start at the bottom, at the beginning – but it will be worth it. Anything worth doing takes time.
You deserve to do what you want with your life. You only get one chance at living.
Here’s some food for thought from Alan Watts; it really encouraged me at my lowest moments on this journey to building my career, one miniscule brick at a time.