Getting a job is actually harder than it sounds.
Last year, I wrote an article about updating my resume, how at the same time everything and nothing has changed since I first started applying for jobs. I wrote about sending out dozens of application letters and resumes, visiting shops and restaurant to apply for jobs, only to be turned down by email or right away. I was “too old”, “too experienced”, “too expensive” and at times, “too highly educated”.
I simply couldn’t understand. I am a university student, a competent and ambitious 19-year-old woman, looking for a job – but still, nobody wanted to hire me. I was invited to an interview at a fancy clothing store, but unfortunately, I didn’t get the job. It was a disappointed, I will be honest, but nonetheless, I continued my search. That’s how I started working as a language tutor for high school students.
I really enjoyed my time teaching kids a language, especially when I saw how much they improved. Their grades got higher and their confidence grew with every text I read with them, or difficult words I explained to them or summaries I wrote with them. However, I could not make the hours I wanted as a tutor, I wanted more, and so my search continued. After my last tutor session with my student, I got flowers as a “thank you”, which made me realize that someone really benefitted from me helping them.
One Friday morning, Boyfriend and I were having breakfast at the Hema, when we were scrolling through online job offers in the neighborhood, when I struck gold. A clothing store, one of my favorites in town, was looking for someone to work in the weekends and during the holidays. In other ways: perfection. That same afternoon, I wrote an application letter, printed out my resume and jumped on my bicycle to deliver the envelope in person, just before class.
The next morning, I was on a tram in Rotterdam, when I received a call. I was invited to an interview! I spend the entire day with a huge smile on my face and that Monday, I shook hands with who would be my future employer. During the interview, I immediately felt comfortable and confident; in the right place. As I spoke about fashion and the brand, I knew that this was the place I wanted to spend my weekends and Summer. After the interview, I shook hands with the shop manager and this time, I did not walk away with an unsettling feeling, I left with confidence.
A week later, when Boyfriend and I were eating a sandwich in Utrecht, I got a call again. It was the fashion store, asking me on what dates I would be available. She said she would call me soon with more news. I hang up and suddenly felt nervous: what if they did not want me, like all the other businesses? Just a few minutes later, my phone rang again and this time, it was great news: I got the job!
Last Saturday, I had my first work day at the fashion store. My Mom and I had bought clothes from the brand that I could wear in advance, and I felt ready to start working. I immediately felt accepted by my colleagues, spoke a little bit of German with the costumers and spend the day surrounded by clothes and bags. After a full day of work, I was exhausted, but happy. I finally got myself the job that I wanted and it feels really, really good.