If someone had told me that in the space of literally 3 weeks I could be fully employed as an Editorial Assistant and be about to rent my very own place for the first time, I would have laughed in that persons’s face.
Turns out, the idea is not actually all that ludicrous.
In all my wallowing about having a job I didn’t particularly enjoy and generally getting nowhere in life, I continued sending out CVs and cover letters. I was determined not to settle for another job just to make money, and told myself that my next job would be in publishing. At the time I didn’t really think that kind of motivational thinking would actually get me somewhere, but it turns out, it did.
Four weeks ago, I got an email from a Healthcare organisation, inviting me to complete an Editorial Assistant test. It was the first time I’d ever been asked to complete a test for a job, but then, I suppose I’ll have to start expecting more of them in publishing since it covers all the basic knowledge an Editorial Assistant needs to have. I had a week to complete the test and sent it off wondering if I’d even done it right. I had to stick to a style sheet and use the correct proofreading markups and, as it was my first test, I really didn’t have much to go on other than my common sense and my knowledge of grammar from uni.
A couple of days after submitting the test, I received another email congratulating me on completing the test and inviting me to an interview with one of the Hiring Managers. At this point, I was terrified. As more details unfolded, it turned out I was to meet with two Hiring Managers from two separate agencies who were both looking to recruit. Now, faced with the prospect of two interviewees, it began to dawn that I was outnumbered and suddenly feeling very under-qualified. It’s funny isn’t it, just how much we continue to doubt ourselves even though, in this instance, I’d received feedback that the managers had been ‘very impressed’ with my test, and they were ‘very eager to meet with me’. Still, looking at my CV, all I could see was a lot of retail experience, a couple of internships within small publishing environments, and my degree.
But anyway, I went to the interview and it all went really well. It turned out I was actually interviewing for three different agencies, so I was even more outnumbered that I’d originally expected, but I managed to keep calm and have a little banter with my interviewers. One thing I found was that they seemed to like that I didn’t take it all too seriously. I’m not saying I was cracking jokes the whole time, but when I kept linking a couple of my answers back to organisation, I tried to – tastefully – make light of the fact by saying something like: ‘You’re probably going to be tired of hearing this, but again I would say organisation’. This made the whole ordeal a lot less awkward for them and allowed me to relax a little more instead of stumbling over my words. I’d also prepped for the interview thoroughly which helped more than I can say. I knew the company’s ethos inside-out and had even scrolled through their Twitter feed to see what they were getting up to. When I brought up staff initiatives in the interview, like their staff sports day and their Bank Holiday pizza day, I could tell they really understood that I’d done my homework. Just by looking up the company on their own website, I was easily able to tackle the ‘So what do you know about the company’ question without embellishing or waffling. If in doubt, head over to Linda Raynier’s YouTube channel. I stumbled across her channel the night before my interview and it was a good job because in my interview, I was able to use her tips to answer the ‘Where do you see yourself in three years?’ question, and the dreaded ‘What do you think will be the most unappealing part of the job?’. Seriously, give her a look, you won’t be disappointed.
The same day, I drove home feeling a couple of pounds lighter and, not long after I’d been in the house, my phone rang. The lady who’d arranged the interview asked me how I thought it had gone and asked what I thought of the offices. Then she told me they wanted to offer me one of the positions! ELATED IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT AT THIS POINT.
So for the last three weeks I’ve been up to my eyeballs in paperwork and house viewings. Because the job is a ninety-minute car ride from where I live now, it means I’m going to have to move, but that was always going to be necessary no matter where I ended up. It’s been a tense week or so waiting to hear if my application had been accepted for an apartment five minutes or so from the office, but things seem to be moving more quickly now. In fact, for my first week (since I can’t pick my keys up until my second week there), I’ll be staying in a B&B, so as of this Sunday, I’ll be moving out.
I have to say, I’ve been so focused on making the career thing happen that I don’t think I ever really stopped to think about what I’d be leaving behind. If I could take my mum and my sister with me (and my two pups), I’d do so in a heartbeat. We’re so close that I’m going to miss them a lot, but I guess that’s all part and parcel of growing up. Moving out. Moving away. Becoming self-reliant. I’m looking forward to it, but it’s also the biggest thing I’ve ever done, so I have a feeling Skype is going to get a lot of use…
Until next time, stay tuned to see how I get on!