So here I am, up after a gorgeous nap (have to get my beauty sleep in sometime). I'd had a lovely day thus far. Woke up in good spirits in spite of my late night slumber, with a 'go get em' attitude and a whole lot of job applications bookmarked for hard labour during the day.
Now, although I know the ethics of applying for jobs whilst at your current place of work may be somewhat... hmm... questionable, let's say, I do have to point out that the publication with which I work has quite literally just gone to print, meaning we are on the cusp of a PR drought - which will typically only ease a fun two weeks before the next deadline, but this is besides the point.
In effect, there's not much I could have been doing, and with my seniors knowing full well my intention of departing our buzzing towers of literary genius, and their blessings (there were also tears, rude words and a fun rendition of Phil Collins's 'You'll be in My Heart') in tow, let's just say I wasn't exactly fighting with my conscience over this one.
Anyway, back to my rude awakening, courtesy of the Sky Talent Resourcing Team.
A couple of days ago I had confidently applied for a job posting with the renowned network for a position as Fashion & Beauty Journalist. I like Sky. I think they are one of the least nonsense ridden, concise and 'true to their nature' networks on television. Which isn't to say I wouldn't work for them if I thought they were as biased as FOX during the American elections in '08, but this was a bonus. Besides, who isn't biased, really? Also, considering the job I was applying for, there was no fear of me getting tangled up in any heated political debate, much less an ill-fitting mascara wand or Paris Hilton's latest substance abuse disaster or whatever the kids are doing these days so, yeah. Sky.
No. Not Sky. Not this time anyway. This is what they said,
"We really appreciate the time and effort you put into your application, however after due consideration, we're unable to take your application any further in relation to this position. Unfortunately due to the high number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback on your application."
Ok, so let me get this right. The criteria for the job included:
* Sourcing and originating content, images and video
* Researching and writing content
* Subbing copy and checking for legal issues
* Publishing content onto the site
* Monitoring site statistics
* Keeping on top of the fashion and beauty news
* Dealing with PRs and agents
* Conducting interviews and attending press conferences
* Covering major fashion and beauty events
You get the gist. Potential candidates should ideally possess the following:
* NCTJ or equivalent qualification and educated to degree level.
* Specialist knowledge of entertainment including fashion, beauty entertainment and celebrities.
* Demonstrable experience as a fashion and beauty journalist with Online experience
* Experience of writing for a web audience
* Excellent and accurate English
* Full understanding of MS Internet Explorer & HTML
* Intense interest and love of fashion, beauty, entertainment and celebrity gossip
* Strong instinct and news judgment for the Sky Showbiz audience
Are you all with me so far? Ok. So here I am. I am a media major from one of the top universities in Australia. I have a postgraduate degree in a field that allows me a better understanding of cultural traditions and expectations via the media. Last time I checked, England was a multicultural nation, no? So, for the sake of this argument, let's make this a score on my side of the tally board.
I have been a writer and an editor for an internationally renowned LUXURY LIFESTYLE publication (ahem, yea, hello Sky? Really? No light bulbs going off for ya?), which has allowed me the pleasure (and sometimes, the horror) of working with some of the most renowned names in fashion (Marc Jacobs, Dior), international couturiers (Stéphane Rolland) and cosmetic brands alike (Nexus, Clarins, Make Up 4ever). The publication rests in such a comfortable position within its 'counterparts' that we find ourselves spoilt for choice in terms of content, guaranteeing a long list of eager contacts, with which I have built successful working relationships. Oh, and just as an afterthought, I can rattle off the Paris Fashion Week runway line up off the top of my head. Another point on my side of the tally? Don't mind if I do.
I have freelanced and catered for the campaign needs of magnanimous fairs organisers and headed a massive project, that was the first of my duties as deputy editor, putting together a 172 page travel publication for one of the most notoriously picky clients, in under two months. Working under pressure? Tick. Writing for an online audience? Tick. Dealing with PR agents and attending conferences? Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Please let me clarify at this point. I am not bullying Sky's decision. On the contrary. If I felt there had been an injustice (ah, maybe a little one, considering how ridiculously awesome I am) the tone of this post would have been ENTIRELY different.
My point is this: I am beyond qualified for this position. I understand and wholly appreciate the role extensive experience may play in a decision like this. I, however, am stuck in the purgatory that is the space of time between being considered a 'Graduate/Apprentice' applicant and a 'Young Professional'. What's with all the labels anyway? To be honest, considering the outstanding number of dedicated, creative, little fashionista bloggers, Im not all that surprised.
What I am, is disappointed.
Frankly, I feel I've been overlooked. I do not count this as an injustice because as the lovely Sky recruitment team noted in their email to me (and as above) they must get outstanding numbers of applications avalanching through daily, therefore logically, replying to every other failed applicant is not an option. Which leaves me at a crossroads.
Applications take time, applications take tremendous effort and as you would all know, rejection is draining. When (if ever) will I be considered good enough for Sky? Will someone tell me when I am right for them? Will I ever get the feedback I need to understand what it is I am lacking? If I seem such a bloody perfect fit for this particular application on paper, I must be missing something if I did not even get an inquisitive phone call?
I do not question my capabilities or my ambition. I do not question my inevitable success or my determination. I do not question Sky's professionalism and would still love the chance to work amidst their "culture of opportunity" and to be able to do "the best work of my life".
But where do I go from here? I am open to your suggestions.
Note: This is a wholly personal expression of experience and is in no way meant to dissuade/influence individuals' decisions to work with Sky. My job hunt is ongoing and this is by no means a white flag. And before any of you smart arses say anything, I am working applications faster and harder than a shearer with a hand piece in a scorching New Zealand summer. And I will continue to do so.
Ps. I will be moving from the blogspot address soon - too many glitches. Will keep you all posted.