Turning a Negative into a Positive

So on Friday I received another job rejection (to be the archive assistant at the V&A) because other candidates “… had experience that was more closely matched to the role.” Fair enough, off course, OBVIOUSLY. As my work experience has mainly been volunteer work in libraries and archives I decided that maybe I would go get some volunteer work in a totally different industry as this maybe would make MY experience more closely matched to the role? It also gives me the security of knowing that if this does all go balls up then I have something else to fall back on. I found an internship for a picture editor that would utilise my digitization skills and keep my computer skills sharp.

This change of heart was also offset by a pub quiz with friends on Monday evening (yes I do have friends). Over dinner I mentioned that the whole archive job market was tough and that nobody was giving me a job to which my already very succesful friend said

“just send out 100 CVs, you’re bound to get at least 4 or 5 job interviews”

to which I replied

“there aren’t 100 jobs to apply for – at the moment there isn’t even 1.”

The table responded with silence and I took a large gulp out of my glass of wine. This got me thinking BIG time. I cannot restrict myself to the archiving industry as I run a huge risk of wasting my twenties. I haven’t given up but I definitely think that I need to be looking into other things as well so… I will still be starting my new volunteer job at The National Archives next week and I will still be applying for any archive assistant job that comes along and interests me but I also think I need to get my fingers in a few more pies. Who knows, maybe in the long run it will help me get my dream archive job?

Thank you V&A.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anna
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 14:53:40

    It’s not a good idea to send out 100 CV’s anyway; it’s far better to send out a few applications and tailor each individual application to the roles and responsibilities of each job, and to clearly state why you are applying for that job in particular. Also, I’m not sure about the tone of the phrase ‘no-one’s giving me a job’. Don’t lose heart though, as you clearly have lots of enthusiasm which is a definite bonus. Best of luck, I enjoy reading your blog!


    • holly1986fairhall
      Nov 11, 2010 @ 17:45:43

      No I wouldn’t be able to rememeber what I had applied for! Her heart was in the right place 🙂

      I am glad you are enjoying the blog Anna – it is always good to get positive feedback. Please keep reading.


  2. CJ
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 16:30:51

    I know exactly how you feel Holly. After 18 months of rejections and wasted expenses on interviews which go nowhere I have decided to go down the primary teaching route instead. I will still try to continue with my volunteering at the National Archives out of interest, and just in case anything does come up, but at 23 with £30,000 of student debt I can’t afford to nanny forever more while I wait for someone to give me a chance. I wish you the very best of luck! x


    • holly1986fairhall
      Nov 12, 2010 @ 18:12:46

      I am so sorry to hear you have had a rough ride but 23 is still young!

      I am thinking that without my work experience in archiving my CV would be much emptier and I would never have developed a passion for digital humanties and the way that it can be related to new media so I am glad that I did / am doing it.

      Good luck with teaching and please keep reading!


  3. Bry
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 08:24:55

    Holly – I have only read your most recent blog posts so forgive me if this is already discussed: Are you in the process of applying to do the MA in 2011/12? Of course doing an internship is great because you get paid but if you’ve got a ton of varied volunteer experience already that might count as sufficient to get you onto the course. And you have to apply nearly a year before the course starts so if you do get a place you can continue building your skills until next September, and if you don’t you can apply to do internships 2011/12 in the Spring.

    Getting knocked back is hard, I know, but as they say on the Lottery you have to be “in it to win it” and you could end up qualified a year earlier than anticipated!


  4. Braintree
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 23:41:04

    I’m not sure this is any help but I, too, was rejected for that role though I think that was always going to be the case as I don’t get my undergraduate degree until January so was kind of taking a chance applying for a job that asked specifically for graduates!

    I think your best bet, as I’m finding, is to do volunteering at repositories that offer paid traineeships. Sounds ruthless but I’ve heard from a few people that you are at least guaranteed an interview when it comes to advertised traineeships and, when you are qualified, jobs.

    Best of luck with The National Archives volunteering. Unfortunately I no longer live in London so even finding volunteer roles are a bit of a struggle.


  5. Sheila
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 14:02:19

    Perhaps you’ve already responded to this elsewhere, but I agree with Bry; an MA is really necessary to compete in these tough job-hunting days! Are you planning to apply? It can also be possible to continue volunteering and doing some work experience while an MA student.


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