Polly digs… rejection

Polly Digs… rejection

Polly digs

Welcome to our blog series ‘Polly digs…’ , in which we chart the highs and lows of DigVentures’ own social media and community intern on her mission to find a job in archaeology!

Hi there! My name is Polly, and I am DigVentures’ communities and social media intern. I’m currently wading through archaeological career paths with Joe Flatman’s book Becoming an Archaeologist as my bible! I intend to keep track of all the experiences I’m going to face looking for life after university here in the Site Hut. Wish me luck!



April 29th 2013: the stats

Paid jobs applied for: 6 / Rejections: 1

Volunteering jobs: 2

This week has been one of ups and downs. At the very start of the week, bright and fresh on Monday morning, I was sent a rejection email. It was for a job that I was pretty over- qualified for, but was unfortunately for a large organisation, which I am sure had received hundreds of applications for the post.

My policy is to only rarely rant on twitter, I’m just not one of those people. But I did send out a tweet on that Monday morning, full of a very British passive-aggressive anger:

@Archpolly: Another day another dollar… Or not. More like another day giving work for free and getting another job rejection.

Luckily I was saved from feeling too sorry for myself, as my tweeps (twitter peeps) came to my rescue, sending messages of comfort and encouragement. And I may have also eaten some ice cream…ice cream3

This got me thinking about the nature of job rejection. Getting those ‘thanks but no thanks’ emails isn’t the end of the world. Yes, at the time it can be disappointing, especially if it happens to be one in a list of many, but rejections can also be seen in a positive light. I’ve decided to focus on this instead of driving myself crazy think about the negatives.

After eating a lot of Haagen-Dazs, I took the opportunity to sit down and spruce up my CV. I made sure it was all up to date and showing my skills to their best ability. I then spent this week actively looking for jobs and spending a lot of time filling out lengthy application forms. This process requires patience and determination, and I found that willpower from my rejection letter. It powered me on to prove that I am capable and dedicated and better than ‘they’ think I am.

Filling out application forms is a horribly slow and painful process, but it is useful for identifying and vocalising your abilities. By repetitively listing skills and successes, your brain is forced to recognise these qualities in yourself – which is a big confidence-booster. It is also good practice: after writing your tenth application form, you are bound to be better than when you wrote your first.

Here are my tips for job hunting:

–          The most important thing is to stay motivated. There is no one who has not felt the sting of a rejection letter at some point in their past. You are not the only one out there. Keep going.

–          Get as much feedback as you can. Feedback from interviews and applications is so crucial for self-improvement. And if they say they can’t give feedback in one of those mass produced bulk emails, find the name of the recruiter and send them a personal email. They can only say no.

–          Apply for lots of different roles. You might get an offer from something you hadn’t considered and find you love it.

–          Apply for jobs you think you are under-qualified for. What’s the worst that could happen?

–          Remember each rejection letter brings you closer to the acceptance letter!

–          Stay positive. If you need help with this, here is a picture of a highly skilled koala…


P.S. You might have noticed from my stats that I have gained another volunteering post this week. I’m trying not to spend too much of my time volunteering, but it is such great experience and in such a wonderful museum, I couldn’t turn it down! Hopefully I will be blogging more from the front line of volunteering sometime in the future.

Follow Polly on twitter: @ArchPolly

Are you going through the same thing? Or, do you remember the days when this was you? Get in touch with Polly  and share your experiences, send encouragement and suggestions, and of course – job opportunities…

Comments are open at the bottom of the post, or you can send her a message

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Written by Polly Heffer

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