Why I Stopped Applying For Jobs




Applying for jobs is tough.


You can spend so much time sending out job applications, editing your cover letter and CV to suit the role, researching the business, just to get a rejection, or more often than not, no response at all.


This is exactly where I found myself last summer after I graduated. As a very passionate and proactive learner, I’d always put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I worked insanely hard to get a clean sweep of A’s at GCSE (which I soon came to learn didn't matter to future employers), did the same for college, and again at University, trying to balance my studies, a part time job, and a social life.


So when I graduated and found myself out of the education system that I’d loved so much for the majority of my life, I was well and truly stuck. I had no clue what was next, what to do with myself, and how to navigate being a covid graduate. I was applying for jobs left right and centre. My search began by applying for jobs I loved the look of - the brand, the location, the role, tick, tick, tick, but when I heard nothing back from them, I decided to expand my search and maybe lose a tick or too along the way. It got to the point where I was so desperate to find work (mainly to keep my mind ticking over), that I was applying for anything and everything.



Rejection or a redirection?


Out of 200+ job applications, I probably heard back from about 3 companies, all of which were small, local businesses who I was very grateful to hear back from.


At this point, my mental health was really suffering as a result of this invisible pressure I was putting on to myself, and one day after shedding a lot of tears, thinking I wasn’t good enough, and having no purpose, I gave up. Giving up was the best thing I could have done, and arguably the key to where I am today.


I went cold turkey and decided to stop applying for jobs, no excuses. I still found myself browsing LinkedIn and The dots for roles ‘suited’ to me, but I told myself no, because my mental health was more valuable than any job could be.


As a creative person, I decided to channel this passion elsewhere, and decided to start drawing. After hours, days, weeks of scribbling on my Ipad, I decided I wasn’t too bad at it! I started to post my illustrations to Instagram as a form of portfolio, but one that was for me, and not for an employer at that moment in time.


This gave me a goal, an incentive to get up, get dressed, and do something with my lockdown days. I posted every day, and if that was my only accomplishment for the day, then I was happy. As my drawing journey continued to grow, so did the community I was engaging in. I celebrated my small wins, 100 followers, 150 followers, 300 followers. I hosted a drawing challenge, my first giveaway, and then celebrated 500 followers, 750 followers.


I know and preach to everyone that it isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the community, and the engagement that that brings. I opened an etsy store, bought a printer, started turning my drawings into prints, working on commissions. 1000 follower, 2000 followers, and now a year later, here I am with over 20,000 followers and a full time job I adore.



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Next Steps


The founder of Mindless, Laurie, had spotted my work online and reached out to me via LinkedIn to see if we could work together. We did, and months later, I returned to do a bit more work, and over time, a bit more work. Fast forward to now and I am the Creative Lead of Mindless Academy, Programme Coordinator, and get to work closely with our interns, our campaign partners, our university partners, and a network of like minded individuals, all on the same journey to help reimagine the world of work.


Just over a year ago, I was spending my days tirelessly applying for jobs, and now I’m being asked to be a reference for the lovely interns that work with us. I’ve really found myself doing a big 360, and I’m so grateful for the journey.


I’m grateful for the rejection. I’m grateful for the tears. I’m grateful for the resilience past me had, as it got me where I am today!


If something isn’t working for you, change it. Put yourself first. Follow your passions. Know that you have the power to write your own story!




Do you have your own job application story to tell? Reach out at info@mindlessacademy.com


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