On Wednesday the 7th March I had a job interview. On Saturday 10th March, I was rejected.

The job was a tutor position at a company called Explore Learning, providing after school, weekend, and holiday tuition to those aged 5-14 falling behind at school or are desperate to get ahead. The job was perfect for me; it would have made use of my English degree, I’d love to work with kids, and it would have fit around my evening job as a cleaner, so although it wasn’t a full time job, I’d still be earning somewhat decent money. Perfect job for me yes, however, it turns out I’m not perfect for the job.

I was at the boyfriend’s house on Saturday afternoon, him watching the rugby, me browsing the internet. I checked the email, and there was one lonely new message staring out at me; Explore Learning Interview in the subject box, in big black bold letters. My heart instantly began to race as I clicked to open it. It wouldn’t open. I had to close the internet page and start again. The boyfriend averted his gaze from the rugby to read the email with me. My eyes fixated on the paragraph that began with the word Unfortunately. I read it, ignoring the obligatory niceties, and tears started to prickle behind my eyes. I had told myself not to get my hopes up before entering the interview, but my hopes were way up high for this job and now they were completely dashed.

I sat in silence for a few moments, the boyfriend said some comforting words but I don’t really remember them; wanting to not dwell on it, I started to read some blogs here on WordPress. Looking at posts in whatever topic intrigued me. Happy posts to distract me.

I have started to dwell on it now though. Patiently waiting for a response to the email I sent back to them on Sunday, thanking them for their time and asking if they could tell me why I wasn’t successful; wondering if it was because I messed up a little bit in the role play situation where I had to demonstrate how I would help a child if they were having a problem with a maths question, totally blanking on how to do long subtraction; knowing for certain that the other candidates had more experience than I did; wondering how many more rejections I will have to go through before I actually get a decent job. There is so much more to me than being a cleaner; I just need somebody willing to take a chance on me so I can prove it.

I’m teetering on the edge at the moment; desperately trying to avoid falling into a pit of despair and insecurities, but finding it hard to remain positive. I’ve been out of university for 10 months now and I’m still yet to find a degree worthy job. Makes me wonder if the three years of my life spent getting that posh piece of paper were actually worth it; so far it hasn’t done me any favours. I take a little comfort in the knowledge that I’m not the only one; there are plenty of people, with or without degrees, who want to work but can’t catch a break.

I do have positive moments; I’ll feel upbeat and optimistic about getting a job, thinking that I can’t possibly go through life without getting one; that I must be patient and stick to the hunt; searching for a job, after all, is a full time job. But I am only human and patience does start to wear thin with all the rejection.

Definitely starting to miss school now.

  • So not to seem too pathetic and downtrodden, here’s something I found through a google search… a little something re-affirming of what myself, and I’m sure many others are aiming for

This entry was posted in education, inspiration, interviews, jobs, Journal, life, personal, thoughts, work. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Reject

  1. Hello! I’ve just come off of 2 years of underemployment, stepped into a more appropriate role in December, and feeling grateful and lucky. The way I landed the job was having volunteered in a community coalition, a place where there were a collection of great job search contacts. None of them were probably going to hire me, they just all worked in the industry I wanted to be in. So I didn’t network actively with them, just worked hard on the coalition goals. They were impressed, and one of them did recommend me into the job I landed, without my even asking. Just an idea… it also made me feel really good, to do hard, valuable work with passionate people and to be appreciated for that every time we met. So it was worth it, just for that! And since it was an all-volunteer coalition, people only agreed to do what they could fit into their lives. No judgment how little or how much. I think the key was that I really threw myself into it, no worries about whether I’d make mistakes or impress anyone. People really appreciated that.
    Anyway, for what it’s worth. I hope you find something soon. ~Margaret

    • sophie king says:

      Thanks Margaret, that sounds like a great idea. Gonna look into it right now, and even if it doesn’t get me a job, it’s still experience 🙂

  2. I’m struggling to even get interviews at the moment – not sure what’s causing it as I’m finding it impossible to get any feedback (constructive or otherwise) – hope they give you the feedback you’ve asked for.

    Hang in there…it’ll happen – I keep telling myself (and being told by others) that everything happens for a reason… As frustrating as it is to hear it – especially as this is month 8 of being unemployed and I’ve lost count of the number of roles I’ve gone for – I actually do believe it deep down inside.

    (Are there any places you could do volunteer work with kids that might give you an opportunity to work with them on their learning? Might bolster your CV a bit re practical experience – doesn’t matter if it’s paid or not… Just a thought 🙂 You’ve probably thought of it already! )


  3. Sarah Harden says:

    Hi, you don’t know me but I can relate so much with what you said that I had to comment. I stumbled upon this post when I was searching for interview tips for an Explore Learning job. It’s for an Assistant Director role and I’m pretty sure I won’t get invited for a second interview because I don’t interview well and I don’t have that much experience with kids (just a few months part-time volunteering).

    Anyway, I can relate to the rejections, it hurts. I graduated from university with a 1st in Psychology and I work part-time as a kitchen sales advisor. I don’t have a career goal, not really. I’m playing with the idea of becoming a primary school teacher but sometimes I wonder if I’m only considering this career because it’s a real job and I can’t think of anything else I could do. Anyway, it’s a loooong way into the future and I don’t know whether I could afford it.

    In conclusion, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling. All my other friends walked straight into awesome jobs or are doing further training. I wish you the best of luck. 🙂

    • sophie king says:

      Hi Sarah, thanks for commenting, it is nice knowing others are in the same situation.

      Congrats on the 1st in Psychology… I only got a 2:2 for my English degree, and I’m currently a cleaner. To be really honest, I don’t have a career goal either. Yes I want to be a writer, but it’s such a complex area and difficult to get into, that I want a job so I can have financial support, then work on my writing in my spare time. I really don’t expect a job as a full time writer really. I don’t want any old job though. I have a degree! I want a job that reflects that somehow.

      I know how you feel with friends walking straight into jobs as well. But then I think that they have degrees in vocational courses… law, for example, so of course they’re going to be able to get a job in that area.

      Hope it’s not getting you down too much… I definately have moments of despair as I wonder if I will ever get a job, which sucks, but you can’t dwell on things like that, you just gotta hope for the best.

      Best of luck to you too. 🙂

      • sinan sehin says:

        I just got rejected from my interview with Explore Learning! I was so depressed that I typed in google to read about other’s experiences and your blog was the first to come up. You are not alone. I had never heard of Explore Learning before but they opened a new centre where I live and I thought it was such a nice opportunity. I was told that I did badly on the maths question role play; mine was to teach fractions- I completely blanked, not least because I had not taught someone for a long time, but also because it was fractions, of all the topics! I am a graduate just like you and I graduated years ago and I have really struggled, to the point where I can’t even get a job as a Tutor for Explore Learning (for which the pay was not that great, and you are meant to be on trial for 6 months anyway). It is utterly shameful for me to get rejected for this job because the other interviewees at my interview were sixth form students that were about to go to uni and knew that they wanted to go into teaching. The people interviewing me were my age and I was the oldest interviewee, as well as a graduate, with teaching experience and more work experience than my interview rivals, and yet I lost out to them. I lost out to people who are still at school. Shameful. I want to rip my degree in pieces. I know that this post was written a while ago and I hope that you have moved on and things have got better for you since your experience with Explore Learning, but I thought your post was so heartfelt and emotional, I had to comment and share my experience! Teaching is incredibly hard, and so is finding a job and convincing someone to give you a chance!

      • Sophie K says:

        Hi Sinan,
        Sorry to hear of your experiences with Explore Learning. It completely sucks that sixth form students were offered the job, from what you said, you sound perfect. Personally I do think that I wasn’t the best candidate, but you seem to have the better education and experience, so it makes no sense for them not to hire you. Maybe they have some agenda, that they would rather have college students than graduates… like they feel graduates would be more likely to move on to somewhere else. I’m still struggling to find a degree worthy job; I know its because I lack experience but I need someone willing to give me a chance so I can gain that experience. I read an article today suggesting that unemployment amongst young adults is because we’re job snobs… well excuse me for not wanting to waste my education in a job that leads nowhere. Jobhunting for anyone is hard, frustrating and sometime contradictory, but you just got to stick with it. at least you have experience and know which direction you want to go in. I hope you find something soon.

  4. subtlekate says:

    I am wondering why you had a do a maths roll play if you are an enlish major? That doens’t seem a good use of your skills. Surly they have maths graduates to tutor in maths and English graduates to tutor in English?

    • sophie king says:

      Well the job was for tutoring in English and Maths.
      The children work on computer programs designed to improve maths and english, so if I had got the job, I would have been supervising their time and helping if they had any issues, rather than acting like a professional teacher.

      It was basic maths, but I completely blanked on long subtraction and using negative numbers.

  5. subtlekate says:

    I love your attitude

    • sophie king says:

      Well it’s either be positive and learn from experience or get depressed and feel inadequate. I do have my moments where I feel completely helpless but I try to remain upbeat for the most part

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