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Why you should shoot your shot

No, not that kind of shot. I am talking about the kind of shot which opens the door of opportunities. But let me explain a little bit more about what I mean. 

Last year, I was searching for a job like an absolute maniac. Since it was during the peak of the pandemic, there were not many jobs being advertised and it also meant that there was increased competition. What made it even worse was that since I was fresh out of Sixth Form, I did not have much experience within the working world.

That lead to many emails that read like this: “Unfortunately, we’re sorry to say that you haven’t made it through to the next stage”. Or this one – which I hated the most – “We regret to inform you that you have not been successful but please check our page for more opportunities”. Sometimes I would not even get a reply. I was disheartened and got really frustrated because I was trying my best but it seemed like nobody cared or wanted to give me a chance. To be honest with you, there was even a point where I felt like crying…and I did. 

After days of feeling defeated, something told me to ‘shoot my shot’. At first, I thought it was a silly idea and I kept applying for jobs in the traditional way. But when I was still not getting any replies, I ended up sending my CV and cover letter to over 20 companies. The truth is that many of them simply told me to check their careers section and wait for a vacancy to be advertised. However, one day I received a call from a company which then led to an interview and eventually, I got the job!

I was so shocked because I felt that I was unqualified for this role and it actually required more experience than the other jobs that I was rejected from. I absolutely love where I currently work and I have since been able to enhance my skills as well as level up my CV! What makes it even better is that this role pays so much more than the other roles that I initially applied for which was a huge plus. 

To think I got this job by simply expressing my interest in a role that was not even advertised made me realise that there were probably other things that I am missing out on. Imagine if I did not send that email? I may have still been looking for a job. This is why both you and I should stop waiting for other people to create opportunities for us. 

We should create opportunities for ourselves. 

Maybe there is something you really want to achieve like getting work experience, an internship , a placement or finding a mentor to help you get into your desired industry. Whatever it is, please remember that you don’t have to wait for the opportunity to be presented to you. For all we know, the only thing standing between you and your goal is an email. 

However, it is worth noting that it is not always easy. Sometimes you might score lucky on the first try and other times you may need to reach out to 10 people before getting your desired outcome. Nevertheless, you need to persevere and stay consistent because at the end of the day it will be worth it. You also have nothing to lose! 

There are so many incredible opportunities and experiences waiting for you. 

All you need to do is actively pursue them. ? 

As Shakti Gawain once said “You create your opportunities by asking for them”

There are so many useful websites you can visit which will tell you how to draft certain emails before you send them. But below I have put together some useful tips and tricks.

  • Be polite and formal but don’t be boring – Whilst it is important to be professional, put a bit of your personality in the email and let them know what kind of person you are. After all, you could end up working with them!  
  • Be concise – let them know who you are and why you are writing to them in as little words as possible. It is quite likely that the person you are writing to is quite busy so try to get to the point quickly
  • Do your research – make sure you know about the history of the company or the career journey of the person you are writing to. It will display your passion and genuine interest to work for/with them
  • Make sure to tailor your email – don’t send a generic email or cover letter otherwise, you will come across as lazy. Make it personal and remember to include the reasons why you are a perfect fit for the company and the role or why you would like to meet with that specific person

And remember “ A wise woman will make more opportunities than she finds.” 

Written by Syah

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