Illustration of a woman by Sian Williams

Three Steps for Success

Art by Sian Williams

I get everything I want. 

I understand how that might sound, but it’s true. If I want that scholarship, I’ll get it. If I want that internship, I’ll get it. I’m not a straight HD student, or a straight Distinction student for that matter — I simply write well. I can talk my way through any selection criteria, any interview panel, any phone call. This seems great, and I bet you want to know my secret, but if I’m being honest, there isn’t one. Though I have gathered a few tips and tricks along the way which I would like to share with you. 

 

One

Find a new best friend.

Who should this best friend be you may ask? ANU CareerHub, obviously. I check this godsend of a website every week, without fail. Next, research the employment avenues your academic college offers. For example, the CBE Global Talent Portal and the COL Legal Vitae are incredible avenues to explore current job opportunities. Create a LinkedIn profile, trawl through Seek and Indeed — do it all. You’ll be surprised what you can find when you’re actually looking. 

 

Two

Document your life story and lock it away for safekeeping. 

Jot down every opportunity, experience, or job— however minuscule— that you’ve ever had and attach them to the classic selection criteria. The compulsory ‘youth leadership’ program you attended in Year 10? That was extremely challenging and required a high-level of independence and maturity. The 10-day school trip you took to New Caledonia for French class? That explored your comfort zone and taught you how to adapt to new and unfamiliar environments.

Your life experiences don’t need to be special, they just need to sound special. 

 

Three

Think outside the box. 

As soon as I was accepted into the ANU in 2019 I began job hunting. I knew Kambri was about to open and I was determined to work somewhere in this ‘bold new campus experience’. I found one relatively ambiguous and uninformed news article highlighting the first few vendors to open up in Kambri and within days I had found a Kambri vendor’s Facebook page, set up an interview and soon after the job was mine. This all happened in January of 2019, so it’s a little too late for you now. That’s okay, think further outside the box. Handing in your resume to the cafes on Lonsdale Street isn’t going to get you to where you want to be. Before you say it, no, Kambri was not my forever-plan, but I was able to draw upon my ‘unique understanding of the ANU student experience’ to receive another job offer for a marketing role on campus, which was exactly what I wanted. 

 

Four

Forget everything I just said.

All of the above is genuinely helpful and it has made all the difference in my career, but it hasn’t actually helped me. After a confusing and wholeheartedly what-the-hell 2020, to put the cherry on top of the cake little old me decided that she had no idea what she wanted to do in life.

I was suddenly questioning everything. 

Should I quit my internship? 

Should I defer uni? 

Should I spend all my savings? 

I spent my summer days crying down at the Cotter (very coming-of-age film of me) and feverishly writing in my journal, but nothing seemed to help me find an answer. I guess questioning your future is a rite of passage for all 20-somethings, but this was never where I was meant to be. It’s taken me a long time to accept that I need to make a change in my world, but I think I’m at a point now where I’m excited to leave everything behind.

 

So here are my steps for success. These may not (should almost certainly not) apply to you, but this is what I hope will work for me.

  1.       Quit all jobs*
  2.       Defer my university program
  3.       Travel Australia

I guess the most important take away from this is that you can beef up your CV as much as humanly possible, you can receive every accolade and opportunity under the sun, but you can’t satisfy the suffocated feeling inside you that wants to truly live.

I was the girl who knew exactly where she was going, exactly where she wanted to be. Right now, this girl has no idea about anything, but she’s pretty excited by that.

 

 

*A note to any of my current employers: this will be occurring in Semester 2, 2021. I promise to give you ample warning and I hope that I can work with you again in the future.

 

 

 

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