What I’ve learnt from my job interviews with NET-A-PORTER and Burberry

Officially back on the job hunt

Whoever said job hunting was a full-time job wasn’t wrong. It’s an all-consuming and exhausting process and in today’s uncertain market it can take a toll on your mental health. After continues rejections (or worse, complete silence) you start questioning whether you’re good enough and if your skills are relevant. For me, it’s been a sobering and yet an enriching experience.

NET-A-PORTER

I knew I was going to have to take a few steps down to start working, yet I can’t help but aim high and so I decided to apply for a Jewellery Editor role at NET-A-PORTER. Working for a global e-commerce platform has been on my career wish list for some time and I see NAP as the Everest of online shopping.

I’ve become hooked on high jewellery and watches ever since I did my first still life shoot with Richard Mille three years ago. I’ve never seen such complex timepieces before and from that day I attended every jewellery event and launch in Dubai and beyond. The craftsmanship, gem selection and innovative construction had me captivated, as did the story behind each Maison that I worked with.

I knew I had the passion and content creation experience going into the interviews and was floored when I made it to the final two. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have as much expertise as the other candidate who spent several years working within a high jewellery house.

BURBERRY

After days of disappointment, I was back on the job hunt, searching between editorial and social media roles that covered either jewellery, fashion or beauty. Soon, I landed my first interview with Burberry Beauty to manage the social media content. I spoke to four people and then had to put together a presentation outlining a social strategy for a beauty launch. With very little marketing experience, I found it a challenge but I also enjoyed compiling a step-by-step coverage. I knew that it was a long shot and in the end they decided to go with someone who has a little more experience in social strategy.

Reflecting on these two amazing opportunities, I have come to realise a few things:

  • My broad experience is a good and a bad thing. I have many avenues I can take but I need to be aware that some companies want an expert
  • I have to be open to taking a few steps down and consider junior roles so I can gain expertise and contacts
  • I should big up the experience I do have more in interviews, including the fact that I have lived in the Middle East which for many is an important market
  • Invest in self-development – I have recently signed up to an online jewellery course and it’s fascinating
  • I have to spend time connecting with the HR team of companies that I want to work for
  • To learn from every interview experience
  • And most importantly, apply for jobs I genuinely love. I got the NAP and Burberry interviews because I really wanted them but I have been wasting my time applying for positions that I’m half suitable just to feel like I’m “job hunting” enough. It’s a waste of time for everyone involved.

The pandemic has made everything difficult but I know that I’m not alone and if I keep putting in the effort into applications that I’m truly passionate about, I will get there. For now, I’m going to maintain a positive outlook, enjoy my time with Lola, and be grateful for what I do have. At the end of the day, all it takes is for one person to say yes.

Good luck to everyone else job hunting!

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