And here we are. It is 2018! A new year has arrived and nothing has changed for me (yet). Let me just recap, very quickly, my 2017 for you. I started the year being unemployed, did some work for 6 months and I finished the year being unemployed again. It sucks, I know.
When we moved to Malta in October 2016, I have to confess that I had no idea that it would be this hard. I left Ireland with a big fat hope that everything would work out just fine in Malta. I could not wait to experience living abroad again but now as a professional woman who had a career and years of experience working for giant international companies. All I could hear from everyone was “with a CV like yours you will have no problem finding a job!”. I believed them. I also believed in me and what I have done and what I am capable of so I thought that it would be just a matter of time to find a good job.
Oh boy, have I been wrong! I was not prepared for the reality of Malta! All I have always heard about recruiting is not valid over here. I can tell you as a fact that the majority of the companies here do not give a single crap about your skills, past experiences and potential… and I mean it! All they care is how long you’ve been working in the industry they all are in, igaming! Yes, Malta is full of igaming companies (aka gambling providers) so if you don’t have experience working in this industry, good luck to you!
I have applied for so many jobs and all I get is silence or rejection emails. I love how the email says “you don’t have the skills we are looking for” or “we have application from candidates who are a closer match to the skills and experience required for this role”. I mean, I understand other candidates are more suitable for the role and I respect that. But don’t tell me I don’t have the skills you are looking for when I know I do and my CV shows you that too! 98% of the companies also don’t care about sending you a rejection email, they just go silence forever.
At the beginning this really shocked me as I was used to Ireland where companies have to give you a feedback regarding your application within 2 weeks, even if it’s a “no but thanks”. Here, they just don’t bother and that tells me a lot about them and how they work. So I really appreciate and respect the ones who send me emails with the lines I wrote above.
In odd times you do find someone (a recruiter or a hiring manager) who read a CV how it was supposed to and contact you. I had 6 jobs interviews during this 15 months in Malta… yes, 6! One of them was for a company that it’s in the content moderation business and were super excited with the fact that I worked for Facebook doing the same thing, one was for a tech company so my CV was relevant and the other 4 were for igaming companies with foreigner hiring managers that saw my potential and gave me a chance. You all know I was hired by one of them because the hiring manager knows how hiring works… when it’s an entry level you hire the person for the potential! Sadly I left the company 6 months later… for many reasons. After that, I was almost hired again by another igaming company as the hiring manager understood my skills and potentials. Unfortunately, after being the chosen candidate the company had some undisclosed problems internally and decided to pull back the role. Yep… it sucks for me!
Was 2017 good for me? We can all agree that it was NOT! I have never felt so lost in my life! I have never felt so useless and unappreciated like this ever before. Malta was a huge reality check for me. I have always believed in me and in what everyone ever said about my working experiences and ethic. Well, I guess we can all agree that have been worked for one of the biggest companies in the world really doesn’t mean anything once you are in a country that only cares about the industry they care about. I learned the lesson Malta, I learned.
So why am I still here you ask? Because it is not just about me. There is someone else’s career on the line and I am a supportive person. When you love someone and are proud of them then you just stay and support. It has been about me for so long so it’s ok if I am not in the podium this time. I know I will be back up there again in the future.
Life is like this isn’t it? One day you win and another day you lose… and another day you just don’t compete in the race, you take a break. Maybe I should just embrace that I am taking a break. I am tired of losing!
Sometimes I look at myself and I honestly don’t know how I manage to still be so positive about my working situation! How the hell I have not had a horrible meltdown yet it’s beyond me! Wow, this might be the biggest sign of confidence or I am now just 100% sure that I have totally mastered the “fuck this shit” mojo I’ve been living on for so many years! Hey, what doesn’t kill you indeed make you stronger.
But seriously speaking now… My working life has been on hold since October 2016, really. My brain hasn’t really been challenged since and I have not once felt useful, which is a crucial feeling for me to keep motivated and going. But life is not just work, right? Thank God! Apart from work, everything else is going fine…. Well, I don’t have friends in Malta but I still manage to live a happy and positive life. I focus on me, G and my dog and that’s enough for now.
For what is worth, during this past not so great 15 months, I learned that I don’t need much and that once I am strong in the inside the outside cannot and will not break me! I can keep trying and failing but as long as I am true to myself and as long as I don’t let this get into me, I am fine! Acceptance is really a powerful thing. Denial only brings self-doubt, fear and sadness and I don’t want or need this in my life. So I decided I am not competing in this race for the moment but I will keep an eye on the track-field (without any pressure) just because you know… things can change. I know I will have my place in the podium again when the time is right so until then, I better enjoy the sunshine.