Of the nine places I heard back from today, I was granted interviews at four. It’s a very good result, and certainly better than I had expected.

But like I said yesterday, these are hollow victories. Actually getting a job at any of these places is still two interviews and six weeks away.

Nevertheless, there are genuine victories in along with the hollow ones. To find them, you have to look at which places offered me interviews rather than how many. 

You see, my parents have been on the warpath recently, using every tenuous connection they can think of to try and get me job interviews. Ultimately, their efforts led them to securing two interviews for me. They told me that no matter what, I’d get interviews with these two firms.

My greatest fear going into today was that I’d log into my profile and find that the only two places which offered me interviews were the places that my parents had lined up for me. That would have been just as bad – if not worse – than finding nine rejections because that would have meant that all of the effort I put into this was meaningless. It would have indicated that I’m part of a hopelessly corrupt system in which it truly doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, so long as you know the right people. And worst of all, it would have shown me that I’m still nothing without my parents propping me up; that I can’t accomplish anything on my own.

Of the four acceptances I received, only one was a “parental guarantee”. The other three were places that my parents had never heard of. And that means that I earned those interviews on my own merit, and through my own efforts. And that is a genuine victory. It’s a small, fragile, barely significant victory, but it’s real and tangible, and I can hold it in my hands and proudly say “I did this”. 

It doesn’t matter that the other side of the ledger says that five places rejected me today. It doesn’t matter that I was rejected by an employer with whom I was supposedly “guaranteed” an interview. What matters is that all of that work I put in last month – waking up early to write cover letters, tearing myself away from an incredibly patient woman who flew 3000 miles to see me, taking on all the added stress that I didn’t need – it actually came to something. It might not be much, but it’s something. For now, that’s good enough for me.