Let me start with an apology. It’s been over two weeks since our Love Island King and Queen were crowned, and I’m only now distilling the show’s career wisdom into the traditional annual blog post (see 2017’s and 2018’s gems if you missed them). I could pretend I’ve been busy with urgent careers business, but clearly I’ve just needed some time off to process the shock result and catch up on the socialising (ahem…other TV) I’ve missed over the summer. Better late than never though, because LI 2019 didn’t disappoint. Here are the three main career lessons I’ve taken from the show:
1) Appeal is in the eye of the beholder
Remember when Maura first admitted she fancied Curtis, and the nation let out a collective “Huh?!”. And then her Mum came into the villa and said encouraging things like, “Well, you obviously must see something in Curtis, I guess”, while unashamedly pieing him for Ovie? But Maura was undeterred. She so clearly adores Curtis, and you retweeting an image comparing him to a dancing ring-tailed lemur isn’t going to change that.
In careers, as in love, everyone has different taste. If those around you seem enamoured by a certain career path – great! But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be too. Take the time to investigate what exactly the day-to-day work looks like, and if it would suit you as much as it suits them. Labour market information sites like Prospects and iCould can be good places to start. And if you’ve found a career you think you might love, of course it’s sensible to listen to the advice and concerns of others, but remember ultimately your job needs to make you happy, not anyone else.
2) Your true feelings will eventually show through
Curtis gave being the best half-boyfriend in the world a good shot. He made endless cups of tea and showered “fantastic young lady” Amy with misguided compliments on her “talent”. But his heart just wasn’t in it. As soon as Casa Amor put him to the test, his true feelings were revealed, and Amy got hurt.
Faking attraction to a career can be similarly exhausting, and cause just as much bother. That’s why employers ask why you want to work for them, what you know about the role and their organisation, and why you think you’ll be a good fit. They know if your heart’s not in it, you’re probably not going to be happy or work very hard for them, and you may leave before they want you to.
So obviously to perform well in the recruitment process you should thoroughly research the role and organisation beforehand, and practice selling the skills they’re after. Our UCL Careers Essentials online course offers tips on how to do this. But if you find you’re faking your motivation and strengths, it can also help you reassess your options!
3) Rejection is sometimes for the best
Despite staying true in Casa Amor, Amber was ditched by Michael. She was of course heartbroken at the rejection. It was almost too much to watch…
…and yet we still watched. And what we saw was that Michael probably (definitely) wasn’t the best catch in the sea for her anyway. And then we saw her meet and win the series with Irish-rugby-player-and-so-far-seemingly-lovely-overall-sweetheart, Greg.
Just like Love Island, jobhunting can be filled with rejection, and it can hurt and knock your confidence. It’s important to recognise rejection happens to everyone. Often getting feedback, making adjustments, filling gaps, and trying again can do the trick. But don’t butt your head against a brick wall. Sometimes rejections are a sign a role wasn’t the right fit for you, and that your Greg, £50K cash prize, and online retailer sponsorship deal will be found elsewhere.
If you’re struggling with any aspect of the jobhunting process, come on in for a one-to-one appointment with a UCL careers consultant.