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Author Topic: Trying not to get discouraged...  (Read 682 times)

Offline HopefulMillennial

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Trying not to get discouraged...
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:12:36 PM »
Hey all,

Recently, I have found that I am starting to get discouraged by the fact that I haven't heard anything back in about 2.5 months from PC. I know that with PC it is very much a "hurry up and wait" sort of thing, but it's just a bit of a bummer every day that goes by and I don't see an email in my inbox. Especially since people have been getting interviews since October and some people have even started being invited. If anyone has any words of solidarity, encouragement, wisdom, or even a "stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself" it would be greatly appreciated!

Offline omnombroccoli

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 10:55:37 PM »
I feel some guilt, because I know my invite was one of the posts that discouraged you, but there are two important things to remember.  Both fall into the tough love category, but you did say that was okay!

PC service is 27 months of frustration and boredom (and various other challenges and upsides too, of course), so the application process is but a teeny tiny test of readiness to serve.  Think of it that way.  A test.

Likewise, my interviewer mentioned they had over 25,000 applications for 4,000 positions--or something like that.  Of course PC wants the best of the best, so if you don't make the cut ultimately, you just gotta work to make yourself a better candidate in the future.  Nobody is entitled to serve--it's a tough job, so it makes sense that you gotta work hard just to get it.

If I may ask, what are your qualifications?  What countries/sectors are you most interested in?  Rather than feeling sorry, focus on making yourself irresistible.  It's worth remembering that you can always update your PO if you've started new volunteering/studies/whatever, so it's never too early (or late) to start improving yourself.

Offline HopefulMillennial

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 08:50:42 AM »
Please don't feel guilty about your invite, you deserve to be happy about it and I truly am happy for you. Forgive me if this comes across as a bit defensive, but I am well aware that no one is entitled to serve. In regards to bettering myself, I have already updated by resume twice and can confidently say that I check every box in both required and desired skills in some capacity.

I'm applying for Youth and Development or education, whichever they think I will be a better fit for. I have 2+ years of English tutoring experience, experience running and planning camps, a fairly extensive computer litearcy background, have a B.S., and an overall love of working with kids. While I'm aware that this may not be enough, if I get a no, at least I would know that it's time to pursue plan B rather than clinging to Plan A like a needy significant other as I am doing with PC.

I'm more so frustrated with myself in that I have allowed this to consume much of my waking thoughts and would rather just know instead of just sitting in this weird limbo of non-communication. While that would be ideal, I know that it is impractical and I need to figure out how to deal with it. I was just really using this space to vent and recieve perspective, because I find that it helps when I realize that I am not alone in my feelings of anxiety and that others have valid and useful coping mechanisms. Thank you for your advice though, I will be sure to heed it.

Offline omnombroccoli

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 04:26:12 PM »
Well off the bat, YiD is much more competitive than Education.  Did they tell you the sector when they put you UC?

Nearly all applicants have a B.S. and volunteer experience, so you still might need something else to put you above the rest.  That's the thing about the recent changes--they are attracting a much more qualified pool, so you need to really be special... or willing to work in a very unpopular country.  It's also worth noting that there are much less positions from August - April.  The vast majority are April - June as they try to attract the recent college graduates, so you are probably going to have better luck if you try again for that group.  That's also where most of the Education positions are, which are by far the easiest to snag.

I completely, entirely understand having it consume your thoughts, and trying not to put all your eggs in one basket.  I had several periods of time when I was making myself crazy and it took an act of will to think about and do other things.  You really gotta just try to distract yourself, possibly by beginning to pursue Plan B now, and then allowing yourself to be pleasantly surprised if/when they send you that invite.  And, if Plan B is at all related to your PC position, it serves double-duty of making you a stronger PC candidate and also preparing you to switch gears if needed.

Last piece of advice is... do you have any relevant experience living or working abroad?  That's a big one.  Now that they get so many candidates that are qualified for the job, they can put more of their focus into whittling away at candidates they think are likely to ET.  PC, of course, invests a LOT of time and money in each volunteer, so having people quit a few weeks or months in is something they obviously try to avoid.

Remember, if it doesn't happen this time, just KEEP TRYING.  If PC is that important to you, and you keep at it, you will eventually get in.

Offline HopefulMillennial

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 05:30:12 PM »
No, they did not tell me what sector that I'm UC for. Yes, I have some experience working abroad, but not much, seeing as that I'm still in school, but I'm not a quitter and I would push through it and would never ET. One of my reservations about pursuing my Plan B is that I will have to accept the offer rather quickly and the timeline for finding out is much shorter than PC. My problem with that is that I would hate to accept my Plan B if offered and not be able to get out of it and then get an invite for PC. When it comes to re-applying, I will definitely do so, but it's still a hard pill to swallow. I guess I'll just do my best to keep my head up and keep it moving, because honestly there's really no other choice.

Offline HopefulMillennial

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 07:57:06 AM »
Also, thank you so much for your kind words of tough love. Please forgive my defensiveness, I did not mean to come across as entitled or whiny. You have definitely given me a valid perspective and have made me realize that I need to chill the hell out. Thank you for that!

Offline mekalusi

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 10:24:18 AM »
Hey!
I'm completely here w/ you. I've been having a similar, yet different situation. Although I have been officially waiting over 2 months and 7 days (but whose counting, right? Haha), I'll randomly get  communication from my PO who will give me hope that there will be an interview, and then will not email me for at least 2-3 weeks. Ex: I received a skills addendum and got super excited. Turns out I'm either not enough of what she thought I was or the peace corps moves even slower than initially indicated by success stories. Point blank, I've been sitting in the dark for a while as well, which makes you start to second guess your qualifications. I would say I meet qualifications and exceed through volunteering abroad in that sector and prior tutoring. The wait really makes you rethink if you meet standards, if you said something wrong in your statement, wonder who your competition is, etc. So I am DEFINITELY here with you. Hopefully our wait will end by the time we pass three months waiting *fingers crossed*! But just know I, and probably a lot more volunteers, who haven't discovered these forums, are probably in our shoes as well...minus the support we have for each other :/.

Offline omnombroccoli

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 09:01:32 PM »
Nah, you're all good!  I don't think you are either of those things, but it is important to be mindful of your wording and how you present yourself online. 

I can tell you, I was a nutcase when I applied for where I am now, a program with a similar application process/timeline as PC, but having now been abroad for five years, I've learned to chill the hell out.  Living abroad is HARD, really hard, way harder than you'd think, and knowing that is why I cannot fault PC for doing things the way they do.  Nobody can truly grasp how rough it will be until they've done it, and I'm saying that as someone in one of the most developed, clean, and safe countries in the world.  (It's also worth noting that traveling/vacationing abroad, even studying abroad, is nothing compared to spending YEARS in a foreign country.)

And that's the best perspective I can offer.  If PC ultimately rejects you, it speaks very little to your professional qualifications, and certainly speaks nothing about your worth as a person.  You were put UC; that means you are qualified.  Rather, you had trouble proving to them that you can cut it better than the other applicants.  So, try again, and focus on that.

When the wait and application process ultimately starts to make you crazy, remind yourself that it is utterly beyond your control, and that you can always try again.

I understand though!  I would start to obsess over one thing I said in my interview, or the one typo on my statement of purpose, or whatever, but then it just took some cognitive willpower to change those thoughts into: PC isn't going to reject someone over something that stupid, dummy, and if they DO reject you, there is literally nothing you can do about it, so might as well relax.

Offline mekalusi

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Re: Trying not to get discouraged...
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 12:32:54 AM »
@omnombroccoli
I appreciate your candidness about the process and how hard it is to just 'chill out' and wait,  as well as what you stated regarding rejection! I needed to hear that!
But, just in case my previous message came off wrong(I'm not even sure if some of your statement was addressing something I said but the shoe felt like it fit lol), I have no doubt in my mind that  two years in PC is extremely difficult. I've read so many blogs that at this point I've come to the conclusion PC service really pushes and tests people's boundaries and understanding of the world and not one blogger has ever  stated things were remotely easy. Also, I can agree that time volunteering abroad is not the same as sticking it out for two years in a local village LIVING their lives alongside them. I always thought that volunteering abroad simply showed you have some ability to adapt to others culture around you to a certain extent, as well as showing your interest and ability in  teaching English as a second language. That's about it. I definitely can not say whether I would thrive in PC bc I had such an opportunity or experience equal to it!
Point blank: I never want to come off cocky to a PCV or RPCV. I respect anyone whose roughed it even for a few months in the PC! Not an easy task!