I am a dedicated individual looking at gaining work in the aviation sector. I’m fresh out of High School, and my college degree requires at least one year of work experience. I love working with customers, and am looking at an entry level role, then moving up the ranks after I gain my degree (which is a requirement to have a degree for managerial positions. Normal customer service roles not so much).

I have been working tremendously hard over the past six months. Emailing HR representatives of companies, and literally studying the systems in detail myself.

I have been offered work experience placement with an airline for one evening which I gladly took up. The airline does not hire those under 21, but I received a reference letter which included sentences such as ‘convinced that he will make a brilliant addition to any organization’ and ‘will be a valuable asset to your organization.’. Also, ‘will not hesitate to recommend Debbie to any position’.

I have continued to ask around HR managers if they can offer any positions even voluntarily so I can gain that valuable work experience. I received many replies. Some of them including ‘Yes, it would be fantastic to have an extra hand, email me in the next month when we have daily flights, and we can get everything sorted then’.

I was so excited to finally have someone who I can work for voluntarily, and was looking forward to it for weeks. I emailed her the next month and received a reply stating that they couldn’t offer this position anymore due to them hiring staff at capacity.

As well as this, I received other replies from people who have mentioned things similar to ‘I’m sure we can work something out, let me ask around and I’ll get back to you next week’ - only to receive no response.

Every time this happens, I am so devastated. I get excited about something happening and prepare everything, learn the systems, and it doesn’t. My question is, how can I keep myself motivated when searching for a position? I have been declined or not responded to (after they said they would) many times now, and now it just feels like the norm.

I have the references, the skills, the passion… but I just feel devastated every time I get declined. I really appreciate your help. Sorry about the long post.


7 Answers 7


“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! ”

― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa.

  • 1
    For those who're into this quote and like techno/trance/remixes (from 0:50): youtube.com/watch?v=KSxnKdbYSqM -- Elektronomia, Vision.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 13:19
  • Down-voters please leave a comment.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 9:45
  • 3
    I didn't downvote you yet. Your quote is useless advice - are you telling her to repeat the same strategy that didn't work for her in the name of not giving up, or what? I don't see recommendation in your answer let alone any recommendation that's actionable. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:42
  • 1
    She stays motivated when she gets better results. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    Not really, she'll simply be happy with it being over with. Anyway I find this discussion pointless. Thank you for your input, I understand what you're saying, I disagree however on the quote not being helpful.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:54

Here's what I was told back in 2001 when the IT market collapsed. To give you some background, I put out over 1000 resumes in the year that followed.

The group I joined beat one thing into my head: Everything is sales. When you are job hunting, the product is you.

Buy some books on closing a sale, and take it to heart.

As to maintain motivation, I'll give you a tip from sales: Every "no" gets you closer to a "yes", and you need only one yes.

Sales knows that it is a numbers game. They know that for every X times they hear a "no", they will hear a "yes". You will get a job, and every time you hear a "no", you are closer to getting that job. THAT is the mindset that will keep you motivated.


When applied for my first job, I filled out over 40 online applications. 10 companies interviewed me, at least 30+ interviews, 12 with one company alone, and then I got 1 offer.

You've got to cast your net a lot to catch a fish.

Try not to get emotionally attached to every specific application. Think of it as a work, and judge yourself on how many great applications you can do in a week or month.

Don't forget to reapply after a suitable time. As a hiring manager I can say that sometimes I see a candidate that is really great, but I don't have a position right now. In 6 months, that can change.

So, work hard and keep it at, you'll get something I am sure.

Oh and remember to include other things in your life, so you are not defined by this struggle. Go out, see friends, exercise etc.

Good luck!


One of the hardest emotional aspects of job hunting is changing emotional state. When you are making your application, you need to want the job and put your best into the application. From your post, I can see you're doing that. But as soon as you submit the application, you need to become completely neutral about the company again. There are no guarantees to get the job, or even a reply.

  • Thank you for replying :) I've gotten responses such as '‘Yes, it would be fantastic to have an extra hand, email me in the next month when we have daily flights, and we can get everything sorted then’. So I get excited, and finally think I've found where I can get work experience from. But then a month later it's a no due to some 'other reasons'. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 23:04

Apparently, you are approaching your prospective employers the right way because you are getting a very good initial response rate in your prospective field - in fact, better than mine in my field even though I am far more experienced and skilled in my field than you.

The fact that nothing came up could mean that you are running into a wall, the wall being either company policy or the law. If this is the case, I don't expect any number of positive references and recommendations and enthusiasm to change anything - I don't see your prospective employers going through the trouble of getting you a waiver over an entry-level position. Aviation is pretty heavily regulated, by the way, and this may affect their ability to hire people off the street.

You might consider applying for positions at other companies not in aviation where the skills and experience you acquire in these positions are easily transferable in whole or in part to aviation.


As I am not in your shoes, I can't really tell how you feel, so these advices might not be what you are looking for, but you can take them into consideration when having similar thoughts.

First of all, I am not sure what you mean when you are saying "learn the systems", but by learning something related to a company or process is a very big advantage which will help you in the future, even if you can't tell now how it will. Consider this: you already have knowledge about certain processes which will lead into you taking better decisions in the future by having comparison models.

Secondly, you are very young, just finishing High School and are already searching for a job, applying, "learning the system", getting rejected, trying again. This is the purpose of life. Trying, failing, trying again, failing again and so on... but eventually succeeding. Try to overlook the rejection or failure and see the bright side of learning a lot of information, growing your network by emailing, discussing, etc. You might not realize it yet, but this is a great thing which you are doing.

Last, but not least, try to focus on progress. Progress on learning, progress on growing your network, progress on everything. Progress will eventually lead to results (even if those results will have to be improved again by getting a bigger paycheck, etc.)

  • Bine spus! Bine ai venit pe Workplace SE
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:58
  • Mersi de welcome! :) Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 15:17

This is a very interesting question in the time of the coronavirus when unemployment is on the up. The airline industry is in particular difficulty as many countries are closing their borders. The prospects for jobs with airlines are among the worst.

  1. Keep up your efforts with the airlines but do not expect immediate results. Airlines may be looking to save on employment costs when economies restart, replacing older staff with cheaper younger employees.

  2. Travel booking opportunities will briefly be a growth opportunity for the next few months as travel gets started again with some countries trying to return to "normal" with others like Australia and New Zealand being severely restricted even though they have very low coronavirus infection levels. It will be difficult for the average person to understand the rules for each country and knowledgable travel agents will be in demand.

  3. To counteract depression and keep your motivation up keep fit and use your time to take more exercise, eat well and lose weight if you need to. Look after yourself while you have the time and feel good about yourself.

  4. Learn a new language, spanish is a good start if you are in the US.

  5. Volunteer for support groups for diaspora where you are broadening your interests in travel.

  6. Stay safe and wear a mask!

"It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor."

  • Cicero

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