So, you think you’re having a hard time succeeding? Here is my story…

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So, you think you’re having a hard time succeeding? Here is my story…

And I’ll get right to the point. I moved to live in Luxembourg on 4th of August 2018. It was almost seven months ago. (*I came here because my husband got a job)

For me, it was like a big chance to start a new life. Since my on-line shops are definitely not making enough for a living I thought I’d upgrade my skills and get a job. Apparently, Luxembourg is craving for skilled workforce. Well, after you read all this – one thing will be clear, they are craving for anyone except for me. Why? Well, there goes one million dollar question. After all the job applications I’ve sent in vain (the partial list is down below), it still remains a mystery to me.

Rewind to a misty day in Luxembourg, three years ago. Unbeknownst to me at the time, these photos I captured were a prelude to my future in this enchanting country. Each image is a glimpse into a world shrouded in fog, a mysterious and captivating moment frozen in time before Luxembourg became my home.

I’ve been a photographer and a graphic designer for 25 years and I was quite confident I will find job in Luxembourg soon.

And this is how my story begins.

Last Things First

Here is the story of last Friday, when I finally broke down and decided – this has to be documented, put on the paper and published. Because it’s just wild.

After six months of trying literally everything to get a job or improve my on-line business, I accomplished nothing. And finally, last Friday, when Meero.Com even refused my photographs in one of my applications for interior photographer, claiming that I was using a lenses which were not supposed to be used for the project and that the tripod was too high… well, that did it. I broke down. The matter of fact is that I don’t even own the lenses they claimed I used. And I used my my meter measuring tape, taking height measures before each shot exactly because I did not want to be refused for that reason… well, they still claimed my tripod was too high.


So, what do you do with this kind of experience? Apart from getting depressed and feeling like giving up?

Well, I decided to start a journal. If nothing it will be a worthy monument to limitless amount of tries that produced no results at all.

Maybe, if one day I manage to succeed, maybe it will be an inspiration to all of you who are trying hard to making it. For those of you who try and fail and try again and fail again and again and again. However, I warn you. I still did not make it, so no happy end is waiting at the bottom of this blog post.

And this diary starts here. Today.

Yes, I am starting my journal, my diary, my chronicle of failures here. The working title is “How I failed”. No, this is not a story about perseverance with a happy end. At least not yet. This is the story about my numerous, colossal amount of tries which all failed and that’s it. Nothing worked. Whatever I tried – just did not work.

I’m gonna run this journal as a kind of tragicomic story. Why? Because I have two choices at this point. One, to just quit and… well, do nothing and wait and see what life brings or I can at least document it as a kind of curiosity. I don’t know many people who tried for so long and failed so many times.

What am I doing wrong? I bet there are plenty of life coaches around who would read this and find a whole bunch of things where I did wrong. But it does not matter. I know I tried everything.

The List

Here is non-exhaustible list of what I did from August 2018. to February 2019. without any success whatsoever:

Things I did To Get A Job

  1. Being an experienced graphic designer, I figured UX/UI design is a next natural step for “moi”. So, I did 20 certifications on UX Design and Marketing. (Yes, 20. It is all visible on my LinkedIn account. (Did not help at all. See list of unsuccessful job applications below.)
  2. Started an Design Thinking learning path at Interaction Design Foundation (still ongoing)
  3. Finished A1 French course and continued learning French.
  4. Continuously learning Danish on Duolingo for a 19 months. I know, Danish does not matter here in Luxembourg, but I figured, what to hell, maybe someone will need someone like me who also speaks a bit of Danish. And I like the language by the way.
  5. Joined ADEM (State Employment Office) in Luxembourg, which didn’t helped at all except that I got a “voucher” for a discounted French course on level two now. The other disappointment connected to ADEM was Fit4Entrepreneurship EU campaign where I can get how to create a web site and use social media. Nothing about how to get a loan or any concrete assistance with a startup. I just lost my time and energy and felt foolish.
  6. Joined Meero.Com. (That was a breaking point of which I wrote above.) and tried to make a test photoshoot for real estate photographer. First I was taking a photoshoot using the wrong pdf instructions which I downloaded from their site. I even travalled to Brussels to a particularly fine AirBNB appartment to do this.
    • Finally, after getting the correct instructions, they refused my photos and my application. The reasons for refusal were: photos taken at 16mm focal point. What?! I don’t even have 16mm lens!!! I could not take a shot at 16mm even if I wanted!
    • Second reason for refusal was – tripod was too high?!?!?! – I was measuring the height of my tripod for each and every shot, keeping it, as suggested, between 110 and 120 cm.
  7. Attended “WomenHack” Luxembourg and spoke with 5 recruiters (all of them). They were all looking for developers and programmers, so nothing for me. But, I met nice girls from Huxley, mingled with one girl from France, two from India, one Italian and one Serbian. There was a famous Docler Holding, who obviously refused my application again, with no explanation at all.
  8. Finally, here is a list of Luxembourg based companies where I applied for advertised graphic, digital and UI designer positions:
    • Presss s.à r.l.
    • Fiduciaire Nordstrooss N 7 SA
    • KPMG
    • Deloitte
    • 350 org
    • Dino Marco s.à r.l.
    • Photo Design Team
    • Charles Kieffer s.a.
    • Docler Holding
    • Alter Domus
    • PM – International AG
    • Computer Task Group, Inc.
    • FBM
    • ADN Communication S.A.
    • Arhs
    • Amazon
    • Plastoria
    • Nordea…

…and many more…

…for which I do not have any trace because it was submitted using an online form without any receipt confirmation or replies.

Three of them stand out:

  1. PM – International AG stated that “I do not match the requirements” as a graphic designer. Also they stated that “due to the large quantity of applications received for this position…”. 3 weeks later they posted the same vacancy again.
  2. Arhs. They stated that I suck at graphic design (not that obvious, but still).
  3. CTG, stated that they do not have any position open, but still, 4 months after my submission they are still looking for someone. This was Web Manager position, but hey, I had all the listed requirements and more.

Why was I not good enough for any of them? Still a mystery to me.

Things I did to improve my on-line business

Apart from all this, at the same time, I did my best to improve my on-line shops. Here is what I did:

  1. Redesigned Graphics-Illustrations.Com web site and PhotoshopFreebie.Com. Went through all the posts since 2007. until now, checked and updated plugins and resized images.
  2. Created and published 86 new digital products here on Graphics-Illustrations.Com, then in Etsy and in my GreenBulbGang shop. I am managing three shops on daily basis, sharing posts on my graphics related Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Uploaded some of the products on Dreamstime, Shutterstock, Getty and Bigstock.
  4. Weekly posting on PhotoshopFreebie.Com website, my own free downloads or I search and post from other sites – with the links of course.
  5. Opened shop on DesignBundles.Net and uploaded 25 products for now.
  6. Opened shop at MasterBundles.Com and uploaded 3 products for now (but only one approved until now).
  7. I regularly refresh my Cats-magazine.Com Shop web site. Cats Magazine is also on Facebook and Instagram, I upload photos almost on a daily basis there. I am also using Tumblr.
  8. Published 7 GBG newsletters with countless free downloads and products for sale as well.

Wild, right?

If you went through all this, you’ll probably think the same as I do: “That’s wild.” How can it be that someone tries so hard and gets almost no results?

I don’t know. Really. But, I think that my story is so “grotesque” that it is worthwhile noticing.

To be continued

Yes. The struggle continues. And I will add one more thing to this list. And it’s this journal. I will do my best to write down everything I try. I will track all the actions I take and maybe, it will stay here as a final proof – trying long and hard is sometimes just not enough. There must be something in the stars.

Love you all,


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Join Our Creative Family: Discover the Art of Design with bsilvia, Your Friend in Photography and Graphic Design From Art Director to UX/UI Designer and now your guide since 2007, I'm here to share 25 years of passion and expertise to make your creative journey a joyous one!

2 thoughts on “So, you think you’re having a hard time succeeding? Here is my story…

  1. Wow! Truly crazy! Not even sure what to say. You’re so talented. Hang in there Sylvia. And thanks for taking such good care of us when clearly you could use a break.

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