Never Giving Up
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People are often solely identified with their occupations in our current culture. Immediately after graduating from college a we are expected to land a job or else we are considered to have a hellish and unlivable life. Although I was always a bright student and completed my masters with high grades and distinction, I failed to get placed immediately after graduation. The recession began as soon as I graduated, and many people were losing their jobs. Professionals with years of experience were ready to work for a much lower salary, and if there was an opening for 3 positions at any given company almost 300 people would be waiting in the office for an interview. The competition was getting tough and my self esteem was deteriorating as this process continued. I felt the anxiety and depression taking over. Although many of my fellow classmates were jobless, I felt that my misery was more intense than that of others because this was the first time since my experience with school that I was idle in any way. This was the first time that I felt my life at been halted without knowing what was next.
I felt hurt and angry. Jobs are not just a way to make a living. Jobs influence our self-Image and social – image. Without a job you could be considered an “unemployed” person, and this label made me feel completely hopeless. After having attended more than 15 interviews and not receiving a single offer, I decided to quit the job search, and my loneliness and depression lead me to seek relief through drinking alcohol.
I stopped applying for jobs, and I would go out with my jobless friends, drink, come home drunk, and sleep. This went on for a few months, and if any of my family members inquired about me, I would yell at them and walk out. I was well aware that they were truly worried about me, but I was incredibly angry with everyone - Why did they make me study? What is the actual value of my current skills and knowledge? Why is no one ready to recognize my ability? All these questions added fuel to my anger.
My father came to my room one morning and said that he wanted to speak with me, so I said I was not interested in hearing anything from him. He said he just wanted 10 minutes of my time, so I reluctantly agreed. He asked my sister to bring two coffees, so we took our coffee mugs and settled in the balcony. He asked me “How long it has been since you checked your mail?” I replied ”More than two weeks! I don’t want to look at the shopping website’s and job site’s promotional mail”, I said. He asked, “Why are you so angry at others and hurting yourself? This is your first step; you have been a student for all of these past years, and you are only now an independent person, and you are free to make your own choices and earn your own living. However, freedom doesn't come without any compromise - freedom comes with responsibility and to be responsible includes the ability to have patience. What seems to be worrying you now is that you have failed in your first 15 interviews after college right? Every successful person you see around you now has definitely failed, and some would have failed many times, but they achieved success because they never gave up!”
“You have been a very brilliant student and smart person so far, but you have allowed one failure to put you down. Learn from your failures, work on your skills, don’t randomly apply for each and every job you come across. Sit and think about which job would make you most happy, and don’t run after money, money is important in life but life is not all about money. Your occupation should give you joy and satisfaction, and you must be passionate about your profession. This is what I wanted to share with you. As your father and a friend, I will always be proud of you in either success or failure, and your family will support you every step of the way. My final request before making your next move is to check your mail.”
When my father said the last few words, I couldn't face him and I had tears in my eyes, I rushed to my laptop immediately after he left. He had sent me a job post and another job opportunity letter, and when I clicked on the post first, the post was about famous celebrities who never gave up even after facing rejection again and again. I read the full post, and the list included Harry potter writer” J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Jim Carey, Tyler Perry, Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Emily Blunt, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.
I just sat with myself for the whole day thinking about this list. When these people can succeed amidst so many issues why can’t I? What have I done with my life? When did I lose my confidence? What happened to my determination? I said to myself that I would never quit, took a paper and wrote it in Big Capital Letters stuck the paper on my mirror. When I got back onto my laptop to search for jobs again, I opened the other letter that my father had sent. It was a Call Letter for a PhD opportunity in a top university with a handsome stipend, and I immediately realized how could engage with my research skills and recognized how my projects have always been appreciated by my professors. That was the moment that I decided I was going to be a scholar. I applied with a compelling inner belief that I would succeed, and was called back for the interview. Within the next 30 days I received the appointment letter, and only after I joined the university did I learn that more than 1,000 students had applied for the position, only 500 had been called and after screening only 18 candidates had been selected for admission. I felt very happy while hearing the news and tapped my back and saying to myself, “Good Job”.
Author: Anonymous Contributor