I was 24 and working for a relatively stable company doing clerical work. I’d started out as an intern, but hadn’t quite landed that ‘career’ position yet. I’d earned my bachelor’s degree and was eager to secure my career. So, on a Tuesday afternoon, I walked into a small room with an HR rep and the Supervisor of Purchasing sitting at a table across from one another. I was placed at the head of the table, nervous and unsure of what to expect from the interview.
Like all my previous interviews with the company, I studied a few nights before. And with that studying and some prayer, I was offered every job I interviewed before. Yet, five promotions later, I sat in between those two like a deer in headlights. I was completely out of character. Most often times, even in my nervousness, I am able to convince others that I am confident, but that interview was different. My dad used to tell me, “If you can’t get ’em with brilliance, get ’em with bullshit.” Heck, I wasn’t even able to do that because I just didn’t have anything to offer in that interview. I stuttered with my answers. My thoughts were scattered or incomplete. I was embarrassed that I’d performed so horribly. Yet, I left out the interview disappointed, but not feeling defeated because I knew that I’d get another chance to interview for a different job at some point in the future.
To my assumption, I did get those chances. I was promoted three times after that interview. Two positions allowed me to learn more about the administrative operations of the company. The other position afforded me the responsibility of leading a ten employee team, at just the tender age of 27, as I was promoted to what they call a Section Supervisor. There were so many nuggets and learning moments that came out of those three positions. I learned more about myself and my abilities. They were moments that I more than likely would never have had the chance to experience without being rejected from that first interview.
Almost four years later, the job came up again. By this time, I’d earned my MBA, learned some great tools for my future, and matured in ways I didn’t think possible. Without reluctance, I decided to interview for the job again. Today, I’m proud to say that I now have a career as a procurement professional. It isn’t because I was able to get ’em with bullshit. It’s because I didn’t give up. I allowed myself to grow in ways that I didn’t know that I needed to. I remained positive about my future. I remained faithful to the idea that my future would be bright and that I could continue to move forward with or without securing the job the first go around.
To that HR rep and retired Purchasing Supervisor, I truly thank you for having the insight in knowing that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t. I even thank the person that interviewed and got the job. I thank them for scoring higher than me during their interview. I look back now knowing that I wasn’t ready for the responsibility or the perks that came with that position. Today I’m able to better appreciate my career. I’m able to better manage the lifestyle I’m afforded from the job. I’m just a better person all around due to having those years of growth.
Sometimes even the greatest diamonds have to wait their turn to shine as brightly as they were cut to be. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, remember that it may be a chance for the diamond to mature and become even more desirable. Continue to believe for tomorrow.