Years back I had an opportunity to work in a foreign country using their Working Holiday Visa. When I started my job search, it was not funny. I must have sent hundreds of applications, many of which I never got responses. I also had a lot of ‘rejection letters’ and heard ‘sorry we cannot hire you’ countless times. In the beginning, it was painful to keep receiving such letters after weeks of persistent job search.
However, I soon found out that with that type of Visa I was holding, I could apply for that country’s National Insurance number. All I needed to do was to submit proof that I was trying to get a job but was not successful, and pass an interview. I was therefore advised to keep at least three rejection letters from potential employers saying ‘sorry we cannot hire you’. With this new knowledge, I actually began looking forward to the rejection letters because I needed to prove that I was job searching!
Now, this story came to mind recently because of my life now as a young entrepreneur. Almost every day, I am pitching for something: I am either selling an upcoming event to potential clients or applying for partnership for an upcoming event. About 95% to 98% of the time, I hear ‘no, we are sorry’ hahahahaa. Something interesting happened one day, I realised that every time I got a response from someone, I got excited and it didn’t even matter whether it was positive or negative. I was happy to know that somebody had acknowledged that I tried to do something. That for me was very encouraging.
This made me think that being rejected is not that bad. It means that I have made an effort or I acted on something and that’s good for me. This because, a lot of times before I take a step – usually one that I believe is way out of my league, I hear a voice saying ‘no, don’t you dare, who do you think you are?’. On the other hand, I hear another voice saying ‘go and do it’. The temptation to just give up is too high. Therefore, I am happy to receive a response like ‘I am sorry we can’t do this’ because that implies that in spite of all the self-doubt and ‘no’ I hear, I still pursue my dream.
I have had the privilege to interview so many women and none of them has said they achieved anything by giving up. One after the other, these fabulous women confirm how they simply keep pushing even when it is tough and when no one supports them. It is really encouraging to hear this because then I know I am definitely on the right path and I am getting those rejections because I am building up my story; so yes bring on the rejections, I am so in!
This year’s International Women’s Day celebration theme is BE BOLD FOR CHANGE. What change are you looking for in your life? What is holding you back from reaching it? Is it the fear of failure? Or the fear of hearing ‘no’? Well you know what, fear has never put food on the table or paid school fees so girlfriend, this is your time to be bold, look fear in the face and say ‘excuse me, I have got a change to make!’ Yes, your heart will most like threaten to arrest as you do this but you will not give up. Every time, you get a door slammed in your face, congratulate yourself because you actually kept going instead of giving up. One day, all your efforts will pay off beautifully. Fabulous Woman, this is our time to shine.