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The year was 2005, I had just concluded successfully, a career fair for the Nigerian arm of one of the largest FMCG companies in the world and the CFO of the company, an expatriate, was so impressed that he requested I work with him directly in the finance department. He asked me to come to his office the next day to meet with the HR department for employment. I was ecstatic, I had just finished writing my final university exams some days before and here I was being offered a dream job with a global brand. I had always wanted to work with this company, i liked their products and i loved the brand.

The HR representative informed me that I had to write their pre-employment test. I told her that I had written the test in 2002 when I applied for an internship, but she mentioned that I would need to rewrite the test as it was more than two years since I wrote it. I scheduled to write the test the next day. Afterall, If I passed the test as a200L university student, then the same test would be easy peasy lemon squeezy for me as a graduate right. So, the next day I visited their office to write the test and was told to wait for the results. The lady came some few minutes afterwards to announce that I missed the cut-off mark by 1 mark and unfortunately, they would not be able to offer me employment. Huh??? I was devastated. I don’t know what I said next or how I dragged myself out of their office. I also didn’t know which pained me more: that I failed the test or that I failed it by just 1 mark.

I couldn’t bring myself to enter any bus home so i walked with tears flowing ever so freely from my eyes all the way home, a journey that took me about two hours. So many thoughts in my head, why didn’t I schedule the test for a later date to allow me prepare better? Or could it be that the HR department did not want to hire me? What could have gone wrong, the assessment seemed easy enough.

Till date I have no answers to those questions, but that’s life. Sometimes, you face rejection. Sometimes you just mess up, at other times you fail to prepare appropriately for the opportunities that come your way and you lose the opportunity like I’ve done too many times. These events have a way of hampering on your sense of self-worth, but don’t let it define you. Keep moving.

In the face of rejection, be like a ball that is thrown against a wall; bounce back, and if you are thrown at an angle, bounce somewhere else. Resilience is your ability to bounce back. When one door closes, look to another door ; As long as what you seek is not achieved, keep moving. Rolling into a ball of despair is common, but rise above anything that doesn’t help you achieve your goal. Despair doesn’t help you, self-pity doesn’t help you. Cry, if it makes you feel better, but get up the next morning and resume the search...Leslie George

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”… Thomas A. Edison

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”…Michael Jordan

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”…Winston S. Churchil

Cheers to your success.

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