I love platitudes. Except when I am really down or anxious or angry. Then I can’t stand them. While growing up I used to have a number of these stuck on my board just as reminders when things weren’t going too well.
However, over the years, people have also said things to me. Some have remained. Some I have forgotten.
One that I remember was by a mate telling me “You have to be in it to win it”
I was going through a hard time applying for job after job after job. I had started in September 2007 when I was nearing the end of my course. By December, when the course was completed, I had no calls for an interview and only rejections from each place I’d applied to. The job market dried out over the Christmas period and I was running out of reframes. In January I got my first interview but once again got rejected due to the same reason: Not enough experience. I was getting depressed. Eating a lot more. I was only working Saturdays for 4 hours (my casual job back then) and was trying to live on that. But that job finished around the end of February and I was worried about what I was going to do if I didn’t have a job by then. What made it worse was that other places such as Maccas or Woolies wouldn’t employ me either because I was over-qualified! It felt like a no-win situation.
I stopped talking to most people. I only interacted with my flatmates. I was getting frustrated. I was getting sick and tired of writing cover letters and answering selection criteria.
But my mate, with those words “You have to be in it to win it” kept me going. I know it sounds simplistic and obvious. But I think my mind was in a state where I could have easily given up…I had after all been applying for almost 6 months by then with no luck. I was getting angry that everyone wanted me to have experience but no one was willing to give me any! I persisted after this…continued to buy the newspaper, check out job sites and apply for more.
And finally, mid-February 2008 after about 25 rejections, I got an interview call and got the job. It was only part-time but it was in the field and it was permanent. I took it and after that, other doors opened. I’m still at that job and grateful they gave me that chance.
I use these pearls of wisdom in other areas too. You need to at least try to get some sort of outcome. Without trying, there is no point.
And that’s what I attempt to do in all aspects of life.
Until next time,