“We appreciate the time you took to speak with us. Unfortunately, we have decided to pursue other candidates.”
The hash message that any college student dreads to read after their hard accomplishments in school, internships, and interview practices. Rejection. Failure..It was all the end is how I felt.
I mean, who wants to fail? Don’t we all want to be the best we can be?
It all started during my senior year at the University of Central Florida. I was studying hard in school, and had many experiences and internships in my belt to showcase myself and resume for future employers. The next career expo was coming close and I made sure to do my research and practice representing myself as a successful professional with values and strengths. This would be my first career expo and I was very nervous and excited. This was a new experience I was facing and I did not know what to expect.
My goals for that semester were to get a full time job to secure myself for the rest of my senior year. Coming out of the career expo, I would say I was very successful. I got an instant interview with Siemens, Target, CVS, Verizon, and many other companies. I even got an interview with Google which at the time was my dream company. I felt overwhelmed with joy in the opportunities that came about.
But slowly, one by one, I received the horrifying rejection emails. However, with Target I was gaining good luck. Although I failed my other interviews, I went up to the last and third-round interview for the executive team leader position with Target. I was excited and already pictured myself getting the job offer and securing myself for the rest of the school year.
I told my mom that night after the last interview, “I’m sure I got the job for Target, I know I am at least secured with a job offer if all else goes wrong.”
The next 3 days passed and I finally received an email from Target. Expecting to see a congratulations, the unexpected truth happened.
I fell down in tears. The semester was already closing and I did not gain anything compared to the start of my semester. (At least at the time that is what I thought.)
I was so excited at the start of my career search, yet at the end of the semester, my failures tore me down to pieces.
I failed. But worse yet, I failed when I tried and did my best. I saw success down my journey, but failure just unexpectedly stopped my racing path. But that’s life right? Sometimes life brings failures during the most unexpected times.
But I am here today to say that life doesn’t stop at your failures if you do not let it stop you. Even through my failures, I still worked harder. The harder I worked, the more better the opportunities came. My failures and continuous hard work only benefited myself more than it hurt myself. I am currently in my last semester of my senior year and I am in the process of interviewing with Google again, Gartner, Yelp, and Pepsico. How did these opportunities come again? It definitely would not have came if I had given up and stopped during my failures last semester.
I did feel hopeless and deeply depressed the first couple weeks after receiving the rejection emails, however, I got back up and decided that I would try harder. Now looking back in my last semester, I originally thought I gained nothing from my experiences through my failures, but I soon came to realize that it was only through my failures that I could gain the opportunities I received now and be closer to success.
Yes, I did lose the job offers, but I still learned from my failures and used it as a lesson to be better for the next time. You cannot connect the dots now, but I promise you later down the road, you will be able to connect the dots. You will be able to connect your times of failures to the successes of your tomorrows.
Because of the many interview experiences I had, I learned and gained feedback that I was able to use for the current interviews I have now. If I had given up last semester and not even try to go to the next career fair, or apply for jobs, I would be stuck in failure.
But because I used my failures to my advantage, to motivate myself to be better, I am able to be where I am today. Think of failure as a stepping stone to success. Only though failure can you move to the next level to bring you closer to your goals.
No one is perfect. The only way to get closer to perfection is through failing and getting back up and doing better than yesterday. The little steps of failure do matter!
You will learn a lot from your failures and hardships, and the learning experience is something that money cannot buy. It is a unique, once in a lifetime experience that you should cherish and use to your advantage.
I am now about to graduate, still in the process of seeking my next career after graduation, but even through the failures I have experienced, my dreams are still big and great. Don’t ever lower your dreams to meet your standards. Raise your standards to meet your dreams.
Don’t be afraid of failure because only through failure can you reach your goals and dreams. My journey is not over yet, but one thing that I learned and want you to remember is this: Life only gets better when you try harder.