How often have you heard the phrase, “opportunity comes but once”, and what impact has this misconception had towards your climb, up the ladder of success? I will illustrate and attempt to categorize that phrase as a fallacy, by sharing Jared’s story.
Jared is a father of 2, who had been laid off from his previous employer, on account of the company’s financial and budgetary constraints. Prior to his termination, he had been doing very well for himself and his family, that he had even asked his wife to stay home raising their kids, while she managed a little grocery store housed in their garage in front of their home. Unfortunately for him, he was terminated at a time when it was very difficult getting a job without the help of what people referred to as “connections”. Jared came from a very modest background. His parents lived in the village, and had been successful farmers.
After 2 years of unsuccessfully securing a befitting job, the financial strain on his family was becoming very palpable. He thought he had applied to every job in his geographical region that he felt he had the required skills for. He was lucky and got invited for a couple of interviews, but never heard back from the hiring managers after those encounters. He had gotten to the point where he was considering ditching his qualifications and certificates, and going instead for some “low-level” jobs; just anything to support his family. Then, one day he received an invitation letter to attend a job interview in a new company that had just relocated to the region. He couldn’t even remember when he applied for that position, but after reading through the job description in the interview letter, he knew he was a perfect fit for the position, and more so because the job was within his geographical vicinity, since he had long sold his car. For 2 weeks he prepared for the interview, rehearsing possible interview questions with his wife. Then the day of the interview arrived, and he looked forward to putting forth his best performance to convince the hiring manager that he was indeed the right person for the job. Then the inevitable happened.
In the public transportation he boarded to the venue for the interview, barely 15 minutes into the ride, they were met with what he described as a “terrible traffic” situation. A trailer had run into multiple cars, leaving many casualties behind and had completely obstructed the road to both in-coming and out-going traffic. A journey that should have taken him 30 minutes, finally took him about 5 hours. And of course when he arrived at the interview venue, the secretary was already locking up for the day. His attempt to explain the cause of his predicament fell on deaf ears, as the secretary had bluntly told him that all interviews had been concluded, and there was nothing she could do to help him. She didn’t even consider his request to at least have a word with the hiring manager, but had advised him to keep looking for other opportunities elsewhere.
Long story short, although he had left there feeling very sad and distraught that he had lost an opportunity that may have impacted his life, he decided to follow his instincts later that evening, and had sent the hiring manager an email explaining what had led him to miss the interview scheduled for that day. He was shocked when he got an immediate response from the manager, telling him that his own wife had been unable to get to work, because the accident had happened on her regular route. Jared was invited to come back to the office 2 days later for that same interview because, the manager hadn’t been very impressed with the interviewees he had met before him. He finally got that job.
There are 3 lessons from this story which I want to highlight:
- In your journey towards success, pay particular attention to the people who pose as “gate-keepers”, like that secretary in this story, and treat them as such-“gate-keepers”. They are to man/watch the gate, and not determine the course of your life. Never take their word as the last or final word. If you truly know where you are headed, do not allow any “gate-keeper” prevent you from reaching there.
- Learn to trust your guts and go with your instincts, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Jared knew that he had a place in that company and he trusted his guts, and finally became the chosen one.
- Finally, opportunity doesn’t come, but once. It presents itself multiple times, in multiple shades or colors, in multiple places, and through multiple people. If one door closes, be positive that others will open up for you.
To your continued success. Cheers!!!