What is your biggest rejection so far and what did you learn from it? Here’s my story.
In 2014, when I was still an employee in a BPO (business process outsourcing) company, I was going through the quarter life crisis. At that time, I was no longer feeling fulfilled in my job and longed for a change. I wanted a job that I can settle for, and perhaps stay until I retire. The reason why I was actively looking online for job openings. I ended up applying in a multinational bank for a sales post since I have a sales experience in a bancassurance industry back in 2010. It was a prestigious bank. I thought it will be great to be part of that institution and not really because I like the job. Yeah, doing things for all the wrong reasons. One of the mistakes that we make at one point in our lives. Sales post is a tough job, I had been there, I had done that, I know how mentally demanding the job is, but I still went for it. And so, I already had two interviews from the HR and from the head of one department, but I was told that a different department head will conduct another interview. I will describe the manager who conducted the interview. He’s a man, maybe around 40 years of age, looked intimidating, looked accomplished in his career, well spoken both in English and Filipino, wears a barong and black slacks, very professional looking.
It was the usual interview, “Tell me something about yourself, what was your previous sales experience, where do you see yourself 5 years from now, and the like.” At first, it went well. The turning point in the interview is when I was asked, “What is your passion?” I was taken aback, this is one of the hardest questions to answer because it’s telling about your vulnerability, that the other end might now understand what you really want to do in life. It’s very personal and it’s hard not to tell the truth. I stutter, because I know that the words and my answer to the question do not align in the job that I was applying for. I think he saw it in my eyes that it wasn’t really my passion to do sales. He saw and felt in my appearance, the way I speak and through my body language that I wasn’t fit for the job. I looked naïve, I was 24, and still figuring out how to live. All of us had been in that stage. And then I was told the most heartbreaking words and feedback in my life. The manager said, “You know what, I’m not gonna hire you, with your personality, you are not for sales. I see you as a goldfish, and the others in the production area are sharks, they’ll gonna eat you.” Deep inside, I was hurt, and I just sit silently listening to his remarks, nodding. I got his point, sales really isn’t something I am passionate to do, only applying for the prestige of the job and the company. At that moment, I wish I could vanish, I wish for the soil to just eat me, my morale was at my lowest and if there is anyone who will ask me, “Are you okay?”, I will definitely burst into tears. I was so sad that I had failed and that I was rejected right in front of my face.
But little did I know that rejection is a saving grace. I was being redirected by life into something else. A few months after arriving from a few days trip to Australia, I had an idea to go back to my real profession as a nurse in the college where I graduated and the hospital that I had my training 2 years before. And right there and then, I was accepted. I believe, if it’s meant to be, it will happen, sometimes, effortlessly. Then I realized, now I understand why I was not accepted in the sales post because it was not for me. I do not want to go through the stress and the demand of the job, the sales quota each month, the burden of generating sales for the company. I realized that my almost 2 years experience each in the bancassurance and BPO industry is part of my journey to where I am now. I am now turning 2 years as a nurse, and I must say, because of this, my life is now following a direction, no idea of the destination but it’s one thing leading to another.
I had experienced few more rejections after this, at work, in relationships, in applying for jobs but I always remember the lessons I learned from this experience. I was rejected because I am being redirected for something or someone else. Here is my message to everyone who would be able to read this post and is going through the same situation. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. You have to actively look for your passion. Listen to your heart because most of the time it is true. If you’re not yet happy or satisfied with what you’re doing, just keep looking. You may not see the destination or the end point now, but step by step, it will be revealed to you. Trust in His will. Everything happens for a reason.