The year 2018 started with so many uncertainties, my team was told at the end of 2017 that by April 2018 our service will be migrated to HQ without us being at the helm of it. After 4 years of sacrifices, all the friendships and the one-off occasions that were missed due to prioritisation of this job over them…for nothing. I had burnt career bridges from my last job over this, I couldn’t run back to them, I even heard that they had gotten worse, to think that they also have so much influence on who gets jobs in this ecosystem. Funny story, I was told by another firm that was actively trying to recruit me that they went with another person after about 3 months of following their recruitment process. The light inside of me went dim. nna mehn…
I went back to the drawing board, I reworked my cv, maybe 10 times, and kept about 5 different versions of it. I was ready to start a new life anywhere in the world where they will have me. I started with Singapore, a handful of applications sent with no reply, after a couple of weeks I finally started getting replies…of rejection letters. That did not stop me from applying, I had done enough research about the place, the culture and lifestyle to know that I could settle down there.
I finally applied one of those tips from career experts and reached out to a manager in one of the companies about a role I was interested in. He responded and asked me to contact someone else in the company, I gladly obliged and reached out to the person saying “your oga asked me to send you my cv” and he responded with speed (skrr skrr), we exchanged a few emails and arranged a phone interview the next day. The interview went so well, final figures were discussed and agreed upon, he was to get back to me the following week. However, I still applied one of those career tips after the interview and sent him results of some processes he asked me to check, he acknowledged receipt of them with so much gusto. Your boy now started looking for flights and accommodation the next day. I was like “3 weeks to get a new job, not so shabby Oye, you still got it” – and gave myself a pat on the back. The new week arrived, all the 7 days passed and I didn’t hear back from him, I reached out 2 more times in the space of 3 weeks but didn’t hear back from him. I just assumed he was dead, how could you give me such high hopes and leave me out in the wild, like the Yoruba demon that was my current job didn’t break my heart enough…
The week we were meant to commence migration of our service to HQ fell on my 30th birthday, what an anti-climax (knots in my belly), it wasn’t a pleasant week, after that we were to become “free agents” and our future was unknown. I had initialised a couple of migration processes prior to that day but just as we were about to commence the main activity the workers union at the office started a strike to protest the action by management, everyone was sent home (we gladly obliged and all forms of services were shut down nationwide. This lasted for about 2 weeks, the migration couldn’t go on as the window had passed and the service needed to be up again to meetup with business deadlines. The Management will have to rework the plan and negotiate with the union. However, no one dared mention anything related to “migration to HQ”. We had a lifeline.
After all the drama I continued to send out applications, this time I was open to even more countries knowing that there was demand for my expertise everywhere else in the world but Nigeria. I began my quest across the globe; Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovak Republic, Japan, Colombia, Romania, UAE, Bahrain, Ireland, Austria, Lithuania (I was really hoping Lithuania would work out, as the country seems to have a lot going for it, but after 5 weeks of email exchange with the recruiter they decided to go with someone else). I created several profiles on leading career sites of each country and even started paying for LinkedIn premium service. I also came across some fraudulent recruiters (Probably Indonesian), I was offered a job after some emails and phone calls, so I had to pay an immigration consultant who was going to assist with processing my paperwork, she had a dodgy name and the transaction was to be done through MoneyGram. LOL! You overhear some conversations the Yahoo-boys have and that’s enough education to know that this was a red flag.
Friends will come over to play FIFA or watch a match but I was just detached, sometimes when we go out to chill my body maybe physically present but my soul seemed distant.
Though a good number of Recruiters contacted me for jobs I applied for, there was always one constraint that led to the end of that application – either my salary expectation was not within budget, I wasn’t fluent in one of the languages (Portuguese, German, Spanish, etc.), or they were not applying for work visas for foreigners.
Every rejection email felt like a motivation to keep going (I was being seen), and that I did. Although, I did go a couple of weeks without even opening a career site because I was just tired. I had to find pause and check what I was doing wrong, it didn’t seem like anything was out of place given the detailed feedback I was getting, but why were there so many “almosts” but nothing sealed?
I had to look back on the journey that had led me to this point, I have never had it this bad in my life, 6 months plus of job applications and no breakthrough, then it occurred to me, sigh, you fool! My spiritual life had been non-existent for close to 5 years, I could do 1 week of getting back on track with God and forget about it entirely for the next 4 months, I know the things I enjoyed when my life seemed right with God (one might argue that even non-believers get those too and they may be right) but knowing me and the many experiences I’ve had with the power of prayer, I was going to do what had worked countless times for me.
I started going to church again, Matthew 6:33. That week a recruiter from one of the job applications I sent out generically contacted me to schedule a phone interview, it went so well ( I did the usual based on career tips) he assured me he’d reach out to me the following week, I didn’t hold my breath, my “belief” was still wobbly, he didn’t, so I sent a mail asking if we were still going to the second stage, he replied that he had been ill and was sorry, so he gave me a date and sent an invite (unbeknownst to me that there was a link I was to place the call through).
The interview day came, I prayed and declared that the job was mine I professed positive things over and over and I thought I was ready. I waited for this call to come, but it didn’t, funny enough I had sent an email an hour before asking if we were still going on as planned. Later that day he apologised he didn’t see my email on time and thought the link (I knew nothing about until later) he sent in the invitation did not work fine. We had to reschedule another test meeting before the next main interview to be sure everything was fine…Phew! I had to call in through the link, see me, a whole tech god, fumbling with basic tech stuff.
Before the next interview I got to prepare with new material that turned out to be useful during the actual interview, imagine if I had gone through the initial interview with unconvincing answers which I hadn’t prepared for, everything happens for a reason indeed. They were happy with me, we discussed numbers and I was to expect another mail before an offer letter. I kept up with my church going, every verse of scripture I came across during personal prayers all seemed to give me peace that this was going to be it, 2 weeks passed and they reached out to me that they had found another candidate they were currently interviewing and asked me to be patient. Hmm. See plot twist. SMH. I continued praying, any and everywhere, I claimed the job, I gave thanks for receiving the job, I prayed and prayed and prayed. I wasn’t going to lose out again at the brink of breakthrough.
During this wait another promising company reached out and the interviews went well, but my spirit wasn’t there, I had prayed too much for the previous one, God will now think I’m not serious, but then again it wouldn’t hurt to have multiple job offers, after 2 successful interviews with the new guys I got an inexplicable rejection email. I was honestly expecting a third appointment to discuss numbers with the finance team. Ridiculous! I guess this was a sign from the Heavens.
A few days later my “real company” contacted me to apologise for the silence and to ask if I was still interested, I responded accordingly, another interview was scheduled, it went well, after 2 weeks I got an employment letter to start work in January 2019. Isaiah 43:19.
3 interviews and 37 emails! Glory be to God!
I signed after consulting with my lawyers (my friends that happen to be lawyers -__-).
In my unfaithfulness God was still steadfast, His grace sustained me through the rough patches and he blessed me according to my desire. When you pray, be intentional be specific, have faith, give thanks, keep praying even after it is done. Psalms 37:1-8
Even as I write this post I’m still getting rejection emails, I probably applied for over 1000 jobs.
Altogether I am thankful for the fact that I have never experienced a period where I was out of a job considering how things can get in this line of my profession, in 2013 when there were plans to end my job by February 2014, I got a better job in December 2013, in 2018 when I was faced with a similar situation there was an intervention. The scriptures Joshua 1:5 and Psalms 126 have found expression in my life.
I don’t recall any year of my adult life where I never had to visit the hospital to treat one ailment or the other, however, I have not had the need to do so in the last 2 years. I am also grateful for the strength to overcome the prevalent health issues and I’m hopeful I shall be made whole soon. My dad was recently in a car accident but he came out of it whole.
I’d also like to appreciate my friends who showed empathy and checked on me during this phase of my life.
I hope this post inspires you in some way, the lesson is to keep fighting no matter how impossible your situation may seem. This year didn’t seem like it, but there was a massive turnaround. They say “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” I guess my dawn is here and I am excited about the future.
God bless you all.
I leave you with these spoken word tracks:
Jackie Hill-Perry – Suffering Servant
Beautiful Eulogy – Weight
Propaganda feat. Joel Davis & Beautiful Eulogy – Lofty
Thank you for your voice…I’m grateful for my ears