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Knock on 99 doors, But only 1 will Open

Knock on 99 doors, But only 1 will Open

Dear Diary,

Last March, you didn't know me. I was searching for jobs and applying like a maniac to the same business entity. 1...2...3...rejected. Different departments but in the same company. It even went as far as getting shortlisted and having an interview. But for some reason, still no luck. 

"Mom, I'm never going to find a job. Time is passing by. How the heck am I suppose to pay for tuition?". She reassured me and said "InshAllah (godwilling) you will be hired into such an amazing position that even you'll be surprised as to how strong your capabilities are".

Well...you know what they say, mother knows best. 

Less than 2 months later I get a call "I'm amazed by your graphics and customer service experience, are you free for an interview on June 26th at 2pm?" I remember attending to this call in the corner of a Starbucks, trying to hold my warm coffee as well as my expectations at a core. That day had marked nearly 2 years of applying for a position in this company. Suddenly I had gotten a call for an interview? It almost felt like life was mocking me in the most petty way possible like "you know what...you've waited for a while now Haj, and like I can't give you a job but let me just sprinkle some hope on you BUT don't have any expectations." LOL 

I walk into this interview all prepared, my mind in focus of the best and worst that could happen, I sit down with an Associate and HR member of the department and begin by answering the infamous interview question, "describe yourself".

Uhm...Holy shit. I'm Hajira and I like makeup...I can fly a drone and uhm...what? "That's not even relevant HAJ!" - Don't worry, all of this was said in my head. I think I mashed a couple of sentences together about being a business major and my future aspirations, whatever it was, it worked because I got a "that's interesting" and broad smile reaction.

"Okay, cool, 1 down, like 20ish more to go, you can do this Haj" I told myself.

I cant bore you with the entire interview partially because its lengthy but more so because I barely remember it.

What I do remember is the software test that followed. Adobe, Microsoft and even a test at how well I can take meeting minutes (not to brag, but I'm actually really good at transcribing - 4 years of university lectures really ups your typing game).

Done. Done. and Done. 

That interview was nearly 4 hrs long. And just as I went to shake her hand to bid farewell, she directed me to the last component of the interview.

She really pulled a DJ Khaled one on me man....Another one.

Luckily it was only a 10 minute typing test (for the record, 9 minutes of waiting for my turn and 1 minute to do the test).

Done. Phew! 

"You scored 55 wpm - you need 65 wpm to be applicable for the position" said the receptionist.


I smiled and thanked her for her help - lowkey I wanted to punch myself for not preparing for probably the most easiest part of the damn interview. 

"Well, this was an interesting experience and I'm 110% certain that I wont get this job but hey! At least I got to learn something new" - which was of course that I needed to improve on my damn typing speed *face palm*.

Just a day later. I was eating lunch and sending an email to my interviewee's, thanking them for their time and hoping to maintain a connection for future opportunities. It was like a Cinderella story. Except instead of a glass slipper, I just wanted a cubicle. And no prince please. Just a decent paycheck and some vacation days. 

Another 2 days go by. 2 missed calls and a voicemail? Someone must really need Haj. I dial in and listen to "Hi Hajira, it was a pleasure meeting you the other day, I was wondering if I could speak to you for a moment in regards to the interview and the position. Please call me at your earliest convenience".

At this point I was so certain that life was at its climax of trolling me. I just had an interview with this company that I've been applying to for 2 years. The interview was less than 4 days ago. No way. No way at all that she's called me to hire me. Call me a pessimist or a realist but seriously it sounded waaaay too good to be true.

I called her and the first thing she asked me was "So how do you plan on fitting in work with your school schedule? This is a full time job". I thought to myself "Okay, well first of all I'm sorta kind of in school to get a job...sooooo a little pause and taking some time off wont hurt the $50 000 degree that I need to finance for anyways". Again - rest assured, I didn't vocally say any of this. Rather I replied with "I'm going to carefully select evening classes and work on assignments and homework over the weekend -  work time will be solely work time and school time will be solely school time".

Long pause. No answer. Seriously, it felt like time froze and my body was numb. "Haj, you dumbass...you should have just said you were taking time off - why did you have to be so extra with your reply?!" I said to myself. I barely knew this woman and here she was, over the phone literally about to give me an answer on one of the biggest opportunities of my life. 

"Okay, well that's fantastic. If you are able to sort your schedule out then I am prepared to hire you as our new and permanent member in our department, when can you start?".

She didn't hear or see any of it but I jumped so much and grinned from left to right as wide as my cheek bones could let me literally a millisecond after she said that.

I couldn't believe anything. 2 years later and I scored a job in the same company that rejected me. I was now making a salary of $50K with amazing benefits and best of all...are you ready for this? My tuition would be fully paid for by the department. So basically I felt like Mr. Krabs from Spongebob LOL. Above all though, my motivation for my strengths and abilities was reinforced. I didn't stop and even though it took a while, it all played in my favor at that moment.

And that folks, is how Cinderella got her opportunity and was able to live happily ever after.

And I'm not gloating or here to tell you about my accomplishments or sucesses. All I'm saying is don't give up. Don't do it. 

You're going to knock on 100 doors and 99 won't even bother to check who it is. But 1 door will. Matter of fact it'll open with a warm welcome. And when you step foot inside that door it'll be a freaking mansion. 

Stay hopeful and keep striving!



The North American Pakistani

The North American Pakistani

In Conversation with Canada's Most Powerful Woman

In Conversation with Canada's Most Powerful Woman