In the words of Uncle Ben (Spider-Man’s uncle for anyone who doesn’t follow the comic book world) ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’
In my words ‘with great determination comes great results’.
Dear readers, my working career hasn’t been the greatest, I was stuck in one job for eleven years with promises of promotion if I did this and that and the other which never came to fruition. Enough was enough; that’s when I decided to go back to university and finished my degree.
Unfortunately, it was smack bang in the middle of the recession where there were about three thousand applicants per job, I had managerial experience and was in my thirties. It was everything that these companies didn’t want. I was either over qualified or (something they would never say), too old. They couldn’t shape and mold me the way they wanted because I knew how the working world worked. After a year of applying, I got the unlikeliest of jobs. I became a bus driver, not the ideal job but it was a way to provide for my young family. And for the first time in a long time I was happy in my job.
Within six months I got my first step up, and I became a route trainer. Things looked up for a while. I was given more responsibility and felt valued, and the prospects of promotion didn’t seem far fetched.
Suddenly, my progress grew stale during the last year. Many internal jobs came up and being ambitious, I applied and got countless rejections.
I am careful not to play the victim or feel sorry for myself, especially around my colleagues and the children. The only one who knew of my disappointment was my partner, and she would say, “It wasn’t my time, they don’t know what they are missing out on.” All beautiful words to try and make me feel better.
In the last six months, especially, I felt like I was stagnating, getting to the same place I was at my old job. Then all of a sudden I got a call from work (oh man! They are going to ask me to work overtime, but no), it was the head of the controllers. I had applied for another position, passed all the tests and had an awful interview.
I braced myself for another ‘I’m sorry’ speech. I shut my eyes as he asked my how I was and how well I had done to get so far into the application process.
My heart sank further and further.
The words were coming and….
‘Welcome to the team.’
‘Sorry? Could you please repeat that?’
‘Alex, well done, you have been successful in your application!’
What I forgot to mention was that I was half way through the school run, the children were shouting, and I was mid-conversation with a friend and fellow parent. They all looked at me like something was wrong, my eyes had turned red (according to my children).
There were a lot of okay and thank you as he explained what would happen from that point, but my brain had shut down at that point, all that I heard was my brain shouting ‘you finally made it!’
When I put the phone down, I couldn’t help but jump with joy.
I got a bro hug from my friend, and the children hugged and congratulated me. I beamed all the way home.
It’s not the novel I have craved to write from the age of thirteen or the book deal that I desire along with the image of my book sitting on the shelves of a bookstore; however, it’s a lesson for me and for my children (which is why I’m writing this). I can overcome significant adversity with great determination. It requires us you work hard and do our very best. In the end, with some perseverance, I can get the book deal I want!
I know this is not a post on how we teach our children to be ambitious or focus or persevere; however, it is a message to my kids and anyone who reads this. Regardless of how far you fall, as long as you stay focused and keep a good grip on that determination, you will make it through to the other side.
Make sure that you never give up!