When events or opportunities do not go our way, it’s natural to often lament the missed chance, our bad luck and generally wallow in our missed fortune. This makes me think back to Autumn 2011 when I was still in the UK, working in finance and pursuing an (at the time anyway) exciting opportunity to work in another banking department. The appealing factors for me were the salary increase, the fact it was completely different work to what I was doing, and career prospects for progression. One of my responsibilities at the time meant I partially assisted the team who had the position I was vying for, so, against all odds, my name was known in that area (always a big help). Furthermore, there were several vacancies amongst other teams in the same department, and news of my earnest endeavours had also spread to their ears. All in all, it seemed like all I had to do was be likeable and knowledgeable in the interview(s), requirements I considered myself highly adept at fulfilling, and I’d be offered at least one role if not find myself in the enviable position of having multiple proposals to mull over.
Long story short, after three interviews I received zero offers and my confidence was severely rocked by the news, tempered only by my own disagreement with one of the reasons provided for my ‘failure to progress’. This seemed like a major setback for me, as up until this point I’d received nothing but positive feedback about my work, general demeanour and communication skills (the latter of which I prided myself upon). I was now faced with the stark realisation that I wasn’t as sh*t-hot as I thought I was and I’d lost a golden opportunity for a great career move. By New Year 2012, the team I was working for were informed that our function was moving to Dublin and our options were to take redundancy, move to Dublin or find new jobs within the bank.
This eventually led to me find a position in the bank’s Singapore office, allowing for a move to Asia and embarking on a series of adventures I would not trade for any ‘lucrative position’. Right now I am typing this on Legian Beach, Bali, looking forward to a month of morning beach runs, parkour and (possibly) some yoga. I can confidently say I would not be here if not for that gut wrenching missed opportunity, back in autumn 2011, where I was frustrated, annoyed and feeling sorry for myself. They say hindsight is 20-20 so it would be somewhat patronising for me to say that every negative can be turned into a positive, but I hope you can read this and have it in your thoughts the next time you feel like life has knocked you down. There’s always the possibility that missing out on one opportunity will give you a chance to reap bigger rewards, in the future.