I know this is an unusual thing to start off a series on thanks, but yeah, with everything that happened since I decided to leave Nigeria and come to the US for grad-school, one of the biggest lessons I’ve received is in handling rejection.

In particular with regards to job hunting, never in my life have I had to handle “No” in so many forms and phrasings as I did in the last 15 months. For perspective, a conservative estimate of the number of applications I sent in would be 60. Of the 60 maybe a third of them actually got back to me. Of this 20, about 17 of them were variations of the classic

“Dear Oluwafemi, 

We thank you for application. Unfortunately…”

I still got one of these two months after starting out at my current job (a dream job I might add, but this is a thanks for another day).

Then the ones that didn’t even bother replying? THE WORST!!! I might as well have been screaming at the sky and expecting aliens to reply me.

Summary, of all the applications I sent in, I got only ONE interview; which is where I work currently. Once again, this story is for another day.

If anybody had told me when I was graduating with a master’s (from one of the best universities in the world) that I wouldn’t get a job for a year after graduation, I would have cussed such a person out. All in all though, the cliche “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” holds true. Through ALL the rejections I received, in hindsight, I can see God’s Hand working through it all. And though it was painful (AF) going through each of those nos or silent rejections, I’m better for it.

So, on this first day, I’m thankful for rejection.