Millenial

I Got Denied From My Dream Job

“We’ll contact you by Tuesday and inform you of the status of your application.”

I woke up Tuesday morning nervous, excited, apprehensive and just ready for the news that would encapsulate my future.

I fidgeted throughout the day on my phone anxiously refreshing my email and making sure the ringer for my cell was turned all the way up. Every hour seemed to carry on for longer than 60 minutes and every ding increased the desire to hear the results.

It’s funny though, throughout this lack of clarity, I feel as if my mind spoke to itself and I was very in sync with what the answer already would be. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew in the back of my mind it was unlikely that I had nailed down the position. After four rounds of interviews, I wasn’t sharp. I had lost my touch and I knew going into the fourth round, I was vastly underprepared in comparison to past situations.

As every thought crossed through my head, my pocket vibrates.

 

*RING *RING

Brant, this is ____ from xyz company, how are you today? I just wanted to reach out and thank you for coming to our open house and interviewing with us here and giving us your time. We have opted to pursue other candidates for the job. I wish you the best of luck moving forward.

*CLICK

 

For the sake of this company, I want to exclude any and all names because I garnish great respect for them as a whole. I had run the scenario through my head about four hundred times too many, so I had already prepared my response to the call itself. At first it’d be the anger, then it’s the sadness, then it’s whatever else you can think of to counter the lack of an offer. However, none of that happened in my situation. I was at peace.

I am unapologetically me and stand true to who I am as an individual. I am not one to bend into company desires because I bring a specific skillset and personal culture that I know is true to who I am. Could I have done better in the interview? Absolutely. I walked out knowing exactly where I faulted and missed my cues. When looking at it from a macroscopic lens, however, I understood that I faulted because I did not bend my individual self to what they wanted from me. I faulted in underpreparing myself.

My advice to many of you is this, you may miss out on the thing you want most, you may be disappointed in yourself and furious with the company, you may feel worthless because they didn’t pick you, but understand this, you have worth. You have a purpose. You have the ability to do things far greater than you can imagine. I am so thankful for the opportunity to hear no. I was far too spoiled for a long time in just hearing yes. It gave me a confidence that had to be broken down. It provided me with an opportunity to look at myself and redefine who I am as an individual and think of exactly who I wanted to be. I guarantee from this day forward, that company and any other that may say no, will bite their tongue when they see me next. It is not vengeance I seek, but it is knowing that I am just getting started in perfecting who I am. Although it’s not there yet, I am a proud work in progress and admit my faults. I know people most often share just their successes, but even men like me fail too.

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

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Crack Open Your True Potential

I recently read a novel by a man named Simon Sinek called Start With Why. Sinek, who I most famously knew as the man from this video on millennials in the workforce spoke with such certainty that I found his message eerily true in many ways. I found it to be intellectually stimulating and thought provoking so it was with that in mind that I wanted to read more into him. I listened to his audiobook as I flew to and from Chicago and he discusses why every person or business that has been successful has started with asking why. I enjoyed his analysis but spent time thinking introspectively about whether it was right or wrong. Sinek makes valid points as to why is important, but does not cover, to me, the most important detail.

 

You must start with your what.

Your purpose, your motive, your desire, your perceived life.

You have to first formulate what you want from your life, whether that be through monetary means, your relationship, your career, or just personal satisfaction and happiness. If you cannot answer WHAT you want, then you will be unable to move forward with why you want to do it. More often than not, I see peers around me caught up in a period of dissatisfaction because they are not living the way they want to.

This phenomenon is what I call mental stagnation.

You are quick to blame outside influences or environmental circumstances because it is easiest to blame or put fault on others, but rather, in reality you are just unsure of what you want. You have the opportunity and ability to make individual choices but are paralyzed because you do not know what to look for.

 

It isn’t about the perfect choice, it’s about making a choice.

I cannot dictate what you want from your life whether I like it or not. You alone have the answer to that question and the beauty is your answer doesn’t have to be right. Your life is highly fluid and will be ever changing in what you want, but it is imperative that you decide because without it, you are leading a life that is directed by a compass that doesn’t work.

You must find your north star and work towards that point even if the north star changes position, you still have your what that you are chasing and pursuing. You must understand that your life is not a dead end and your choices just lead you to other opportunities or shifts in your mindset. If one road closes, then seek another road to get to your north star.

 

Your north star is not the same as your moms.

In this thing called life, we don’t have universal maps that people can follow along with to create their own perfect life. Nobody has mapped out the perfect way for every individual and you shouldn’t think of it in this fashion. It is not about your parents, your peers, the Instagram pages with a million plus followers, your significant other, or anyone else. Moreover, it’s not even about what you think you should be wanting or what you used to desire.

It is about what you want for yourself at this exact moment.

Think it. Create it. Execute.

 

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

From Penthouse Living to Ground Floor Desk Attendant

 

My time spent at UF was nothing short of a fantasy.

Everything I could have possibly imagined or wanted had come true. Lifelong friendships, leadership roles within prominent campus organizations, working alongside student leaders and faculty alike creating a lasting impact in the local community, and being surrounded by individuals that challenged my intellect on a daily basis. When applying to positions, I simply got them; it was both a combination of personality traits and general likeability, luck, and a little bit of my whiteness.

I was on top of the world and still feel as if I am.

This dream state is quickly reversed when stepping out of Gainesville, however. I technically have a semester left due to an internship credit that is required by my college, but have began the process of job application and quickly realized the grand persona that I had created in Gainesville does not transmit to paper.

I could walk anywhere on campus or go in most classes and know at the very least one to two individuals every single time. In social situations, I garnished the respect of my peers and was cheered on at an appearance at any event.

How quickly this is overlooked in the eyes of an employer. Most employers just see another young white man that just graduated from college. They see experience and growth in multiple jobs and a leadership tract that just names off president of xyz or coordinator of this event. Even with descriptions included in both a resume and LinkedIn profile, they are often scanned over and overlooked. 4 years of efforts focused on specific organizations that harbor less than 10 seconds of an individuals attention.

I write this to talk about how disheartening it can be to be thrown back into the bottom of the heap and have to climb back up. The way in which I cope with this is to consistently remind myself of the impact that I have made and to think about what I want my life to look like. It is not the career that will define me, but rather me alone that will define how I am remembered.

Understand that this is a tumultuous process and leaves many stressed to a point of mental breakdowns, but can be countered with understanding that you have value and your purpose is not contingent on getting that one job or internship.

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend.

 

Get ready to move your hips — Song of the Week: DESPACITO

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

A College Seniors Final Goodbye

 

A culmination of four years ending in one day.

You flip a tassle to the opposite side and you are deemed an alumnus of your university. You sit and ponder all the things that led you to this point and begin to realize just how quickly 4 years went by.

As an incoming freshman to the University of Florida, I was required by a course to write a letter to my graduating self and I found something within it that I found interesting enough to share. I wrote “only about 10% of what you will remember from college will be your classes, the other 90% will come from the relationships you form and the people you meet.”

As my time comes closer until I walk across that stage, I have not been nostalgic, but rather have reminisced on what has brought me to where I am today. It’s true, it isn’t the classes, but the people who I have made lasting memories with that I will cherish for the entirety of my life.

However, this reminds me of a sobering reality of my time at UF. Whether it be at 11:30 PM typing frantically to turn in a paper by the 11:59 deadline or ordering pokey sticks at 2:30 AM because health is obviously the biggest priority at that time, you were alongside not only roommates or organizations that you were a part of, but with the likes of an entire student body of 50,000 plus individuals.

I experienced it briefly during my internship where I moved away for three months. It is the fade away effect. It isn’t based on anger, or disinterest, but more so just a passage of life as you graduate. I know that many of you will be intertwined with my life forevermore, but I also acknowledge that some of you will move on only ever communicating with me through subtle thumbs up or hearts on social platforms.

I urge you, beg you even, to keep in contact with those individuals that had massive impact on you. Ultimately, we are social by nature and the connections that are made in college will never be fully able to be emulated again. Understand that once you start “adulting” and get into the real world, you are not alone, you are a text, call, or FaceTime away from keeping a friendship at full blossom.

I will be eternally grateful for the impact you have had on me and what you have helped me become. Thank you, I love you, and for my final undergraduate time, Go Gators.

 

Song of the Week: I’m The One – DJ Khaled 

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham