The last few days have pushed me back on the 30 day challenge, which is a bit disappointing, but I’d rather take the time to do it properly than rush it through. The title of this post is not some thinly veiled attempt at self-indulgence (I mean, that is what this blog is for) but actually a real thing. I was nominated this year for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year awards. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are.
The whole process was gruelling. Having to go through various assessments and questions, identifying this competency or that one, but this time it wasn’t just to be satisfy a graduate recruiter. I could actually talk about what I love doing: innovating. I love the process of creation. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was my favourite film as a boy, and Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka still makes me stare at the screen like a schoolkid. The sense of imagination and excitement from completely impossible things made me realise then that just because something doesn’t look normal, does not mean that it isn’t brilliant.
Although as you get older, fear creeps in. The drop to failure gets higher and higher, as does the height of responsibility. You start to overthink things. And I guess this last week has made me realise how much of my own stress is self-made. However, yesterday it was nice to put on a new suit and talk to people about the things I was interested in, the companies I have founded and what my ideas are for the future.
I wasn’t grovelling to employees at a firm I wanted to work for, but I was being asked about my thoughts on things – and this time it wasn’t being marked out of 10 on a clip board. There was a mutual respect. And the calibre of talent was staggering. One guy who won one of the awards was so good that he got invited to Obama’s second inauguration ceremony…I mean, my jaw literally hit the floor.
And no, I didn’t win. I was nominated for Future Business Leader by Mars Global and the girl next to me won. Initially I was disappointed, but when I looked at the sheer delight on her face, I was happy to see it go to someone who wanted it so much. For me, just being nominated was a token of how far I had come. After seeing things go my way (and not on some occasions) it felt calming to be given recognition for just being me.
I am forever grateful and humbled by the opportunities and achievements that have already come in abundance in my life so far. It is a culmination of my parent’s backbreaking efforts, my long suffering friends, colleagues that I have learnt so much from and strangers that challenge me every day. I never forget how lucky I am, and you can’t always win them all.
Although I did win, in my own little way.