Have you ever failed? Have you ever stopped doing something just because your attempts weren’t successful? I’d like to tell you a story, something from first-hand experience.
A couple years ago I was eager for some “fresh air” in my teaching career, so I was looking for a job abroad. As a result, I got an excellent job offer from a private American school in China quite soon and after signing a contract, I was on cloud nine preparing for a trip. However, something went wrong with a work permit for foreigners in China (that was just out of the blue!) and even though the contract was signed, I couldn’t either apply for visa or cross the border. I felt completely devastated. Ruined. That was the school of my dreams! After a while I began seeking for a new position, getting through numerous interviews, negotiating contracts, notarizing documents… Nothing could satisfy me. Indeed, I’d got a more or less acceptable job offer and applied for a visa. Believe it or not, my bid was rejected, this time by the ambassy. My agents were speechless with surprise, the school principal was shocked, I felt like the globe stopped turning. I couldn’t seem to get myself motivated to move on. All of us, our team, double-checked every single document, every phrase and word. Our mutual decision was to apply again.
To cut long story short, I applied three times and three times I was turned down with no reason. Two weeks after the last refusal I was invited to teach in Poland and three days later I conducted my first classes there.
Looking back… Do I regret my time spent in vain on my Chinese campaign? Absolutely not. That wasn’t anyone’s fault. That was my experience. I’ve learnt that something is simply beyond my control. I’ve realized how strong I am. I’ve learnt how to negotiate my bid (and believe me, the Chinese are extremely skilled and unpredictably resourceful in negotiating).
I sincerely believe that if one door closes, another one opens. And sometimes you have to try… a window. You know, just in case. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
In the end, I’d like to provide you with one tiny detail: the place I was denied permission to enter in China has become notorious nowadays. It’s Wuhan.
Everybody has their ups and downs, the high and lows in their career. Yet, never consider your unsuccessful endeavour as a failure. It’s important to keep going and get better when things happen.
Everything has a reason.