As motivation on my resume, I always include ‘I work hard and I persist.’
I often times ask myself, do I really?
In my mind, I imagine someone who works hard and persist as a world-class athlete. A Caster Semenya.
Or someone that climbs Mount Everest.
They work hard. Often many people see it and praise them for it. They have something to admire.
What do I have to admire?
I know I work hard and persists. But when I’m asked to write about it, I feel like I’m lying on my resume.
My subconscious tells me: You finished school, you wrote 4 books, you are enough. But then I remind my subconscious of all my failures. because sometimes we see so much failure that the small success doesn’t take much space up in our brain. We compare our lows to other peoples highlights.
Tonight I got the answer. I agree that I’m enough.
Working hard and persisting is also for us ‘normal’ people. With everyday life obstacles, persisting in quiet times when no one sees. No news broadcast of our heroic day. No Mount Everest picture on Facebook.
Working hard and persisting can occurs in small things.
For me, one of the times, it occurred when I applied to university. As a South African student, applying to a Dutch university, took effort.
Acquiring all the documents, scanning it, uploading it, waiting for the reply.
It seems easy enough. No hard work or persistence. Not quite right. It’s been 10years since I left school, so it’s obvious that some things have changed, and some documents I have lost.
I emailed the government, the education system, everyone with an email address. I’ve had telephone calls and ‘please wait’ repeated to me a dozen times. Just to be re-directed to a new number.
‘Good day, I’m inquiring if it’s possible to get these documents after 10 years?’
‘Yes, but it takes 8weeks and you have to donate a liver and a heart in order to get it.‘
The universe came through and I had all the necessary documents authorized by the proper authorities.
Time to scan.
My scanner broke, I was broke. The deadline is getting closer. Finally, I got my salary and went to scan the documents.
Time to upload.
My wifi always works. But on the day I need it the most, it failed me. Murphey’s law.
Not a problem, my friend has wifi. I get there and my computer decided it doesn’t want to charge.
I end up using my friend’s computer. My husband, that’s in The Netherlands, uploaded half of the documents that I’ve sent to him via Whatsapp because my wifi on the phone didn’t want to work.
All of this seems like it should’ve taken a day, but I’ve learned in life, things that are supposed to take a few minutes, can end up taking a month.
Last week a friend of mine asked me to help her with her resume.
I said: ‘Yes there’s an app for that. It takes about 5 minutes’.
It took me three hours.
The app kept closing every time before I was almost done. I started over 6 times. Then switch over to typing it on the laptop. Of course, the laptop went off and didn’t want to start again.
At this point, you probably wondering if my laptop has issues. It doesn’t. It works perfectly well when I watch a random youtube video, but the moment I need it to work, it acts up.
I managed to get the laptop on and retyped the resume. My friend was getting impatient.
“Chantal, you said it will take 5 minutes. I have to be back before my kids come back from school.’
I could feel the tension in the room.
…And then it was done! Just to send it to her email. I’ve sent it 3 times and she didn’t receive it.
At the time I felt like a failure. My cheeks and ears were red. What was happening?
She let me know the following day she received it.
Thinking back, I consider it a success. I worked hard on it and persisted.
These are small occurrences in my daily life. I know I’m not a suffering refugee.
I can tell you about the time I applied for my residency permit for The Netherlands, but I think you know how it went.
Bottom line: In our everyday life we work hard and persist, that failed fries that was supposed to be crispy, the failed Pinterest DIY.
But you make food again and try Pinterest diy’s again.
So, the next time you write a motivational letter or update your resume, feel free to write ‘I work hard and persists.’
When they ask you in the interview why you consider yourself a person that works hard and persists, mention a day in your life you thought you’d never live through, and there you are sitting in front of them.
Sometimes surviving a day, shows you work hard. Continuing doing it all over the next day, shows you persist.
PS: Guess what happened when I tried to upload this post up the first 6 times 😉
But if you’re reading this, it means uploading the blog post was a success!