Job hunting is a numbers game.

“After 4 long months, applying to 196 jobs, and going on 10 interviews, I officially have a job!”

So my niece sends me this exciting email yesterday, the day before she walks across the stage to accept her Bachelors degree in Marketing. I am soooo proud of her! My thoughts are in Atlanta with her today.

This is a girl who barely survived high school. She struggled. She didn’t quite fit in. She didn’t often attend. Getting her high school diploma was hard. She didn’t want a graduation party. She did not want to celebrate this milestone as it did not hold much value for her. She told her mom to wait until she did something she was truly proud of, to celebrate.

Halfway through that first summer, she decided she did want to go to college. This girl ignored all the snickers and remarks she heard from well-meaning friends and family who did not encourage or support her decision to fight her way onto a college campus. And fight is exactly what she did. She wasn’t getting in on her GPA or her extracurricular activities. She was determined to pursue her passion, which is fashion, and found an admissions counselor who told her to write an essay on why she believed she could succeed despite her less than stellar academic career to date. Just 24 hours after submitting that essay, she received the call that she would be admitted on academic probation. Yay!

My niece worked hard. She still struggled in some classes, but pushed through. This girl wanted this degree. She was confident in her fashion expertise; sales and marketing. She knew this was her chance to be a success and was not about to let anyone or anything get in the way.

Her college experience finished one quarter early (yes, she finished in 3-3/4 years in February) with a 3.0 GPA. Today, wearing her cap and gown, she accepted her degree. Monday, she will begin her career.

This is a girl who knows first-hand that one cannot let others define you or determine your self-worth. Hurt people, hurt people. There will always be people in the world who will underestimate you. There will always be naysayers. Hold your head high, surround yourself with true supporters, and if necessary, plug your ears with your fingers and say, “lalalala, I can’t hear you!” to chase away the doubt. Believe in yourself!

Finding a job is a numbers game. The more job postings you answer, the more resumes you send out into the market, the greater the odds that the right person at the right job will take notice. You got this!!!

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