When Your Breakthrough is About To Happen, Your Qualification(s) -or Lack of it-Will Not Matter
Two weeks ago , a colleague told me about a bid that was open in one of the companies I supply. I had never done this job before but I thought to myself it was time to take things a step forward and upward. Before I was able to apply, everyone, including the staff of the company told me not to bother, the bid always goes to one person and that’s how it has been for the past year. I wondered what was special about this person who wins the bid all the time, only to find out he was the in-law of the director in charge of supply.
A lot of people who wanted to bid for the job dropped out because they were certain it was a no-go-area, why waste resources on a fruitless effort? That day, I also gave up. However, I couldn’t get my mind off the situation, I asked myself how my company would grow from it’s present stage if I didn’t try everything I could to make it so. I also asked myself, “how can I compete against the in-law of a director? He obviously has more funds and experience than I do”.
Still, the next day, I fixed a meeting with the director, I was shocked he even agreed to see me in the first place, but I was excited to at least have his audience. If the job I was gunning for wouldn’t work, I would ask for another.
I was nervous because something inside of me kept pushing me to cancel, to wait for another bid that is on my level, to not disrespect the director by telling him to his face to give me a chance instead of his own in-law who was probably more qualified. I made up my mind I was going, not like I’ve not heard “NO” a lot of times in this business.
Getting to his office, there was another of his colleagues seated, and he asked me to speak in front of him. I started by thanking him for meeting with me in the first place, he immediately cut me off, “get on with it, I have a meeting in 10 minutes”.
So I said “I want you to look at the small jobs I have done for your company and how I never disappoint. I deliver on time and go the extra mile in making sure there are no problems with logistics. The same way I have been diligent in the small opportunities I’ve been given here, if you give me a chance to apply in the upcoming bid, I’ll put in that same effort to execute this one”.
He didn’t miss a beat “ Why are you telling me this, go ahead and bid like every other person, if your price is right, you’ll get the job “.
I looked at the other man seated and I thought, well, I had better say it. “Why I wanted a private meeting with you is because I heard Mr…has been getting the job for the past year, I also hear he is your in-law which makes the competition even more stiff.” The director didn’t look up from his computer when he said “So you assume he is only getting the job because he is my in-law, not because he is qualified?”
I stuttered a little, then I said, “He is obviously way more qualified than I am, I just wish I would also be given a chance to play in that field, I feel like if only one person keeps getting the job, how can small players like me rise to his type of qualification? I really want to do this, please give me a chance to prove myself”
The director finally looks up after taking a glance at his watch, “Apply for the bid” he said. I didn’t know what else to say so I stood, thanked him and with a heavy heart, left his office.
I worked on the bid all night and cut as much costs as I could. I knew I wasn’t going to get the job since I was dismissed so flippantly, but I made up my mind I’d apply anyway.
I submitted the bid and took my mind off it. This morning, I received an email, I had won the bid and was asked to come in to pick up my purchase order. I stared at my computer for minutes, shocked! Amongst other people with more influence, money and qualifications, I have been given a chance…
I know now to put in my all in whatever I do, that even though the chance of getting the job may be slim, there’s a chance and I cannot afford to waste it.