Opinion: How I lost a job with Google

by Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie

I had a friend in school, the “most likely to succeed” type.

She was brilliant – book and street smart – had the drive and ambition, was almost always the first to be considered for a position of responsibility but…

Ten years after we graduated, she was still job hunting.

From one mediocre, destiny destroying, slave labour masquerading as a “job” to the other. She would get frustrated after three months of deceiving herself she had a job, and kuku embrace her unemployment status with pride.

In the meantime, those of us who were not really that sharp, but were sha representing our constituencies, got jobs sharp sharp and started forming independence as quickly as possible.

Well, after almost a decade, this lady got a job. You know the kind of job that comes at once and wipes all the tears you had been weeping while waiting clean off your face? Yes? Yeah, that was the type of job she got.

In the blink of an eye, she had an official car and driver, a company paid residence and travelling allowances and all sorts paid for her.

At about that same point in time, some of us were out of job. Some were doing spectacularly well in business while yet others were failing spectacularly well in business.

Some were back in the labour market only to discover to their chagrin that they were either over qualified for the available jobs, or were too antiquated to fit into the existing vacancies.


Reminds me of a nice rejection letter I received from Google – I had listed all my high sounding titles and achievements, only to get the rejection letter of life. Google was happy with me that I had achieved so much in such a short span of time, but explained to me that they were not so keen on people who put achievements and paper qualifications first – that was not what they were on the lookout for.

They wanted talent – raw talent.

Not paper qualifications and “beeg beeg” titles that would probably hinder you from doing the work anyway.

But the letter was so nice, i was almost tempted to build it into my resume.

Rejected by Google for having big big titles and overcooked talents – in other words, a misfit for the job.


Even twins do not have the same destiny, drive and ambition.

Do not half-kill yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses, do not also worry yourself if the Joneses turn around to jeer at you for being slow of pace or struggling to play catch up.

Remember that we are all running individual races and ironically, life itself is no competition.

No matter how hard you run or try, we are all going to end up with the same result…

… dead.

So, close your eyes and ears to taunts, jeers and negative feedback.

Keep your head down and focus on your goal.

Keep striving to achieve a better you everyday.

Do not bother with who got there first or who has more of it than you do, focus on yourself – your own story.

The only valid competition in this life is you… against yourself.

Every other thing is contrived and as irrelevant as eraser scratchings on paper.

Do you, focus on you.

Every other thing is a distraction.

You’ll get there when you will.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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