Three years ago one of my friends, Herman, was sitting at home without a job and without any education. He did not know what he wanted to do and he did not believe that he had the skills to secure even the most junior position. Today Herman is a successful software developer and about to be promoted to senior developer. He is the perfect example that it is possible to succeed if you’re prepared to work for your success.
At the time, 2004, I was working for a company that needed to promote their website on the Internet. I did not know much about Search Engine Optimization, but I knew that we needed to get some links to our site and that this could be a very tedious task. I asked Herman whether he’d be interested in a boring and low paying position and he immediately jumped at the opportunity and said that he would do anything to earn some money. I explained the situation to my manager and the company offered Herman R1000 per month for working 4-5 hours every evening and he accepted. For those of you who don’t know the South African Rand, one US dollar is worth approximately seven rand, so R1000 is roughly US $140. It’s nothing for 4-5 hours per day.
I left that company a couple of months later and returned to work for them again at the beginning of this year, 2007. On my first day back on the job I was pleasantly surprised to hear my manager praising Herman as one of his top resources and his most faithful employee. He said that if he had a problem, he knew that he could count on Herman to get it resolved. Was this the same guy who believed three years ago that he did not have the skills to find any work whatsoever? I could not believe my ears.
During the three years that I was away, Herman had used every opportunity to improve himself and worked ridiculous hours to prove his worth to the company while also getting an education for himself. Instead of spending the R1000 that he was earning every month, as most 19 year olds would do, he saved the money and paid for a Microsoft course to become MCSD certified. At some point the company got a small web development project which they were not really interested in, but Herman again jumped at the opportunity and developed that system. That, in turn, opened up more doors for him and today he is one of the main resources at our company’s biggest client.
Three year ago Herman had absolutely nothing and knew nothing about computer or the Internet. I remember watching him in the beginning as he searched the keyboard trying to find every key he needed to press. This year I had the pleasure of seeing his excitement as he bought his first vehicle and today he is far more successful than most of his friends. Herman is not a genius and he did not win the lottery or have his success handed to him on a plate. I hope my good friend does not take this as an insult, but to me Herman is like a bulldog. He went out there and said “thank you for this opportunity, now let me show you that you won’t regret your decision”. Although he had no previous experience or knowledge, he was given a small opportunity and he made a huge success of it.
I have only spoken about my friend Herman in this article, but you must be blind if you cannot see the message here. You are bound to get some opportunities in your life, even if it is a measly R1000 per month. Don’t sit back and say that’s not good enough or it will never work. Take every opportunity you get and give it your best. There are so many lazy people out there that if you are prepared to work hard, you are bound to be noticed and given more opportunities.