Give them a chance

I’m thinking about the gentleman who took my visa interview in 2014. I had been rejected thrice for the visa before. I had screwed up my first interview. The other two went well but I’d still get rejected. But this person was different. He asked me a lot of questions and made a lot of notes. He wanted to be really sure as if he’d have to personally go and explain why he decided to reverse the earlier decisions. It was the longest visa interview I ever gave and I was so anxious that I didn’t even ask his name. In hindsight, it feels like he was just on my team. He wanted to give that visa to me. That interview ended with him making a rare gesture of extending his hand across the glass counter to congratulate me. 

Getting that visa was a launch pad for my career in advertising. I travelled across the globe and every time I’d step on a plane, I’d think about this gentleman. He had no reason to, but he took a chance on me. I hope I didn’t let him down. 

This story has played out many times in my life — with different circumstances and with different people. Anand took a chance on me, Lavin made a bet on me, Amanda put her trust in me, and Anwar recommended a mediocre candidate to the best business school in India, which then took a chance on me. 

It’s easy to maintain status quo. It’s easy to pass over a good candidate who doesn’t have a pedigree over someone who has the credentials (and I acknowledge my privilege here). It takes courage to take a chance on someone. But if you can, do it. I’ll guarantee you won’t be let down. 

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