Good Afternoon Lovelies! TGIF! That’s the mode I’m in right now, lol.
For today’s inspiring episode of the #UnheardStory Series, you’ll be meeting my immediate elder Sis. My sister Success has always been the brightest in our family – she had the best grades not just in her class or school but also in the entire state when she was in Secondary school. Her name ‘Success’ literally followed her wherever she went so it was a huge shock and cause of worry to all of us when she had difficulty securing a job post-NYSC… Lemme not spoil the gist for you.
I present you the #UnheardStory from Success Anoke, the delectable lady behind “TheDarkRoom” blog. Please read, learn and share your lessons in the comment box.
I Almost Lost My Mind Job-Hunting After My NYSC But God Came Through With A Word And A Promise – Success Anoke
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
My name is Success Anoke. I jokingly tell people I lived a charmed life until I turned 21 – until then, I never ever had to wait for anything. A designated car was often already waiting before I get to a next stop, and in some instances, reversing to come pick me up.
I got admission into the university to study my dream course (Mass Communication), before my WAEC results came out. I had written JAMB and WAEC the same year, but before the WAEC results were released, I used the result from the November/December GCE I took the previous year, when I was in SSS 2, to gain admission. As an undergraduate, I had smooth sailing in school – no carryovers, no extra year, not even an extra second (ASUU engineered or otherwise), I graduated top of my class with an amazing CGPA and I was posted for NYSC, Batch A in 2010.
This is where the sound track of my story changes a bit. I felt sad when I saw my posting letter to Gombe State… While most of my course mates were getting postings to places like Rivers, Lagos or Abuja, I on the other hand was posted to the North East. With time, I accepted the posting as part of God’s will and determined to make the best of it; camp time came and I went to Gombe with an adventure spirit.
In the life plan I’d drawn for myself which my life had seemingly followed to the letter, I would serve in a reputable organization that would retain and pay me big bucks after the service year… Well, that was not to be.
Long story short, as I rounded off my service year, my immediate boss in my PPA (the ministry of Information, Gombe State) offered they could retain me but after considering the paltry salary of 25,000 a month, the burgeoning crises in the North (boko-haram insurgency was just coming to national attention at the time) and the 2011 general elections just around the corner, I had to turn down the offer. I also got an offer from a new generation bank in Kaduna to work as a marketer for 65,000/month. This time, I turned down the offer because I didn’t want to work in a bank – all the bankers I knew on or before then had no life. I wanted none of that for myself. So, I arranged my kaya and went back home with just the joint payment of February and March allowees and some other last funds from my POP. I fixed my faith firmly on God and positioned myself, waiting for the job offers to start rolling in.
With the little funds I had, I frequented cyber cafes to submit my CV and check for jobs as I had no personal computer and I didn’t have a good internet enabled phone. By June, 4 months post-NYSC, I still had no job and I was getting near frustrated in my job hunt. I couldn’t believe I was wrong on so many fronts. I blamed myself for turning down the N65, 000 bank job offer. I blamed myself for not accepting my dad’s offer to sponsor my Masters programme. I felt so lost. To make matters worse, I broke up with my then boyfriend, who was also my best friend… so I had no job, no friend in Abuja, and money was fast running out. Before long, I was operating in a void of depression and I had nobody to talk to. My sister I was living with was heavily pregnant at the time so I had to put up a bold front. (Till date, most of June and July 2011 is a dark hole for me – I can’t remember most things, except for few snatches here and there).
By July, I was fully out of money but didn’t want to ask my dad for some because he would ask me to come home which I didn’t want to do at the time. It was at this depressing period that I sought God and He gave me a word. He told me, “I will give you a job you are not qualified for”. I was so excited. I told everyone who cared to listen that I now had a job. I even put it up as a Facebook update.
In obedience to God and as an expression of my faith, I bought malt drinks and biscuits (all I could afford) and celebrated my new job with my home cell fellowship.
The Promise and Near Misses
Finding and reading Max Lucado’s books (“When God Whispers Your Name”, “He Chose The Nails” and one other book I can’t recall the name now) that July, gave me fresh revelation of God. By September, I was on the road to recovery. Nothing much had changed in the physical but my psyche was different, and I was very expectant of His Promise.
As if in confirmation, an oil firm called me for tests. I was so sure that was the answer to my prayer. I successfully went through the first 2 rounds of recruitment. I even “faith-ed” it and went to their office after a while when they didn’t call me for further interviews after telling me I was successful in the first two rounds. Looking back now, I thank God they didn’t employ me ‘cause 2 years later, the same oil firm declared a loss, and down-sized (maybe I would have been among the laid off staff). God kept me from that.
Next, a major Public Relations firm (Insight Communications) invited me for internship in Lagos. PR has always been my dream but there was no money to travel to Lagos as I had used my last funds to celebrate my new job; so I missed that opportunity… I had so many disappointments and dashed hopes in my numerous job applications and remember, God had already promised to give me a job I didn’t qualify for. Yet, months rolled by and I still didn’t have the promised job. After one very painful denial of a job I had qualified for (the boss decided to favor someone with a ‘longer’ leg instead), I stopped praying for/applying for jobs and just told God to do what He will.
Again, remember I had already testified and celebrated my new job… this now appeared like I had shot myself in the leg because at every subsequent cell fellowship, people started asking “So, Success when are you starting your job?”; “Have you resumed?” “Which office exactly?” And on and on and on and I would always answer “soon”. All the while mentally saying “Baba God, you berra show up o”.
The rest of 2011 rolled by and the Promise remained pending. 2012 came and I remember getting a business card to an editor in ThisDay Newspapers (another dream place I envisaged working in). I called the editor and we fixed an appointment. On the agreed day I was to meet him (26 April, 2012), I got to ThisDay Dome, and he wasn’t in the office. I was torn between waiting for him in the reception or leaving and going to church to finish a voluntary recording I was working on for “ZawMaw in concert” – a music concert by my church. Finally, I chose the latter. Got to church and barely started recording when we heard this loud bang that shook the windows of the church. What happened? Bomb explosion at ThisDay Dome. I was so shaken I could not record anymore. If that man had been in the office, I would have been in there. I most likely would have been dead by now, but God spared me with what appeared like a disappointment to the human eye.
God gave me a promise and I almost missed it because I expected it to come in a particular package.
I contracted chicken pox at some point and was so sick, such that when I had an interview with some bank, I botched it because I was so sick and I couldn’t reschedule. With that, I was out of interview/aptitude test invites except for one with one of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks… I went for the outstanding aptitude test when I was a bit recovered from the Chicken pox even though I still had chicken pox wounds and scars. The crowd of applicants at the aptitude test venue (UniAbuja), was so intimidating! I saw people reading and rehearsing and I was like, “babe what are you doing here?” You know that feeling when you know you haven’t prepared for an exam? I’d been sick for months and hadn’t really studied for this test. All I did was say a silent prayer to God for mercy and Grace and He answered… Later that month, I got feedback that I scaled through the first step and I was invited for an interview in Kano. I went for the second stage and waited patiently for a positive feedback…
May 28th, 2012, which happens to be my birthday came and I was so sad that day. I remember I had begged God that I needed a job before my next birthday and it appeared He had forgotten His promise to me. Unknown to me, God was preparing a perfect birthday present for me. I had no special event for the day, but that evening, I dressed up and took some pictures with my phone. Around 7pm same day, I got an sms inviting me to come to Lagos for medicals. That’s not all, God also miraculously provided the funds for the travel.
To His Glory, I resumed Graduate-Trainee programme with the bank on 6 June 2012. Till date I’m still with them and it’s been Him all the way. God changed my story, gave me the best birthday package and gave me reason to fully comprehend His word in Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
When I got the invitation to share this story, my first reaction was “no, no, no!” Going through this blog I see young people like me doing amazing stuff in different fields, I felt I don’t quite fit the mould. Besides, I have been conscientiously avoiding sharing or writing this story… But when you consider the fact that Dee does not take ‘no’ for an answer, you can imagine the stress and ‘harassment’ I have gone through since April when she first mentioned the idea. At the end, I just had to give in, lol.
Now, I am so grateful she pushed me to do this. Writing this made me go back in time. It made me literally count my blessings and boy, am I surprised at what God has done?!!! I am 4 years and counting in this job and I can’t help but marvel at God’s overwhelming Faithfulness. I pray this encourages you, inspires you and awakens your faith in Christ. I also pray it fires your passion for kingdom service and puts your eyes back on God (if it has wandered). Above all, I pray if you are yet to know Christ for yourself, you can start from here.
Thanks a million best sis for sharing your challenging but inspiring #UnheardStory with us. Forget that sis is family, I didn’t know half of this #UnheardStory until she shared it with me. Thank God the months of begging, cajolling, ‘bribing’ and all to convince her to share finally worked because I learnt a whole lot from this. The top two lessons I learnt are captured in this two scriptures:
- “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11
- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
Your turn sweeties, what lessons did you pick from Success Anoke’s #Unheard story? Please share in the comment box.
- This will be the last #UnheardStory for 2016 and due to popular demand for the series, twill continue next year on a monthly basis.
- The exciting series with the tagline “Another Christmas and I’m still single”… Talked a bit about it HERE will kick off next week Thursday #drumrolls
Stay tuned to the blog this season for lots of amazing updates and Christmas giveaway. Darlings, now is the best time to subscribe if you haven’t done so yet.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share.