Do you know Jan Koum and Brian Acton? Like you I had never heard of them before last Wednesday. A few years ago they both applied to and were rejected by Facebook. The significance of this is that on Wednesday, February 19th, Facebook, the company that had years earlier rejected them for employment, bought Koum and Acton’s company, WhatsApp for nearly $19B. Yes that “B” is for billion! Unemployed and rejected one day, the next (well actually many days later) the very company that said they didn’t pass muster paid them billions!
Even more satisfying for Koum is that he has also earned a sweet spot on Facebook’s board of directors.
I understand what you are probably thinking. “Koum and Acton are rich because they both must be geniuses.” Well if you believe that then you must concede that even though they were brilliant, they still got rejected. Perhaps they were smart enough but had bad resumes. Maybe they took a video interview and failed it. Maybe they had the wrong behavioral profile. Perhaps they had no college degree. Heck even Steve Jobs with all his untapped potential was rejected by HP’s hiring process for having no degree. Cancer aside, we all know he did okay.
The point that I hope is sinking into your brain is that despite their alleged brilliance, despite their probable drive and work ethic, even Koum’s, Acton’s and Jobs’ potential, like yours, was overlooked. If you aren’t getting anywhere with your job search your first inclination might be to take it personally rather than objectively.
Take a look at this picture of Koum signing the $19B Facebook deal. The building pictured is the social services building where Koum once stood in line to collect food stamps.
Maybe you’re standing in line for food assistance or unemployment benefits. If so, take heart! One day you could be signing your multi-million dollar deal on the door of the building where once you may have been frowned upon. Chin up my friends and good luck out there!