Riding the Waves of Unemployment.

For the most part, I see myself as a stereotypical Norwegian – blue eyes and blond hair. Growing up in the one of the richest municipalities in Norway, I was one of the lucky ones where we would always travel to a new destination each summer. 

Because I was one of the fortunate ones, I decided to move abroad. Far away from the cold and snow. But it was not until I moved back, I realized how narrowminded Norway is (and how ignorant I used to be). 

“I will have a job in three weeks” is what I told myself upon arrival to my mother country. A year has passed and not one single offer. From a Norwegian company that is. 

I did, however, get a lot of job interviews. I was very lucky. 1st, 2nd, 3rd round. I had equally high hopes every time. And then came the rejections. It was easy to brush things off in the beginning. But after rejection after rejection, it starts to hurt really bad. 

It wounded my self-esteem so much, and I am still struggling today. I am not as nearly as social as I used to be. I even stopped drinking because I hate meeting new people, or old friends (ugh, those are the worst), and having the whole “so what do you do now?” conversation. But the worst part is that I have stopped believing in myself and my own abilities. I do not feel like I am deserving of a job, or to contribute to the society. And I feel ashamed, embarrassed, and like a huge disappointment to my family. 

According to the recruiters, I am doing everything right. And “everyone” keeps telling me not to worry, I will get a job sooner than I know it. But when is soon? I have already given up so many times, and I am pretty sure my self-esteem cannot take more rejections. 

I feel like a failure. 

Photo by John Hain.

As of now, I am taking a break because I just need one. I am still wondering if the companies I interviewed with a while back gave me constructive criticism or if I just did not want to hear it. All I remember is that most people told me “if it was not for the other candidate, it would have been you,” “we like you a lot, but we decided to go for another candidate.” I was once told I did not communicate well enough why I wanted to work for a company. And that is fair enough. But at the same time, I am thinking, is that all? 

Through friends and Diversify, I have met so many incredibly talented people, who are not given a chance because they 1. have parents from a different country (aka do not look “Norwegian”), and 2. do not have experience from Norway. I have met people with multiple master’s degrees, 10+ years in different industries, and they struggle to get a relevant job. 

Why? Why are companies rejecting those who could and would contribute so much to society in their work ethics, skillset and diversity? I would do anything to get a chance.

A wise friend told me that sometimes our greatest blessings comes from our greatest disappointments. And I truly hope this is the universe redirecting me or teaching me a lesson – at minimum, perhaps a lesson in entitlement. Whatever the outcome, I have to stay strong and keep pushing. Through Diversify, I hope we can continue the conversation and plant the seeds needed to make positive changes. 

Written by a Freya.

Join the Discussion and Leave us a Comment :)

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

You might also be interested in...

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Chisom Udeze

Founder of Diversify, Diversify Consult, HerSpace & The Annual

Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil and The Economist Group. Chisom is analytical and a data enthusiast. She is passionate about interrogating the cross-sectoral relationship between society’s inhabitants, resources, production, technology, distribution and output. She efficiently and effectively unlocks complex systems, interprets data, forecasts socio-economic trends and conducts research.

Having lived and worked in 7 countries across 3 continents, she is highly adaptable to different circumstances and people, and thrives in uncertain environments.

As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.

In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders. 

Chisom is a thought-leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on DEIB and justice related topics, some of her work is published on Forbes.

Skip to content