How I won a contest

and why I apply to jobs that I might not get

Have you ever done something for fun which then turned into something serious and important? I did. I stumbled upon a writing contest and gave it a shot. I had to hand in an excerpt of three sentences of any written work of mine. Easy, I thought, because I had started writing a story in English and just copied and pasted those three sentences.

The comments started to fill my mail box. I skimmed through them, but they were not for me. I forgot about the whole thing. That weekend I was busy doing things offline. And when I came back to the internet on Monday morning, I was among the four finalists.

Now I had to give my best in adding three more sentences. I did. And I won.

SoWrite Gold Medal

But the story doesn’t end there. After that I got an invitation to join the Wormhole Electric, a writers’ collective for science fiction and fantasy. My writing doesn’t necessarily fit into that category, and I have never written fiction in English before, but now I am on board, I have a due date, and I am writing, which is the most important part of the whole exercise.

I did the same with some job applications. You know, those that want experienced journalists who have published on the big news platforms, know everything from photography to social media and what not. I am not that kind of person. But I still apply. And being chosen for an interview afterwards was a sign for me that I was on the right track. It was a big motivation, even if I didn’t get the job.

But if I don’t apply, I have already lost. My job application is something I can do to win. When I decide to apply, I have a due date until which I have to have sent the application. That puts me under the pressure to do it. I learn how to apply, so that when I really want a certain job I have done it before and know how it’s done.

If you want to win, you have to try. If you don’t try, you have already lost.

What have you the last time you tried? Tell us in the comments below.

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