Guest post by Noran Buzgaia, 2023 Fellow from Libya.
Editor’s note: Noran Buzgaia’s is a 2023 Techwomen fellow who has been invited as guest blogger to share her voice, perspective and experiences with the program and community.
Regardless of the title above, this post radiates with pride, self love, success and a surge of positive energy, so let’s dive right in.
Going back a few years, I had a successful career as a social worker and mental health advocate in schools & NGOs, a near five-year career which I started right after my university graduation in 2014.
Over time, I found myself leaning more towards managerial positions and realized that I excelled in practicing technical skills and leading. I aspired to be in a position that allowed for more growth and offered the possibility of being promoted to higher roles with greater responsibilities and learning opportunities. So one day I decided to prepare my humble CV and related documents, and mustered the courage to drive to a well-known bank in my home country, Libya. My goal was to meet with the HR or hiring managers. I succeeded in meeting two of them and discussed my past experiences and skill set. The meetings went well, and I was asked to bring my full application the next day to initiate the hiring process. I drove home that day filled with excitement, knowing that I had finally found a job after four months of applying.
Unaware of the shock that awaited me, the next day when I arrived at the bank, I was treated poorly. The HR assistant took my file and informed me that if they had a suitable position available in the near future, they would get in touch with me. With that, I was free to leave.
Her words pierced my heart like bullets! I recalled the question the HR officer had asked me during our meeting the day before. “You have a psychology degree, but what position could we possibly offer you! You don’t exactly meet the criteria we are looking for here!”
Her words echoed in my mind for months, and I had never felt so demoralized and unsure of my abilities as I did after this rejection. No need to mention the nights I cried questioning my self-worth. Was I good enough? Should I make this career shift? Why not go back to what I know best? …
That harsh rejection led me months later, to embark on a journey to earn a second bachelor’s degree in business administration, which I successfully obtained in 2022. Additionally, I pursued an integrated trainer’s program and obtained an official trainer’s license. This not only enhanced my public speaking and presentation skills, but also prepared me for captivating audiences during job interviews, pitching ideas and more.
During that period of self improvement, I continued to seek managerial positions in major companies. Today, I proudly hold the position of Account Manager at one of the largest banks in Eastern Libya at Masarat, a leading fintech company. I embrace the daily challenges that come with being a newcomer to the technology sector, achieving remarkable successes every day. I’ve learned to believe in myself without a shadow of doubt.
As a result, nearly two years into my new field, I am a 2023 Techwomen Fellow, and have earned the “Employee of the Month” title twice within a single year at my company. I look at myself with pride, pat myself on the shoulder and tell the little girl within me “You did it Noran!” It’s a testament that hard work truly pays off, and its manifestations are vivid in my life.
In conclusion, I wanted to pass on this lesson to all young girls & ladies who seek to make a change in their career and are still hesitant, Go on and do it, you will learn through this process more that you will lose!
P.S. Even the fortune cookie I got at Chinatown said so, ha ha! 🙂