‘Rejection is redirection’: In conversation with Jonathan Javier

‘Rejection is redirection’: In conversation with Jonathan Javier

Jonathan Javier is the CEO and Founder of Wonsulting, a career consulting company that helps people from non-target schools and non-traditional backgrounds get their dream jobs at top companies with the mission to “turn underdogs into winners.” He has worked in Strategy & Operation team at Google, Snap and Cisco. Jonathan is also the youngest keynote speaker at Mena ICT Forum, GPTW Summit, LinkedIn Influencer Summit, LinkedIn Local and more. He has led more than 210 workshops on personal branding on several professional network platforms, including LinkedIn.

From getting rejected by his dream companies to endowing guest harangues in the same and building his own company, Jonathan Javier has tremendously assisted thousands to accomplish their ambitions. We, at the News and Publication Society, had the opportunity to connect with Jonathan. Here is the synopsis of the interview that transpired.

Q1. Jonathan, you’ve faced major rejections early in your journey. How have they shaped your approach towards life?

A1. With rejection, your mindset changes completely. Because previously, when I kept getting rejected from my dream companies, I always doubted myself if I wasn’t good enough. But at the end of the day, I always say, that ‘rejection is redirection’, as long as you react to it in the right way. So whenever I looked at rejection, I always knew that it was one step back and ten steps forward. I would say to myself that this will be a good story to tell my kids later on. So always utilise rejection as a motivation to be better than you already are. It sparks the flame in your mind in regards to accomplishing more than you already have.

Q2. Your experience at UC Riverside is something that you hold on to very dearly. Would you please share any moment from your college days?

A2. When I was in college, I always dreamt of working in my dream companies like Google, Facebook, etc. But coming from a non-targeted school and belonging to a non-judicial background, I always doubted myself. Back at that time, I gave interviews of my dream companies but was rejected. I thought maybe I lacked experience and used to compare myself to others coming from targeted schools or universities who had the opportunity to arrive, instead of seeking the opportunity. But then I realised, comparison is the thief of joy because when you compare yourself to others on social media platforms it causes your mindset to deteriorate. So I decided to put other people first. I helped them with guidance in their career and studies. Being involved with various professional development organizations on-campus, I helped people to get into their dream job when I didn’t have a job lined up but for a fact, I knew that everything would work out. So that’s how I managed to bridge the gap between non-targeted schools and these top companies by going to various events that are working with recruiters and professionals and ultimately bringing their ideologies into practice.

Q3.You’ve worked with tech giants like Google, Snap and Cisco. How do you think that experience helped you in building Wonsulting?

A3. It helped with time because the reason I worked in these companies was to learn how they specifically recruit students and job seekers. It gave me an internal way of seeing how to recruit students and how I could incorporate their ideology in teaching people the ways to get into these companies. Utilising LinkedIn could help budding talents to get into their dream companies. Basically, I was able to work with these companies because I utilized LinkedIn although I never actually applied. It provides a great experience to meet with intelligent people who not only know a lot regarding how to help job seekers but also hold a strong command in the technology field and that’s how I actually got the inspiration for starting Wonsulting.

Q4. Generally, people don’t take a risk when it comes to their full-time job. So what urged you to quit your full-time job and work on Wonsulting as the project of your life?

A4. My goal was to do entrepreneurship. So being an entrepreneur at work, I believe the community aspect is extremely important. To always stay in touch with people in regards to their career and help them as much as you can in order to get them to accomplish their dreams. So quitting the job was actually a very easy decision for me because I was thinking of what excites me and what I am passionate about. I realized that every single day I loved helping people selflessly. I wanted to perpetuate for about three years before making that transition. Actually, I got affected at Cisco as there was a COVID layoff. So basically in February 2020, I had to make a decision whether or not to go back to Cisco but the company wanted me to come back. So I made a decision to quit my job and Wonsulting has been a goldmine ever since I started it.

I always tell people to take a calculated risk, especially in entrepreneurship. When you are going into an industry that you want to learn from and then you can translate it in your own company as long as its not propriety information because it’s then you will be able to know exactly the ins and outs of the company and eventually just like the other million/billion dollar companies your company will flourish.

Q5. Jonathan, in your senior year in college you were involved in many side ventures both paid and unpaid. How did you manage to work on your idea of Wonsulting along with all those jobs?

A5. I was super involved with so many different things when I was a senior in my college. I felt like I had a full-time job but the thing was I never got tired of it. I just knew for a fact that I loved helping people. But how I got the energy was from the people telling me that I have made an impact on their life and I believe that’s what brings energy out in anybody who is specifically trying to do something impactful. Personally a simple thank you is all I need and that’s what got me up in the morning to do things that I always wanted to do, helping people.

Q6. What’s one thing you want the students who come from a non-target educational background to know before they begin their career?

A6. Your background doesn’t define your work ethics. Your work ethics can always be worked on in regards to you being a hard worker. You go out being the best you can be, not only for yourself but for others too. I think people’s perception is that if you don’t go to a big school or an elite college that have opportunities you can’t get those opportunities but in fact, you surely can. There are other unconventional methods too that I teach in LinkedIn and Tik Tok which can ultimately get you into your career.

Another thing I would say is to reach out to people for help. Ask for their guidance. If you never ask you will never know. So I would suggest these things to the people coming from non-targeted schools.

Q7. In the COVID era, many have suffered, grown, failed and succeeded. What is the best and worst memory you had with your consultancy during the pandemic?

A7. I think the one thing that has been really successful is giving people actionable steps regarding their career through various events. Hosting events like “Speaker’s theory”, we tried to give people insights in regards to how to get into their respective dream companies. I think that’s significantly important because it helped so many students and also gave us a tremendous reach to people in need of consultancy and guidance. Thousands of people attended our event, so it has been incredible in that regard.

The worst thing is probably time management. It used to be extremely difficult for us at first. But when you are able to build a team and a community of individuals having similar passion as you, it flows way easier. Now our team is about 14-15 people and they all bring something amazing to the table. They have helped the company to grow and flourish and are also spearheading a lot of projects that we have.

Q8. What was the first thing that came to your mind when you got notified about Wonsulting being nominated for Forbes 30 under 30?

A8. I was super excited. Honestly speaking, we didn’t think we would get into the final round. Even though we didn’t get it, it’s totally fine. We were thoroughly honoured and enjoyed being there. However, I was really surprised to see the amount of impact we made in such a short time frame. Hopefully, we will be able to get it this year or maybe next year. I am manifesting it all right here.

Q9. You often stress on staying connected with recruiters even if one is rejected. But this could be an intimidating process. Do you suggest any way to overcome this hesitation?

A9. I stayed in touch with all my recruiters and hiring managers who have actually rejected me from my roles and just in general so I used to think it in the same way that it is intimidating. The worst thing that can happen is when you try to re-contact your recruiter or hiring manager they don’t respond to you and it’s literally the worst thing that can happen. Why stress on it because people are scared that someone’s perception can deteriorate their mindset because you are in touch with them, you keep them updated and you reach out to them. I literally got hit up for sales pitches. People have consistently been sending me nine messages in a row which is totally fine. It actually shows that they are really trying to stay in touch every single month. Don’t be scared to reach out to people because like I said the worst thing that can happen is that they don’t respond to you and the best thing is that you get to stay in touch with a recruiter or hiring manager that literally manages the role that you are interested in. Especially if you have been through the interview process, imagine you being in touch with them and then later on when they have a role available they think by themselves,” oh! I remember this person I interviewed. Let’s get him/her in an interview for this role.” Always remember to reach out to them and connect with them on LinkedIn. I connected with so many different people that helped me to grow and develop.

Q10. What message you would like to give to the budding entrepreneurs?

A10. For those who want to be an entrepreneur, what I would say is reach out to people who are basically the experts in your field. Look at the different articles, different words of wisdom they impart and practice those ideologies in your work ethics. A lot of them will literally tell exactly how they did it so that you could replicate it and ultimately utilise that to be a successful entrepreneur. Another thing is don’t be afraid to reach out to them and to express what you’re trying to start also in regards to how you look up to them. It’s very important to be friends with people like that and hold a reach because a lot of people will see that and take notice of it and be like, “Wow I would love to help you and give you guidance.” I personally help a lot of people to start their own career and I don’t look at it as a competition but as a community. It’s totally fine to have people who are starting their own venture that is similar to yours. That’s what I would advise the budding entrepreneurs.

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