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Subject:  Initiative Date:  10/9/2005  4:37 AM
Author:  Erdrick Number:  40223 of 49628

About two months ago I was shown the door (exit door, that is), in no uncertain terms by a company I would have given my eye-teeth to work for.

That stung a bit, but I learned some important lessons. And I received fantastic advice and overwhelmingly positive support here to help me stay on the right track. Let me update you on these past two months.

Shaving away the savings

My savings are running thin, so I take a bottom-of-the-barrel job working in a factory to accrue income while continuing my job search. After six weeks on the job, I am promoted from the very lowest paying job to the very highest paying one (second only to plant foreman).

I now make more money starting in this position than I would have at the eye-teeth job, anyway.

It's a funny story of how it all came to be.

Oh god, not another HR interview… God, what did I ever do, I swear that I'll never again…

I go to a cattle-call company job fair. (Don't throw the tomatoes just yet! Networking prowess is forthcoming, keep reading!) I am the only candidate to arrive in a full suit. I want a sales job or something in the office but they are only hiring for plant jobs. Fine. I need income.

The HR person clearly does not believe I can possibly work in a factory. I tell her everything I know about the business. I can tell she considers it irrelevant. She just doesn't think I will fit. In desperation, I say, “Look, I'm a strong, tough guy who is no stranger to physical exertion and old-fashioned hard work.” No response.

My mind is going rapid-fire through everything I've learned about persuasion and influence, trying to do something to reach this woman. Just as I know she is about to show me the door, I think of physical transformations as described in How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to be Persuaded.

I slowly lift my arms and move my hands toward her. She becomes alarmed as any woman would when a stranger who is getting rejected for a job looks like he's about to strangle her!

I stop over her desk and flick my palms open toward her. She gasps a bit at the calluses and hardened skin on my grip. “That,” I declare with a smile, “is from deadlifting over 450-pounds with my back. I'm as tough as anybody you've got back there.”

She finally breaks down and smiles. “Why don't you come back tomorrow for a tour of the plant?... Honestly, I wouldn't have invited you back if you didn't show me the calluses,” she says with a chuckle. “You look too 'pretty' to work here if you don't mind me saying.”

“Well you're pretty and they hired you.

A "callous-approach" to getting a job, perhaps? Whatever works. This time, it was a "pretty" face and beat-up hands.

The best place to begin succeeding is where you are, with what you have

I go from certainty that I am getting my dream job to painful rejection, and then one week later I'm out of my business suit and in a pair or dirty, greasy coveralls, taking instruction on how to bevel steel from someone who can barely speak English coherently. I jus