No. Hearing that answer is tough. It is demotivating. It is deflating. It is exhausting. Believe me when I say it, I have heard my fair share of hearing “No”. I am sure you have too.
Looking for a job is a full-time job. Have you heard that before? Well, if you haven’t, then you need to take it to heart.
I want to share a story that is very personal, but the purpose of writing it is to inspire others. It is over a decade later, and ONLY NOW do I feel comfortable telling this story. My whole life I have been told that things happen for a reason. That is hard to believe sometimes, especially when you are struggling. Things happen, and they NEVER happen on our time table.
In the early 2000’s, I was an Account Executive for a company. I liked my job a lot. I believed in the product. I, however, was not great at selling the product. It was hard for me to admit that I wasn’t great, but it was a very complex product, and only a small percentage of America needed or wanted it. Every day I woke up and made countless cold calls and knocked on random doors. I had metrics I had to make every month and a sales quota on top of that. I was given free reign during business hours to do whatever it took to be successful. I had a great month in November and December and then came January. January was busy with personal things. February was much of the same. March came too quickly. I was in trouble. I hadn’t made my numbers in 3 months. My boss called me in and to my surprise, I was put on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan).
Well, things didn’t work out. I wish they would have, but in the end, my efforts were too late. I “resigned” after there weren’t many options left.
So, I was angry. I was frustrated. I was disappointed. I was sad. How did this happen? What could I have done differently? Then I thought about it for a while. I was sick of knocking on doors. I was sick of trying to sell a product to someone. I had to admit, for the first time in my career, I needed to make a change.
A couple of years earlier, I had an epiphany. I wanted to change careers. I thought this job was an answer, but clearly it was not. I REALLY wanted to go into HR. I had been in staffing earlier in my career and been very successful, so I wanted to take the next step in my career and move into HR. I was pursuing my Master’s degree and having this happen forced me into pursuing my dream.
Rejection. Oh how I felt rejection. I would have never imagined how much rejection I would receive. At first, I tried going after HR Generalist roles. I must have gone on at least 30 interviews. 30 times I put on a suit and tie and went to different companies to interview. My cover letter was compelling and my attitude was there, but companies always found someone with more experience.
It was 1 month… Then 2.. Then 4.. Then 6 months!! I was terrified. What was I going to do? I had a wife at home and I was embarrassed and ashamed. I then switched my focus to recruiting. It was sales, but I wasn’t pushing a product down someones throat anymore. I had recruited before, it had just been a while. I could jump right back in. Right?
Rejection again. No. No. AND No. I didn’t have any current recruiting experience. I hadn’t used an Applicant Tracking System. I didn’t have any experience recruiting for a specific skill set. I was so frustrated. No one would take a chance on me. Still, I woke up every day with a renewed attitude. Maybe THIS would be the day.
Then.. One Day… It happened…
I wasn’t expecting it.
I saw on Craig’s List that a former employer was looking for a Corporate Recruiter. I called up the hiring manager and he answered. He gave me an opportunity. I have to say, I have never looked back. I will never worry about job loss again. I know I will be able to overcome it.
What happened to me wasn’t by accident. It needed to happen. I needed to struggle. I needed to see what it was like to be “scared”. I was humbled. I know many of you reading this have felt the same way I felt.
You see, because of this experience it has made me the recruiter I am today. I am confident and willing to help most anyone in need. Years later it still seems so fresh in my mind. I will never forget those months. I will never forget the ones that helped me when I needed help the most.
In the end, persistency did pay off. You see, I had my mind made up I was going to succeed. It happened much later than I thought it would, and it was NOT on my timetable. That is okay though. I am a stronger man because of it. I have lived to tell the story to encourage you to not give up. Remember, you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to and GOOD does come from bad situations.
I would love to hear your story.