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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Landing the Big Job

Landing the Big Job

I’m sure that we are all familiar with the saying, “open the door when opportunity knocks.”  The truth is that you should open the door even if all you hear is a scratch at the door.  I personally have opened the door many times and treated each time like it could be the big one.  In reality we will not know if it was the big opportunity until a few months or years down the road.  Many times opportunity is whatever you make out of it.
The following are just a couple of quotes regarding opportunity;

1.     “Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.”  Sarah Caldwell Quotes

2.     “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  Seneca Quotes
In my post dated February 22, 2013 – Up the Creek, I mention the circumstance that led to one of the biggest opportunities in my life.  Not only was it a big opportunity at the time but it became the foundation that eventual successes would be built on.  On that post I go on to say; On that very day without wasting time I drove to the unemployment office, and I was referred to an employer for a management training job where I eventually worked my way to mid and upper management.

In the year when that took place, minimum wage if there was such a thing, must have been around $1.20 per hour.  The job I accepted had a starting pay of $1.48 per hour for a 40 hour week with overtime pay factored at time and a half for any hours over 40.  Up to that point in my life I had enjoyed many times better hourly pay.  So how does one look at that situation as a big opportunity?  Actually what you do is you look at the overall picture.  At the time, not knowing the area, being from out of state without my own place (I arrived at my grandmother’s house); you simply make the most of a tentative situation.

First of all I positioned myself to get the job simply based on the interview (preparation); I knew the employer was an industrial uniform rental supplier.  I went to their competition, and I lied (the only time I’ve ever lied – let’s just go with that), I told the person at the front desk, that I just started working at a Texaco station in town, and they had order uniforms for me, and I was wondering if someone could give me a tour of their plant (they complied with my request).  I asked all the questions that I could think of that might be relevant at my interview the following day.  Examples: where and how do you sort the soil uniforms when they come into the building, what process do the uniforms go through from sorting to being folded or placed on hangers ready for delivery.  What brands and models of equipment do you use for washing, extracting (wringing), drying, ironing, and or dry cleaning do you use? 

The following day I attended my interview and was able to explain how back home I used to work after school at a similar plant as theirs and finished processing loads of uniforms after the regular crew went home (oops, second and only other lie in my life).  The person that interviewed me was the Production Manager.  He was so impressed with my grasp of the process that he hired me on the spot (I eventually replaced him 7 months later).

I know people with the attitude that a job opportunity is beneath them because they have had better.  Keep in mind that even minimum wage is better than sitting at home watching television, or hanging out with your buddies shooting pool at the local dive.  You need to have faith that better things are waiting for you around the corner, endear yourself to the employer, become indispensable.  In private sector the bottom line is what counts unless you are working in a small family business (family will always be promoted ahead of you).  Chin up, the best is yet to come…

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