Sunday, December 12, 2004

Selling Yourself: Door to Door

My first job interview was quite an experience. The Washington Post advertisement claimed entry level marketing professionals needed. This seemed like an opportunity that I could not miss. I called the firm and later faxed my resume. Two days later, I received a call from the firm inviting me to interview for the position, I was ecstatic. I went to the interview and gave a stellar performance. The interviewer assured me that they would contact me, once a decision was made. Later that week, the firm called me and was interested in setting up a second interview, and I agreed. I was amazed to arrive at this interview, and be among ten others, also present for second interviews. We were all professionals and the room was filled with young ambition. At this point, the fishy aroma of this organization became quite strong. I almost walked out, but something pushed me to provide the benefit of the doubt to the legitimacy of this firm. I should have trusted my instincts. By two's we joined a current employee, tasked with providing us with information and showing us the ropes. However, we had to agree to remain with them for the day. Ultimately, it turned out that such work was selling memberships and coupon books, business to business. I was distraught and could only handle an hour or so of the eager salesman claiming huge amounts of revenue he has earned. My fellow interviewee and I were fed up, and asked to be dropped at our cars. Uh oh, we agreed to a day-long commitment. The kind salesman dropped us at the train, which we then took to our cars.

One great thing emerged from this day - business to business sales. I thought, why not sell myself, business to business. The next day, I printed a great deal of resumes and hit the street. This was an amazing surprise for me, as employers were loving the concept. On many occasions, I was given interviews with President's, VP's and CEO's, on the spot. While I did not get a job through these efforts, it was a valuable experience, and enlightened me to the fact that hard work and innovation are respected traits. I brought a friend out with me to do the same, and he actually did receive a position in this manner. So, it can work.

Finally, if you are looking for a job, grab some applications and throw a suit on. Find some buildings with hundreds of offices and get your name out there. Also, please learn from my mistakes, and don't try to become an entry-level marketer. Unless that's your cup of tea.

Wishing you the most beneficial of job searches.