There are many factors that contribute to success. Two of my favorites are persistence and resilience. They are qualities any job seeker needs in spades. My 2018 client success story is a testament to the power of both.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, a certain toughness. Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of opposition or in face of repeated setbacks.
Persistence is different than the often quoted (and misattributed) Einstein’s definition of insanity. Search “insanity”, sadly, is a quagmire many new job seekers find themselves stuck in – sending out endless resumes with no success yet not changing their strategy.
My client, Ben, had been job searching for nearly a year when we started working together. He was doing a lot of things right, but having no success in his search. He suffered from a “structural deficiency” – a highly specialized degree (video game graphic artist) but no relevant internships. Every summer throughout college, he worked in his local supermarket.
Lacking relevant work experience meant that Ben’s online job applications never saw the light of day – they were trapped in the resume black hole, aka applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS are designed as much to screen applicants OUT of the process as in. Without any relevant graphic artist work experience, no matter how many applications Ben submitted, they were rejected.
The Game Plan
Ben’s situation required a different approach. To break through the ATS, he needed to create a compelling story (a sticky message) and then leverage it to network his way inside the key video game companies. Our strategy – having Ben attend the annual E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in California on a discounted student pass.
Ben’s purpose for attending E3 was to source new leads and companies, NOT for him to hand out resumes or ask for a job. It was an opportunity for him to learn what was new in the industry. It also was a great way to create a sticky message. Flying across country to attend a conference, solo, with 30,000 attendees, just to learn about the industry is quite a sticky message. Ben led with this story in all his subsequent cover letters.
Ben continued to work hard on his search plan, while accepting a job outside of his field to earn money to pay his student loans that had come due. I encouraged him not to give up on his dream of working as video graphic artist. It was clear to me that Ben had the talent and motivation to succeed. He just needed the door to open for him.
Several months later, I received an email from Ben:
“Today I was hired as a game artist with Epic Games in North Carolina. I’m going to be working on new content for the game Fortnite. This is an amazing company and I couldn’t be more proud. Thanks so much for all your help along the way and helping me get here.”
These outcomes are why I love what I do – seeing clients land great jobs that leverage their skills, talents and passions.
It took Ben a TON of hard work, along with loads of resilience and persistence, to land his role at Epic. I’m thrilled that his efforts paid off. I’m also confident that Epic has made a fantastic hire. Congratulations Ben, client success story of 2018!