Part 2 of this series, ‘Stories from successful job seekers’, may appear, at first glance, to be the story of a woman who was desperate and would do just about anything to land a job. Well, she definitely needed to find employment, but what she did was strategic and delivered the results she wanted.
Maggie lives in California. In June, the unemployment rate where Maggie lives was the highest in the country. Maggie has a marketing degree from a major university and graduated with honors. She recently finished an MBA and has 10 years of strong experience.
In October, 2008, she was working as a marketing manager for a large ‘big box’ retail chain. The company she was working for had begun to suffer financially in 2007. The company’s major competitor seemed to consistently increase their portion of the market, while Maggie’s company was consistently decreasing in sales.
The end of October came with an unexpected announcement. Maggie’s store was being sold. The company acquiring them was headquartered on the east coast and they intended to completely restructure, downsize and divest target locations in order to improve the financial health of the company. Three days later, Maggie’s department was eliminated and she received a severance package.
Maggie knew her severance package would deplete quickly and, even with unemployment benefits, she needed to find another position as soon as possible. She immediately updated and revised her resume. She contacted all the recruiters she knew and registered with every online job board she could find. Next, she contacted all of her friends and colleagues to let them know she was looking.
As the week’s went by, Maggie began to realize there were very few open positions and many candidates competing for them. Maggie was more than willing to relocate, but companies were not offering relocation assistance for positions at her level. She could not afford to relocate out of state on her own. She felt trapped.
She became more and more frugal and went out less and less. In a few months, she felt she was in danger of falling into a deep depression and reached out to her friends for support. They planned an evening to have dinner and brainstorm ways to assist with Maggie’s job search. One of her friends worked at a company that had a position open in the Marketing Department. It wasn’t a manager’s positions, it was an account specialist position. They hadn’t been able to find the talent they needed for the amount of money they were willing to pay.
Maggie decided to do some research on the company. She discovered that it was still owned by the family who founded the company over fifty years ago. This family was known to be very conservative. They had a reputation for treating their employees very well, but it was a difficult company to get into. Maggie poured over the company website and found their core values were grounded in strong work ethic and loyalty. She developed a plan of attack.
The following Monday morning at 8:00 AM, Maggie arrived at the company dressed in her best suit and armed with her resume and her plan. She asked, with confidence, to speak with the head of the marketing department (who she knew was the hiring manager), Due to her confidence and self-assuredness, the receptionist didn’t question her and let the Director of Marketing know she was here to see him. He agreed to see her.
She entered his office with the same optimistic confidence that she mustered as she made this plan. They had a conversation about her experience and expertise and the position she wanted. While he liked her and was impressed with her resume, he told her she was over-qualified for the open position.
Maggie expected this response and was prepared to respond. Due to what she had learned about the company, she felt they would appreciate what she was about to do and would want someone who was willing to take that type of risk to be on their team. She offered to take the open position for one month at no pay. If they liked her work after one month, they could hire her. She stated she was completely confident they would want her to stay, once they realized what she could do.
He hired her on the spot. One month later, she became a full-time employee and they gave her a small hiring bonus, as well. That was six months ago. Maggie is extremely happy in this position and hopes to become a marketing manager in the future.
After she became a full-time employee, the Director of Marketing told her he had no intention of hiring her the day she appeared. However, her confidence and unconventional approach impressed him. He knew she would be a great employee.
Again, I am the Tulsa Career Coach Examiner. My focus is on Tulsa and this series of articles are helpful to people everywhere, as well as those in Tulsa.
Thank you, Maggie, for sharing your story. I feel certain there are many who will be inspired by your courage and tenaciousness. Please watch for the next in this series.