A couple months after graduating from college, in August 2012, I applied for an entry level finance position with an airline. No one responded. I continued to look for the right job where both my analytical and creative talents could be recognized. Shoot! With my excellent grades and work experience in college, I didn’t think it would take long. However, it took 1100 day! If I had let down on my risk and perseverance, I’d still be looking.
I’ve always had a strong interest in geography, travel, and transportation. I have family roots in the transportation industry, too. My uncle worked for an airline, and another uncle worked on the railroad for over 35 years. Both men made constant remarks about their love for the job, giving me a strong incentive to work in transportation, especially for the airlines.
Refining the Search
In November 2013, I decided to approach my goal of getting into this company another way. Through a Google search, I came across a company employee based at Los Angeles National Airport, who attended my alma mater. I emailed her; to my surprise, I received a response 10 minutes later. She helped me land a phone interview for a finance job. I excelled during the phone interview. The next step would be a flight to the company’s headquarters for a final interview, but that fell through due to a hiring freeze. I gave myself permission to feel sorry for myself, rage to my family and a networking friend, but I didn’t quit. I continued my relentless perseverance to work at this airline.
While searching for additional jobs, I came across a contractor program this company offered. I didn’t know much about it, but I researched, which peaked my interest. I applied to participate in it. I thought this would be a great way for me to get my foot in the door at the company. I received a call asking if I wanted to interview. Absolutely! I took the Amtrak from Northeast Ohio to Chicago and to Texas for an interview. I felt sure I aced the interview, as the HR lady indicated as soon as an opening occurred, she’d contact me.
The Contract Job in Texas
When the cell phone rang, I’d rush expectantly to answer and the miracle occurred. In a week, I made my way down to the Lone Star State. I moved across the country knowing the risk involved to start my career with this airline. I had six months to find a full time job with the company. If I didn’t, then I would have been out of luck and looking for a job far away from friends and family. I knew no one in the area.
I rented a small apartment, sight unseen, near the airport and drove myself to Texas. The pay was low, and I owe $350 a month on my student loan. Scared? Of course! Excited. You bet! But I wanted out of Ohio and a job in transportation. I took the risk!
The vast majority of my contractor assignment involved working in the baggage department, doing administrative work. I dedicated my life during the six-month training period to my assignments and job search at the company. Although I sent a few resumes to other airlines and transportation companies in the area, I concentrated on where I was.
Risk with Urgency
I knew people respected me. My boss encouraged me and spoke on my behalf to others. I heard comments about myself such as:
“You’re smart, responsible and dedicated.”
“You are so motivated. I’m sure you’ll find a job here.”
“Our company is lucky to have you. Someone will pick you up.”
And the one I liked best was:
“Do you know what we need here? We need ten people like you!”
I contacted over 60 employees at the company seeking help or advice on landing a job. I wrote a personal note to an executive at the company and by chance, met the CEO on an elevator when I was attempting to speak with the hiring manager about a job application. I extensively researched the company, its competitors, and airline industry trends.
Unfortunately, my six-month period passed without obtaining position. But, my faith and confidence kept me moving forward.
Perseverance Pays Off
Before my contract ended I had an interview for a Product Planner position with the company and received an offer the week after my contract ended. All my hard work paid off. I’m very excited and thankful I’ve been given a chance to prove myself where I focused my efforts.
My parents allowed me to take this risk because they had the utmost confidence that with my work ethic and the effort I put forth that I would be successful and accomplish my mission. I’m very grateful to them as well.
I know this is said all the time, but my message to those looking for a job is to never give up. As long as you are willing to take risks and work hard, someone will definitely notice. I’m a very good example of this. It took me over 1,100 days to complete my goal with major emotional ups and downs, but I’m thrilled to be starting this new chapter of my life.
Written by Anonymous
Edited by Ruth Glover