1100 Days of Risk and Perserverance


No risk, no gain!

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




What about Relocation?

relocation adjustment

Will relocation be good for all?

Recently heard:

“I was working happily at my desk, when a recruiter from Kansas City called me about a wonderful job, but I don’t know about relocation.”


“Since George had his heart attack, the adult children want us to relocate.  I’d like to move, but I’m not sure the timing is right.”

The answer requires careful thought before calling Atlas Vanlines.  Challenges I faced with the candidates, when I recruited and helped relocate them, were occasionally funny, while others excruciatingly challenging.  I recall the young family whose baby furniture was demolished when the moving van had a wreck.  It took weeks before the baby had a decent crib.  Another couple moved with six screeching cats in cages in their van, driving from Northern Minnesota to Dallas.  And I doubt the movers enjoyed the grand piano they moved from New Hampshire.  How do you decide about relocation?


Texas has a low cost of living, no state income taxes, healthy business atmosphere and warm climate, which may appeal to people who suffer through dreadful ice and snow.  But take a look at insurance costs.  Take a look at healthcare.  Will George find a doctor who will take Medicare patients?  Compare apples to apples.

I like www.homefair.com to analyze the financials.  If you simply look at costs, serious errors may result as emotions and personalities must factor into the mix.


Does your spouse like change?  How about the kids?  Do you have a child with autism or other medical issue?  Of course there are resources in all parts of the country to assist with disabilities and moving an aging parent, but ripping kids out of the schools they attended for years can be positive or negative, depending on how the move is managed.

Moving an elderly parent creates additional worries.  If everyone shows mild unhappiness, yet excitement, you’re on the right road. Teenagers will be especially distraught about leaving friends and if you have a senior in high school, I’d wait a year.

Companies usually won’t wait to fill a position for an extended time.  The candidate may need to forge ahead, which is not a bad idea anyway, to see how the company culture and his or her skills fit the new job.

I’m opinionated about waiting until kids finish the school year.  Many children will want to sit in the house, feeling sorry for themselves, if you move them at summer break.  Moving kids before school dismissal for the summer is optimum as they can start making friends before the new neighbors leave for vacations.

We moved with a house full of kids, when my husband joined a telecom company years ago.  Often I asked the whiners how long they needed to complain and set the timer.  They could mope and wail only that length of time that day.  Worked for us…well, it sometimes worked for us!

If you attend a large church, which you love, in your current community, you need to look for a similar one, as the transition will be easier if you can find places which feel like home.

Finding a new home is difficult in some areas.  Currently Dallas needs more inventory but new homes are rapidly blossoming  like  dandelions, both in the suburbs and nearby communities.  In places, such as North Dakota where many jobs exist, housing is more than difficult and your skills may not match.

Cuban Door

What’s behind the door?
Photo-T. Glover

You Decide

Each person reacts to relocation in his or her own way.  One night when I taught a relocation adjustment class, a lady sat through the session crying big, snowflake sized tears.  I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I simply asked her how far she’d moved.  “Ten miles,” she sniffed.  Regardless how far you move, there is a grief process attached to relocation.

So when your daughter tries to persuade you to move to Alabama, or a recruiter wants you to move to Kansas City, know that the change requires looking much deeper than the financial aspect.

As the economy improves, companies may relocate top candidates.  If you want a job, you may want and need to relocate.  Moving teenagers or other relatives requires fortitude but the effort can reap great rewards.  So, if a recruiter or maybe your son wants you to move, look carefully behind the door before you close it.

Thanks to Kelly Smith for suggesting the topic and sending me an excellent article.

Be sure to check the announcements category for upcoming events and presentations.



Where Are the Jobs in an Unstable Economy?

If you want to change or improve your career, where are the jobs?  Whether you are in manufacturing, supply chain, or other industry, jobs are available and you need to stay abreast of the growth and decline. Take a look at a few statistics to discover where the jobs are.

job locations

Where are the jobs?


Recently Douglas Woods, President of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), stated, “After suffering the worst downturn since the Great Recession, manufacturing has been the driver leading the economic recovery. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, manufacturing has made up 26% of economic growth since 2009 and has added close to half a million jobs since 2010. In that time, real manufacturing output has grown 16% and productivity has increased 15%.”  Jobs are abundant in manufacturing.

Construction and Health Care

Construction products are booming in some areas of the country.  Houses cannot be built fast enough in parts of Texas and some northern states, requiring the supply chain to quickly move products to places like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Look at openings in Dallas, home to many corporate headquarters.  Although many are in health care, you may not need any health care credentials for some openings.

1.  Texas Health Resources: 1,623 job openings

2.  HCA: 1,219 job openings

3.  Baylor Health Care: 979 job openings

4.  Pizza Hut: 921 job openings

5.  Methodist Health Care Systems: 704 job openings

3D Printing

The Motley Fool provides a video on the merits of 3D printing, pointing out that its infancy may be faster than acceptance of home computers.  We may all want 3D printers in a few years.  Health care manufacturing is bound to change with this forward thinking innovation.  Manufacturing will change.  Are you ready?  Might you need some training?

Mixed Messages

Is the economy  thriving or diving?  Detroit is going bankrupt but some innovative companies in Detroit are hiring, despite their woes.  In a recent TV newscast, a reporter ranted about the enormous amount of crime in Chicago, which is harming its image and business atmosphere, yet Chicago is listed in the top 10 list of cities.  Who can you trust?  Who can you blame?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posts statistics regularly.  You can check unemployment statistics near you at  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/metro.pdf;  however, statistics don’t show the people who have dropped off the grid and are no longer looking.  Just because geographic stats show low unemployment rates, does not mean the area has openings for your skills.  For example, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana have many openings, but very few would qualify or be willing to move for the jobs.

Top cities hiring, according to Entrepreneur Magazine article by Jenna Goudreau, published 6/21/2013 are:

New York City


Los Angeles

Washington, D.C

San Francisco






Trust your instincts, rather than bury your head in the sand.  Looking at the evidence, the economy is shaky, but there is no better day than today to work diligently toward changing or improving your career.  What’s next?  Realize you are in charge of your career, not the economy.