Earlier in the book I discussed the fact that in this business, you have to continually expand your network, meet people and sell yourself. Well, going on meetings and interviews is one of the most effective ways to accomplish that. It's scary and often intimidating, especially at first. Generally, the more meetings you go on, the easier it gets—unless you're extremely shy, in which case it's always a bit uncomfortable. You may also wake up one morning like I did and wonder why, after having been in this business for many years, you still have to go through this ritual. In the summer of 1991, after having been laid off at Orion, I went on dozens of interviews. But it was slow that summer, and most of those I met with told me I had a terrific background and they wished they could hire me. Unfortunately, they had no openings at the time and told me to check back in six weeks, check back in a couple of months, check back in three months. I hit a wall, and couldn't go on one more meeting. Some would say that when you hit a wall like that, you have to force yourself to keep going, but I ended up taking a break from the meeting circuit. I eventually got back into the swing of it, and having taken the hiatus, I came back with a much more positive attitude.
We have to put ourselves through this ritual of meetings because it's the nature of the business. Whether our meetings turn out successful or not, whether we run into a few rude gatekeepers or not, we have to keep that Teflon coat on and keep going. Everyone does it, and the trick is to do it with a great attitude. If you can't, you'll only be limiting your own opportunities. Although job hunting is not particularly fun, it can be interesting, because you never know who you're going to meet or what any meeting might lead to. So whether you're out pitching yourself, your clients or your projects, understand it's a way of life for us and a very necessary part of our profession. So get out there, impress the hell out of everyone you meet and smile!
No One Ever Said It Would Be Easy! What You Can Expect Once You Land Your First Job
"Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory."—Alan Alda
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