You can’t imagine what you’re missing out on.
I had a strange day once.
It started when I decided to attend two different events in two different cities on the same day, and I didn’t have a ticket to either one.
Event A I only found out about late the day before from someone at another event. When I got home, I headed online to buy a ticket, but the official website said that the event was full and all the tickets were sold out.
Event B I heard about a few days earlier, but I took my time deciding whether to attend. Once I finally realized that yes, I really should go, I again headed online to reserve a spot. Unlike for Event A, I wasn’t rejected immediately. It was only the next day, while I was at the sold out Event A, that an email reply arrived in my inbox to tell me there was no more room at Event B either.
Worse, I only checked my email and saw the email reply after I was already on my way to Event B.
I obviously managed to get in to Event A.
I also got into Event B as hoped.
In both cases, I took the chance of going to an event with the knowledge that I wasn’t supposed to get in.
So why did I still go?
1) Events always have no-shows
Things come up at the last minute, people get sick, emergencies need to be handled. Their need to be elsewhere literally opens the door for you.
2) Low opportunity cost
Event A wasn’t far from work so if I had been shut out, it would only have been a small waste of time. Event B did require some travel, but since I was already on the way when I found out that I supposedly wasn’t going to get in, the opportunity cost was already paid, and I didn’t have much left to lose by continuing on.
3) Deductive thinking
Registrants to Event A were required to choose a seat from a seating plan of the venue’s main auditorium. Once all the seats were paid for, the event website no longer let you buy a ticket. However, the event agenda mentioned a second hall and networking areas, so there was clearly room for more people than those seated in the main auditorium.
4) What I represented for the event
Event B was a speed networking event between entrepreneurs and job seekers. I was coming to participate as the former, and these kinds of events typically have many more of the latter, so my presence would help create more balance. On top of that, my being there would only add another 2 minutes to the entrepreneur presentations, so they would almost surely be willing to fit me in.
5) Few others would even dare
The fact that so few people will dare to get in meant that I was likely one of the the only ones, if not the only one, which gave me the best chances of success.
And I’m not just saying that. At another event a few days later, I actually met 2 people who had received the same slow rejection email reply as I did for Event B but gave up on going as you’d expect.
This isn’t only about going to events.
When someone shows you a wall, look for ways around it. Only then can you see if it’s brick or paper.
Sometimes, that wall only appears in your mind, even for small things.
I was once leaving yet another event, this time out of town.
Only a few seconds on the street after the event finished, a bus passed me at high speed heading downhill.
As it flew by, I just had a chance to notice it was the bus I needed but I didn’t know where its stop was. I did know that if I missed the bus, I didn’t have time to wait for the next one and I’d have to take a much more expensive taxi instead (and in that second, I wasn’t even sure if I had enough money on me).
Should I run for it?
It was late and I was tired after the event, and I certainly didn’t feel like sprinting.
The next stop could be far away and I might end up running for nothing.
And I wasn’t really dressed for it, and not just because I was carrying a bag.
(See how I built a wall in my mind?)
So I hesitated.
But then… I ran.
It turns out that the bus’s next stop wasn’t too far, and a good dozen people were waiting there, which kept the bus delayed just long enough for me to make it on in time.
How does this affect your job search?
Found a company you’d love to work for but they haven’t posted any job ads?
It’s ok to walk into a company and ask point blank about openings (which is one of my 🎸 365 Top Tips to Rock Your Job Search Every Day).
Better yet, research a presentation on how you would help them in the coming year, beginning tomorrow. Then, tailor your resume, look your best and give their headquarters a visit to use the presentation to pitch them on why they should create a position so you can get started.
Maybe you discover they already had some relevant hidden jobs that were hidden from you too.
You’re a great fit for a job that was posted 3+ months ago?
Call to check directly if the employer is still hiring. Maybe their first choice candidate couldn’t join in the end, or the process made them realize they need more than one person for the role.
Company didn’t respond to your emailed job application?
Fax it in instead.
Had a great interview but then heard nothing, and that was a month ago or more?
Follow up anyway. I advised a job seeker to do this once. He discovered the recruiter had lost his contact information, and he was hired soon after reconnecting.
I could go on, but ultimately-
Don’t take anything for granted.
Don’t take no for an answer.
Don’t tell yourself no for an answer either.
Dare to dare, because others won’t.
Question of the article
What’s the most daring thing you’ve done or said while looking for work? How did it turn out? Tell us in the comments.
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I originally published a version of this article on the Personal Branding Blog.
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