I’ve been busy learning the new job this last week. I was exhausted over the weekend. In two weeks, I think it’s given me a good taste of what the sales lifestyle is. There are incredible highs when you’re finding and negotiating big and fast deals, but then there are also those moments when it feels like no one in the world wants to talk to you and you’re all alone. I’m finding this routine alternates rapidly. Like yesterday, all day nobody wanted to talk to me. And then almost by accident, at the end of the day when I was off the clock, a fantastic opportunity came my way.
Sales is like hunting. It lacks stability, but the freedom it gives you is awesome.
Anyways, this is part two of the story of how I got my new job. If you missed the first part, you can read it Here.
I was supposed to meet my new boss at a coffee shop in Roseville for lunch and an interview. I was still working my magazine job at the time, so I actually had to change into a grey suit in a Cub Foods bathroom. I must have looked like Clark Kent walking in there in dirty clothes, and coming out looking like an executive ready to tackle the world. I figured this is my one shot, and I may as well show him I can be whoever he wants me to be inside the organization. (Later the CEO tell me he was impressed by the way I dressed up, so remember that if any of you are going on interviews.)
I arrived at the restaurant and looked around. I didn’t see him. I walked outside, and I saw the a man in his mid-40’s, in good shape, walking toward me with a SS Design logo embroidered on his shirt. He looked like a guy I’d have no problem talking to. I shook his hand, and we walked inside and ordered lunch.
We glanced at each other from across the table and chatted. I smiled a lot and enthusiastically chatted; it’s one of my go-to moves to get to know people fast. I genuinely like talking to new people, so it’s easy for me and I’m good at it. He listened closely, and acted the same way toward me.
We ended up chatting about our personal lives for over an hour. I was excited to talk business, but I wasn’t going to interrupt the comfortable flow. Later, his extreme patience made sense to me when he said, “Understanding a person away from work is extremely important to me. I want to know they can enjoy life outside of work. Sure a person can work for 100 hours a week, but eventually they’ll collapse and be useless. I want to hire people who know how to live a balanced life, and can enjoy a lifestyle away from work. Recreational interests are big for me.” (This was a CEO telling me this, so I did note the comment and re-wrote my resume when I got home to include my passions outside of work. It made sense.)
At this point the new boss and I had a lot in common, and I really liked him. He’s a big walleye fisherman, and I grew up fishing all the time. His best friends are from a church, and so are mine.
I waited patiently, and then two hours into lunch, we started talking business.
He said, “To be good in this field, I’m going to need two years of commitment from you.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. I’m still finding where I fit in this world. But I do need to get a start somewhere. Any intriguing job opportunity I saw all said, needs two years of experience and I have to start somewhere. I’m desperate, and said, “OK, well then if you’re looking for an investment from me, I want you to make an investment in me.”
He nodded, understanding. It was a game of chicken.
I said, “So are you going to offer me a job?”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t make offers until a third interview, and I haven’t made my mind up yet.”
Hmmm, I thought. But I still needed a way to prove myself. Somehow I have to break into the career sales world. But is this it God?
We talked business for another thirty minutes, and eventually we both decided it was time to go. We’d experienced everything we needed to see for the second interview.
And then I waited until the next week to call him back.