Thursday, February 08, 2007

I jumped!

A little. Testing the air... of course, once you've jumped... the ground is pretty far below. Wish me safe landing, eh?

The other day, I made my coach privy to the back and forth of emails with people at [Corporate Giant], and about my sense of having been there all before. Paul latched on my feelings, hence our half hour "check in" call, at his prompting.

He said,
you know, you want to change [Corporate Giant]. So did Bill Gates. He just didn't do it by getting a job there.

Aha!

Don't focus on the one thing. This is a fact-finding mission, a science experiment. Gather the data first, then figure out how to interpret it, what to conclude. How many small firms, which are looking for people to think outside the box, have you applied to?

Um... none.

What?

None.

Okay, then. Look your job is to make some contacts, find some mentors, gurus, what have you, some friends, people who like you, and want you to succeed in your field.

Then he sent me an email with the subject take this guy to lunch. I didn't take him literally. In that particular case, lunch would've been, let's say, a bit impractical. But I understood the point. Be bold. Paul called me again this morning, briefly, for a chat. [I must say, he's sure earning his keep.] I was drafting a letter to someone else. We talked about approach a bit, about taking advantage of my strengths. You're great on the phone and in person. Get them talking, charm them, then see from there.
Dear Frank,

I came across your listing for a [job title] at [firm]. I'll be up front, I'm not looking for a position at the moment, nor would I properly qualify for this one. But I'm eager to make contacts in the field of [description of the field]. If you could spare 5 minutes on the phone, I would be grateful for the opportunity to talk with you about the field, and to learn more about what you do. Feel free to call me, or send me a number and a good time to call, and I'll do my best to accommodate your schedule.

Best,
Articulate
Articulate,

Are you in a position to call in the next 30 minutes or so?
-Frank
Five minutes turned to twenty, at his discretion. I'm fine, I'd be happy to keep chatting. Turns out, he got a PhD from my undergraduate institution in [Interdisciplinary Field] about 30 years ago. Worked as a college professor for some time, then got into this field of applied research about 20 years ago. Mentioned a couple names of people he'd put me in touch with. Said by the way that he has a strong secondary interest in [Field 1]. Nice guy! He urged me to come to the research field industry conference in two weeks about an hour's flight from here. Said he'd be happy to show me around, introduce me to people. Got to figure that one out. It ain't cheap to attend. Maybe I'll get a day pass or something. It sure feels like I've jumped

5 comments:

apparently said...

oh how exciting! congratulations on the safe landing.

timna said...

WOW!
nice leap.

Tracy said...

After such a jump, here's hoping that you land right where you're supposed to be.

Good work, friend!

trillwing said...

Yay! Good luck with following up.

Lilian said...

WOW!! I stay away for a weekend and now there's so much going on here! This coaching thing seems to be helping quite lot. If nothing works out for us, maybe we should give it a try! :)