The Power of Persistence

A few weeks ago one of my clients called me in frustration.  He just couldn’t find a way to move forward with his career in his current company. He decided to take my advice and expand his network to find a job that would better use his skills.  He decided to become a member of  a working committee of his professional association to build strong connections.   He was frustrated with that too.  He applied to be a member of the committee and never got a call back.    I asked him how many times he tried.  His reply:  once. 

Once?  How many times do we get something we really want on the first try?  He forgot the power of persistence – that unrelenting pursuit to get what you want.   I suggested he just try again and again and again using different approaches.  And, I suggested he talk to members on committees to find out what they did to get their committee roles.

The first time I remember using the power of persistence was when I decided early in my career that I wanted to be a consultant.  A friend of mine Mary worked at a consulting firm and said I constantly asked her about openings at her company.  (I don’t remember that.)  But, when a job opened up in her unit, she forwarded my resume directly to the hiring manager and helped me prep for the interview.  I got that job and it launched my career in a completely different direction.  I’ll never forget that when I really want something, the power of persistence will help me achieve it.

Heather

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2 Responses

  1. There’s an art in the follow-up process and in being persistent that doesn’t come naturally for some folks. This was an area where I used to struggle too, but several managers I had helped me find better ways to address situations like this.

  2. Yes, I agree Ed it is an art. There’s quite a difference between being persistent and being a pest. Thanks for your comment!

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