Opportunity is Hard Work
During his acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards last week, Ashton Kutcher surprised everyone by giving some very insightful advice. “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work,” Kutcher said. He went on to speak about his experience washing dishes, sweeping factory floors and how every job was a stepping stone to the next.
That is one thing, and probably the only thing, I have in common with Ashton Kutcher.
In December, I graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English, with a focus on Editing, Writing and Media. The plan was to immediately find an amazing position in my field.
I had visions of grandeur: I would have a famous blog and people would think I was hilarious; I would be a literary agent and bring wonderful, aspiring authors into the limelight. That did not happen.
Open positions in my field called for five years of experience, and career inquiries for entry-level positions went unanswered. Feeling particularly guilty for continuing to live off of my parents after graduation, I started looking for jobs outside of my field.
After filling out an application for what seemed like every business in Tallahassee, I got exactly one job offer: a full-time position as a maid for a residential cleaning company. I could either wait around until I found my dream job or take the opportunity in front of me. I took the job.
Two months of cleaning led to a customer service role, which led to a job in outside sales. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but I was given the chance to grow and learn.
In the meantime, a friend and former employer pointed me toward a local content marketing company. I shot off a hopeful email, but once again there was no position available for me. I started to get discouraged.
When I tried complaining to my mother, she would have none of it. “Do you know how lucky you are to have a job at all?” she said. “It’s going to work out; you’re going to get there.”
Then I got the, “We’d like you to come in for a chat” email from a certain Dave Fiore. He interviewed me, had me complete quests of Herculean proportions and a week later I was offered the position of content marketing specialist.
Before he hired me, Dave asked, “How soon can you start?” I would have willingly started that instant, but I felt I owed my employer at least two-weeks notice, and I told Dave as much. I later found out that if I had immediately jumped ship from my previous job, I wouldn’t have been hired at all.
Being faithful to the job I had and working hard paid off for me, thankfully sooner rather than later. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up on where I was, I paid my dues and now I get paid to do what I love–write and edit every day. But don’t tell Dave that, because he might pay me less.
In case you are interested, here is a link to Ashton Kutcher’s full speech.