In case you’ve missed it, I’ve recently quit my HR job. You can read about that here and here.
It was a total Jerry Maguire moment.
I was surprised once I put myself out there how many job offers I was able to get in a two week time period. So if any of you are riding the unemployment train, I want to help you. If you hate your job or are feeling burned out, I want to help you.
Decide What You Want
This is what I knew for sure: I didn’t want to manage anyone or fire anyone. I wanted to make six figures. I didn’t want to take work and stress home with me anymore. I didn’t want to move.
In my moment of mental haste about quitting, I decided the happiest people I know sell cars. The money is great, and people love the new car smell. I have a “sales” profile according to my Cleaver DISC profile, and I’ve been selling jobs for years. I’m not afraid to cold call people, and I don’t like taking “no” for an answer.
Good. The decision was made. I was going to sell cars.
But just to be sure, I went to a couple of HR interviews. Yes, I was certain after being asked questions about healthcare reform.
Pick Up The Phone
Immediately, I picked up the phone. Don’t email people. Call them. And call people you know, if you can. If you don’t know anyone, who better than you to find out who is a hiring manager? Heck, you’ve been recruiting these people for years. You’ve probably even worked with some of them!
I called about eight people I knew, and they either set me up directly with an interview, or they set me up with someone in their company.
Was I applying to “Help Wanted” ads? Nope. You know as well as I do that people will make a spot for you if they want you bad enough.
Fix Your Resume
My resume needed to reflect sales related items. I left all the HR stuff on there, but I did something I didn’t think I would ever do if I was in the job market. I told them about being a writer and speaker. I told them about the digital and social media marketing I’ve had to do in order to be successful and ultimately become well known in the industry.
I literally told them I am shameless about self-promotion.
Why? Because that’s what being in sales is all about! People can buy something anywhere, but if you can get them to buy a product form you, you’re golden.
Guess what else? All of that HR and recruiting experience? All of that means I have no problems talking to people. I related it all back to the job at hand.
You’ll Interview Better Than Anyone Else Ever
My favorite interviews are fun interviews. If an applicant can get me to stop drilling them and make me laugh, you’re totally going to the next round. We all know this is true. We’ve all done this. You know that you’re sitting there, asking yourself, “Do I want to work with this lady? Yes, she seems awesome.”
The key is getting the interview. Once you’re in there, you know all the questions. Heck, I was answering questions before they even got a chance to ask them.
Oh, and you need to look good. Don’t go in there looking like your frumpy-sad-self, which isn’t easy since you’re unemployed or hating your current job. You walk in there polished and you smile at everyone, and you do not trash your former employer. You know better than that.
Do Your Research
I was able to tell these dealerships on my way in what I could do for them. I knew what they needed to fix.
I notice you guys aren’t doing anything with Google Ad Words. Why?
Your Facebook page hasn’t been updated in weeks. Why?
I have 3,800 Twitter followers and 1,800 Facebook friends. I looked at the Salesmen on your “Meet the Staff” page, and they don’t have nearly the following I bring. Some of them aren’t even on Facebook. I would make that mandatory, and I can teach them how to use it effectively to gain a loyal following.
Let me tell you about X,Y,Z and why you need to get on that ASAP.
Seriously, if someone were telling you these things, and then actually showing you examples, you’d hire that person. You’d hire them all day long!
Say These Words
Is this an offer? You need someone, and I have what you need.
Sometimes they would tell me I needed to come back and talk to someone else, but most of the time, they told me the job was all mine.
To which I replied:
Great! I have many offers to consider right now, and another interview tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know on Friday. That’s when I’m making my decision.
Follow the Money & Your Heart
Negotiate your job offers! Everyone does it to you all the time. You know how this game is played.
Now that you’ve got the money all worked out, you need to think about where you felt the most comfortable. I accepted an offer, and then at the very last minute, another offer came through. I ended up calling back the guy I had accepted the offer with, and I told him something else came along, and that I was really sorry.
I just felt more comfortable with the company I’m going to today.
They are family owned, the family is there working together, and that’s something I am used to. I personally know my Sales Manager since I hired him once (this also gives you a huge leg up – you know more people than anyone). I trust him. Hearing his excitement about working here made all the difference.
So that’s it! I’m stepping into something completely different for now, and I’m going to be fantastic.
Maybe my next post here will be about how not to quit your job. I learned a few lessons about that as well.
Now it’s your turn! Have you ever stepped away from the industry? If so, why? Did you miss it? Do you have anything you want to add to my list for those in the job market?
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back.
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