Just Two More Calls

Originally Published in Materials Management & Distribution Magazine

What would happen if every day you absolutely resolved to make just two more calls?

As a professional recruiter I’m always meeting with people who are looking for new positions. In some cases they are employed. However, often they’re in between positions and seeking a new role. Some who are in the early stages are clearly taking a relaxed approach, confident they’ll be re-employed soon.

Others, who have been through a series of interviews and come up as “second choice,” begin to take the search more seriously. And then there are those who are extremely concerned. For whatever reason they just can’t seem to land a new job, even though they’ve been interviewed multiple times.

There is not a week that goes by that I’m not amazed at some of the high-quality résumés I see from people who remain unemployed. No doubt it’s a sign of our tough economy and an indication that even a great résumé and strong references are not a guarantee.

If you find yourself in this situation, experiencing high levels of stress, getting weary from the search, beginning to believe that networking won’t work, I have a question for you: What would happen if every day you absolutely resolved to make just two more calls? That’s two more after your mind has said: “I’m done for today, tired and spent. The rest can wait till tomorrow.”

A close friend of mine, Michael, has put this disciplined practice into place for the last couple of years in his search for a new senior-level leadership position. He has a stellar résumé and outstanding experience within his industry. Having known Michael for 30 years, I’ve always admired his determination in every pursuit and I’ve learned a great deal about discipline and hard work from him.

As a recruiter, I believed he was the kind of person who should have had numerous opportunities to pick from. I remained continually surprised that he was still on the market. While on his search for a full-time senior-level position, he actively pursued and won several important consulting assignments, always keeping busy and engaged.

While we all know age isn’t supposed to creep into the discussion, let’s acknowledge that it certainly does; being over 60 is a significant part of Michael’s story. That said, he resolved that he would never turn the lights off in his home office without making just two more calls. Two calls to someone, somewhere in his network, to remind them of his search and keep his name in front of them—someone who knew someone who might be able to make a difference.

Think of how difficult this becomes when no apparent success is at the doorstep. How many of us start to waver in our determination? In this particular instance the context is the job search.

However, this attitude of making just two more calls applies in numerous areas in our lives, from work-related goals to personal targets. I’m convinced that just as in the Olympics, success comes from absolute, unwavering determination in the training phase, well before the competition. It comes from that inner drive, that determination to never quit.

As Winston Churchill famously said, “Never, never, never give up.”

Michael put this into practice and recently secured an outstanding new position in his industry where all of his experience and skill will be drawn upon. I have no doubt it’s going to be a spectacular win-win for both him and the company he’s joining. What a testament to strategic—and dogged determination.

So whatever your challenge may be–searching for a new position, making those extra sales calls to secure a new account, or something more personal like achieving a fitness level that will improve your health, try challenging yourself with the principle of “just two more” every day.

Regardless of how you feel, regardless of the negative voice on the other end of the line, regardless of your inner voice that says, “Let’s pack it in.” Just two more calls, and see if that pursuit you have, that goal you need to achieve, becomes a reality.

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