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.