It’s Time to Ask

The other day someone asked me a great question: What is something that has radically shaped your career?

I’d like to share my answer with you because it was something that I needed the reminder of too.

It was my first day home from my freshman year of college and I needed to get a job. I had no experience outside of babysitting and a deep desire to not babysit. I got myself dressed up and decided that I wanted to work at a restaurant on Keuka Lake. I came downstairs and some of my extended family was there and the conversation went like this:

Mom & Uncle: Hey! Where are you going all dressed up?
Me: I’m going to go get a job.
Mom: So, you’re just going to show up and ask for one.
Me: Yup.
Uncle: That’s not how this works.
Me: We’ll see. I don’t know where else to start so I’ve got to start there.
Mom: Have fun! (I have a strong hunch she knew I’d come home with a job.)

I went to five restaurants. The last one offered me a job and in the span of that summer, I learned how to hostess, manage the restaurant when a manager quit unexpectedly, order food from the suppliers, wait tables, tend bar, manage the deposits and how to clean soft-shell crab.

The lesson? The thing that has radically shaped my career? I asked. I figured out what I wanted and I asked for it. Maybe that wasn’t the traditional way but I asked for what I wanted and I got it.

There’s another component to this though.

Have you ever lost your keys and then upon finally finding them you say “They were in the last place I looked!” Well, no kidding. You wouldn’t keep looking once you’d found them.

I kept going, I went to the first four restaurants and got the big old No and then I kept going.

When I’m at my best. When my business is at it’s best. It’s because I identify what I want, I ask for it, and then I keep going until I get it.  That’s the thing that has radically shaped my career.

What’s the thing that has radically shaped your career?

Speaking of great questions. I’m wrapping up recording on Season One of the Real Women in Business Podcast. I can’t express how excited I am about this project. I have one more spot to fill in the first 12 episode season – would you be interested in sharing your journey in business? Please complete this form:

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