The Birth of Creativity from Adversity

I still remember what it felt like to be unemployed for more than 6-months — it was very depressing. During those 6-months, I applied for at least one job, every day. Job hunting became a part of my morning routine. I must have sent out at least 100 resumes within those 6-months but I was only able to land one job interview — JUST ONE INTERVIEW. I was very close to giving up. But I kept going. I didn’t run out of hope.

Every day, I stare at my phone, waiting for it to ring, hoping I get a call for a job interview. But it never did. The long wait drained my persistence to keep trying. There was no money coming in to my bank account. The money I saved up was slowly getting drained similar to my hopes of finding employment. If I don’t get a job soon, I’m going to have to move back to my parent’s house in Winnipeg. The circumstances I was in pushed me to find a different approach to seek employment. But I didn’t know how.

During this dark age of my career, I bought one of Tony Robbin’s audio CD, Unleash the Power Within. It’s what I listen to when I work out in the gym. Yes I’m a weirdo, I listen to audiobooks instead of music. But that audio CD is what made me realize that my approach of applying for a job was STUPID. Why? I never changed my approach. I stuck with the same “job search online > write resume > apply > wait” approach for more than three months without getting any results. It didn’t occur to me that if I don’t change the way I do things, I can’t expect the results to change either.

How I Infused Creativity In My Approach

One concept I learned from Tony was to be CREATIVE at finding ways on how to effectively use your resources — the people you know, the tools available to you, the lessons you learned, pretty much everything that you’ve acquired since that day you learned how to think. This type of creativity (most of the time) shows itself ONLY when you’re “back is against the wall” (Pejman Ghadimi brought this up on a podcast I listened to way way back). This also reminds me of a scene from Suits when Harvey Spectre asked Mike Ross, “What would you do if you had a gun in your head?”

Mike: “You do what they say or they shoot you”

Harvey: “WRONG! You take the gun or you pull a bigger one. Or you call their bluff or you do any of 146 other things”.

Yes unemployment gave me the opportunity to binge watch Suits Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. The point is: you do whatever it takes to get you out of the stressful situation you are in.

That time, I didn’t know anybody who can help me get a job except for that one friend who helped me write my resume. Desperate for solutions, I thought of using Linkedin to help me find employment. How? I found someone (I never met) in my existing network who was (at that time) a President of a Recruitment Agency that has strong connections with manufacturing companies I wanted to work for.

I wrote him a message explaining how I desperately needed his help to improve my chances of finding employment. Knowing how ‘Company Presidents’ are extremely busy, I did not expect a reply from him. I was just using my message as an outlet for my frustration for finding a job. But to my surprise, he replied and asked me to send him my resume and number so we can further discuss my situation.

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