110 Percent

September 7, 2009

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When I was a senior in college, I applied for a lot of jobs.

The College of Business at Iowa State would publish a list of companies that would be interviewing on campus each week, along with a job description. There was a set of numbered bins (or perhaps they were boxes) that corresponded to each job. If you were interested in a job, you left a resume and cover letter in the bin. The company would sift through the applicants and decide whom they wanted to interview on campus. If that interview went well, the company would have you interview at their site.

Every week, I diligently dropped off resumes. I had some interviews, but not job offers.

One week, I printed off my resumes in a computer lab at the far end of campus (where I worked) and trudged through rain to the other end of campus to submit them. I began dropping resumes into bins and noticed that I was missing one resume.

I had a dilemma on my hands. It was Friday afternoon, it was raining, and I was very close to my apartment. The only current copy of my resume was in the computer lab on the other side of campus. I could just say “good enough”, since I had applied for several other positions that week. Or I could trudge back across campus, print the resume, and then retrace my steps in order to apply for the one additional job. This would delay my weekend and result in me getting even more wet.

I decided to give the extra effort. I got soaked in the rain and I was late getting home, but I slept easier that night.

I received a total of one job offer that year.

Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. I crossed campus twice in the rain to make sure that I applied for that one extra job – and that’s the job I’ve landed. I’ve worked for the company for twelve years now.

Remember this story the next time you’re tempted to cut a few corners.

What did you miss over the weekend?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patti
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 14:01:19

    I love real-life stories like this, much better than fiction. I am a true believer that things happen for a reason and that our life’s destiny is pretty much predetermined. If you weren’t one resume copy short and things proceeded as usual, imo you would not have gotten the job. I believe it was fate more than going the extra mile.


  2. Evan Kline
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 16:45:34

    Wow, that’s quite the story. I’m sure this one will be nagging in the back of my head the next time I think about slacking off on something, trying to convince myself it doesn’t matter.
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..Be a (HTC) Hero — Android-ilize your Windows Mobile Phone with PointSense =-.


  3. Financial Samurai
    Oct 18, 2009 @ 00:55:35

    Very cool story! It was the same thing for me. There was a 6am bus on Sat morning I had to get on to go to DC for a job fair. NOBODY showed up except for me on the bus.

    We changed vehicles, and i got a 2.5 hr chaufer limo take me up and back. It was awesome, and I got the job that allowed me to be where I am now.
    .-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..You’re Rich And I’m Rich, OK! You’re Still Rich And I’m Not As Rich, Not OK! =-.


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