When I was ten years old, Paul McCartney was my favorite Beatle. After school, I’d be alone at home – well, me and our dog – listening to the Beatles, and maybe “Fonzie’s Favorites”, 50s rock tunes in the spirit of the hit TV show “Happy Days”, singing along at the top of my lungs.
When I got older, and realized that John Lennon was assassinated on my birthday – although, technically, it was already the day after my birthday in Finland – I switched allegiances and John became my favorite Beatle..
But I always liked “Let It Be”.
You know, “when I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”
My mother’s name is not Mary, but when I found myself in times of trouble, she did come to me and she did speak words of wisdom.
I graduated from the university in the middle of the biggest recession in Finnish history, and finding a job was hard work. I send my resumé around and I applied for every single job I could. Well, no I didn’t. Not at first. I was fresh of the university so naturally I wanted one of those cushy jobs the college boys were supposed to get, but there weren’t any of those around.
So I applied for jobs at the big multinationals, and got into a few interviews. One of them was the only one I’ve ever had to – get to – show my university diploma. At Coke, I took their psychological tests, and went through a couple of rounds of interviews, but didn’t get a job.
I didn’t even get the job at the local radio station, that tiny little radio station at Tiny Town.
I figured I’d have to get creative so I started to send applications that would truly stand out, show, instead of tell, what I could do, and in the process blow the competition out of the water. So my application to the record company went folded inside a CD cover, as the linear notes, and for the ad agencies, I sent direct mail, with self-addressed and stamed envelopes they could use to send back the coupon and book a meeting with me.
The NHL got the scouting report, the sports marketing companies a fine story printed on colored paper, so at least it’d stand out in some way.
(I was still going for the cushy jobs).
What did that get me? Nothing, that’s what. I put in a classified ad in the morning paper, offering marketing advice, and got one call: an angry man demanding new ideas. Months later, a friend called me out of the blue and asked me if I was interested in becoming the CEO of their newly established hockey equipment company. I told him I was, and I never heard back from him again.
Working so hard to find work was frustrating, and while it all seems sort of funny now, it really does, I did lose faith at some point. It came to a point where I’d see an ad in the paper, and think I’d be perfect for it, and vice versa, but out of fear of rejection, wouldn’t even want to apply for it.
I didn’t even get the job
at the local radio station,
that tiny little radio station
at Tiny Town.
Once, Mom called me about an ad for a job she thought I should apply for.
“Send in your resumé,” she told me.
“What’s the point,” I answered like young men answer there mothers. “I’m not gonna get it anyway, there will be thousands of applicants.”
There was a silence at the other end of the line.
“Hey, why would you take yourself out of the competition like that? Why would you reject yourself?” she asked me and then added:
“Let them do that.”
So I did.