Developing Your Methodology
And this particular section, this segment, is going to be very tactical. This is going to be, how do I actually make this stuff happen? Yeah, it's great to know what to do in an interview, but how do I get the interview in the first place? How do I make that happen? And so this hour and a half is going to be very much about how to actually do it, how to go after an opportunity, how to write the letter, how to write the resume, how to write the emails, and how to get in the game to begin with. So, what I want to make perfectly clear about everything that I'm gonna talk about this afternoon in this session, is that it's all about numbers. Numbers, numbers, numbers. So I wanna talk about what successful numbers look like. I love statistics. I love odds. I love knowing what my chances are. And so in order to explain what it really takes to be successful at something, and to consider yourself good at something, I look to two of the greats in sports. I love sports analogies, because you have...
a winner and a loser. And you kind of know what you need to do to be able to win, whereas in a job search, or in a corporate environment, you don't really know what the rules of the game are, and so you're making it up as you go along, which is why I talk about this corporate athleticism. So let's look at two of the greats in sports history. First, let's look at Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is considered one of the greatest basketball players who has ever lived. His shooting percentage, getting the ball in the basket successfully, is 48.2%. So 48.2% success means that 51.8% he was unsuccessful. 51.8% not successful. Greatest basketball player of all time. Now let's talk about Babe Ruth, one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Babe Ruth's stats were even more impressive, but they still weren't 100%. So Babe Ruth's slugging percentage was .690. That means .6, 69% of the time he was up at bat, he got on base. That means that 31% of the time, he didn't. He struck out. He didn't get on base. Why should we think that our stats, if we've never done something before, if we've never actually pursued getting a job, using numbers as evidence of our intensity, why should we assume if we try something once, or twice, and we are unsuccessful, that that is okay to then give up? We're basically saying that we're gonna rely on the same stats that Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth did, after an entire career, refining their craft. So you have to expect that when you are looking for a job, you are going to be more unsuccessful, than you are going to be successful. You are going to be more unsuccessful, you are going to hear more no's, than you are going to hear yes's. Michael Jordan didn't get the ball into the basket more than he didn't. He didn't get the ball in the basket more than he did. Greatest basketball player of all time. Of all time. Was more unsuccessful getting the ball in the basket. So you have to assume you are going to get rejected. You have to assume you're gonna get rejected, and this is what we avoid at all costs. The single biggest reason we don't get the jobs of our dreams, is because we don't even try to get them. And we don't try to get them, because we're afraid of being rejected. And then if we're rejected, like my wonderful student from undergrad that I talked about this morning, we'll die of heartbreak. Well we've already established that you're not gonna die of heartbreak, but we haven't established that you're not working hard enough to get the job that you want, if you're not measuring your effort. You must measure your effort, and then you have empirical evidence that what you're doing is mattering. You can't just have a sort of, let's throw all the phone numbers up in the air, and decide we're gonna call Pentagram one day, and we're gonna call Sagmeister in three weeks, if we feel secure about what we're doing, and then maybe after that we'll email Jessica Hische, and after that we'll email Jessica Walsh, and after that, we'll email all the other Jessicas, like Jessica Helfand, and so on and so forth. That's how people do it. It's just some sort of random roll through the annuals. You can't do it that way. You have to make the effort. You have to have a plan that you follow in the same way that somebody training for an Olympic sport would have a plan for their effort. You have to write it down. You have to track your action. You have to really look at what you're doing, what's working, what's not working. Every direct mail effort that goes out by any company ever in all of creation, has a success rate. What is the success rate of this particular direct mail piece? Do you know what success means in the direct mail market? Like three percent. Three percent. That's success in that particular market, so you have to know what your stats are. So in my stats, when I was doing new business, my stats were, for every effort I made, and there's different levels of effort, for every effort I made, about 35% of the time I was successful. After two decades of doing what I did. So it wasn't even near approaching the Michael Jordan, or Babe Ruth stats. After two decades of doing what I did, 35% of the time I was successful, when I was going after a piece of new business, but you have to backtrack, because you're not just thinking, and talking about getting into the room, and being successful at that interview. You have to go back, and back, and back, and look at all the things that you needed to do, to get into the room in the first place, and those all have to be measured as well. And so if you're looking at a 35% close rate, every time you have an opportunity for a job, you have to look at, well how much do I have to do to get to that place? And if I'm only successful 35% of the time there, how many times to I have to get my at-bats? And then how many times do I have to get the letters out, and how many times do I have to make the phone calls? So everything needs to be tracked, and if you're not tracking it, you're not taking your job search seriously enough.