By Alan Graner
I had been out of work for almost nine months, thanks to yet another layoff.
Times were tough.
Since no one would hire me, I decided to work for myself. I’d had some experience writing videos, so when I spotted an ad from a production house, I sent off my resume and a cover letter.
I was shocked by the reply.
Mr. Kovacs said my resume was fine but my cover letter sucked. He said there was no energy behind it, as though I simply dashed it off (which, truthfully, I had).
So he challenged me. He’d give me one chance to rewrite my cover letter and convince him to hire me.
I sat down and thought about what he said. Then I made a decision that changed my life.
I made a heart-and-soul commitment to succeed as a freelancer.
Suddenly I had new energy that I poured into my cover latter. I was forceful, driven, confident. It was a complete turnaround from my first wishy-washy effort.
And it worked.
Mr. Kovacs hired me, and I worked for him for several years, picking up additional freelance assignments as I went along.
When my assignments dried up, I decided to become an advertising copywriter. (I was so naïve I didn’t know ad agencies didn’t hire 40-year-old rookies.)
I had no experience, no portfolio, no recommendations, just a commitment to succeed. As part of that commitment I read everything I could get my hands on about advertising and copywriting and called every ad agency in Orange County.
I spent the next decade as a staff copywriter until once again I was laid off.
With full confidence in the power of commitment, I returned to freelancing and expanded into public relations and, later, social media.
Through good times and bad recessions I kept going because I’d learned the hard way that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was right: “Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.”
What effect has commitment had on your career?
Image: Glenda Sims via Flickr®
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business marketing content and distribution firm. For content that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.