I got the job!

First day starts in a couple of hours, I’m about to hop in the shower and get ready. But it’s been a long freakin’ journey and since I’ve gone on about my career stuff on the SDMB before, might as well continue the tradition. (Sorry, this one isn’t as drama laden as “These assholes stole $17,000 from my HOA” or “My stepmom is a Disney villian turned into a nightmare!”. I’ll do better next time, I promise. :wink: )

So… if you remember, I was in phone books – the delivery of them, to be exact. Worked with my parent’s company, got into epic fights with my stepmother, left the family business and took over a direct competitor. Sold that business, went back to work with family business as my father fought his final illness (he passed in October 2007), leaving my parents company, for good, for another competitor in San Antonio, TX in early 2009.

In 2014 I sat down and took stock of my life – where was I, where was I going, was my current path going to get me there, questions like that. And it was pretty-damned obvious that being in the industry of “putting paper advertisements on door steps”, no matter how good I was at it, was not a great career option for someone looking at an additional 25-30 years of work.

Because I live my life in an apparent state of “what the hell, why not?”, I decided to change industries, as well as skill sets. I was great at running offices, managing people, starting initiatives, spreadsheets, proposals, budgets, etc etc etc… all the stuff you need to know when managing 100+ people across different departments. But I wanted to round out my business skill set, so I decided to get into sales. Fortunately, there are a LOT of sales positions out there, so I was able to be a bit choosy and I started selling insurance for MassMutual.

I like selling insurance, it’s a pretty good gig and I still do it to bring extra money in. Never had a problem with being labeled a “salesman”, an “insurance guy”, or whatever. I was great at meeting people, getting appointments, making presentations, got better at closing as time went on… but then, something started happening.

As is common when starting a career in financial services (be it insurance, wealth management, etc), you find yourself working with a similar “core” of clients, your “natural market” if you will – and so I found myself working with small business owners quite often.

… now let me digress for a minute. I love work. Not just doing it, but I love talking to people about their jobs, their job goals, how they do things, ways to improve, etc.

And, because of this, I found myself constantly talking to my small business clients about their business, offering advice and having a lot of it taken. And, after I had heard enough times “Have you thought about being a business consultant”, I decided to branch out and become a business consultant.

I went to work with a friend, about year ago. Given that the title of this thread is “I got the job”, you can likely deduce that this position did not go so well. Do not want to go into it, mistakes were made on all sides, but I did find that I have madd skillz at getting into the higher levels of organizations: Valero, the City of San Antonio, Tesoro, Southwest Research Institute – met with VP’s and CXO’s to sell Six-Sigma and Lean Manufacturing training and implementation services.

That ended December of 2016. Still selling insurance for money (as a broker, now) I don’t want to do this my entire life – working alone, at home, sucks.

I decided to look for another sales position, in a large international company, and fortunately, there was one right down the street – Frost and Sullivan, an international business consulting firm with offices in 30+ countries.

So I went to work.

  1. Found some jobs they had advertised
  2. Did research on LinkedIn and other sources to find out who in this company to contact. Found 6 likely candidates.
  3. Put together a list of questions. And answers to questions they might ask.
  4. Started calling: “Hello, my name is JohnT. You don’t know me, but I was reaching out to experts in XXXX and wanted to ask a few questions from one who has been working in this field for over 10 years. Do you have some time now, or would you prefer to schedule something at a better time?”
    a. Usually I get scheduled, but sometimes they talk to me right then and there – I had a 40-minute conversation with one woman.
  5. So, what I expected to happen, happened. I asked my questions, they started asking me their questions, and I turned all the calls into proto-interviews.
  6. The 40-minute call I had ended with me asking her if she would be an internal referral source for me. She said “Of course”, and therefore the rest was rather easy.
  7. Had my first interview with a VP.
  8. Had a second interview with a Sr. VP. He flew out from corporate (San Fran) to speak with me.
  9. They decided I would be best fit in as a “Senior Business Development Executive”, a fancy way of saying I’m selling stuff to high-ranking corporate officials.
    [INDENT]a. NICE base salary.
    i. Bonuses
    ii. Commission
    iii. Various incentives
  10. And only after we had decided on a job and salary and all the rest… only then did I login and create an account, fill out an application, etc. [/INDENT]

So wish me luck! And, if you read this far, I do have one question: The company says they use Lotus Notes. Anybody else a current user of Lotus Notes? It’s surprisingly difficult to find information about it and any info would be appreciated.

  1. Congrats and good luck!!!

  2. Yeah, I’ve used Lotus Notes for something like 20 years. It’s a very rich environment for email (though the search functionality is not great) and a bunch of other internal “database”-type applications (eg. we have them for personnel evaluations, vacation planners and similar.

It also has a built-in instant messenger called Sametime (Sametime can also be run as a standalone).

So what are the questions about Lotus Notes? I’m just a routine user, I don’t do anything special with it.

Congrats! I’m on the short end of the job-finding stick myself and it’s heartening to hear of someone getting hired outside the easy track.

Not a current user of Notes, but we used it intensively in Rohm and Haas back in 2000-2004 (of the many places where I’ve worked, the one that had best documentation and the only one where documentation was actually easy to find; we kept it in Notes), we’ve used it in several of my later customers and from a user’s point of view it hasn’t looked much different from one to another.

In Rohm and Haas my team “got in trouble” for using Sametime for telecons instead of the external service, for which you had to set up meetings in advance and each person had to phone a different phone number in their country (there are still services that work like this and I still think that most of the time they don’t make sense*). Our reply: “we can set up meetings instantly, anybody can share the screen, anybody can take control of the shared screen, it’s not our fault if the people who bought the other service didn’t realize Sametime was so much better.”

And congratulations on the job.

  • Exception: when all the people involved can’t get access to the same instant messaging system. But frankly and now that nobody hears me, I’d rather use Teamspeak or Discord than one of those corporate systems which require everybody to be on the phone and in the computer simultaneously :stuck_out_tongue:

As a job seeker, I find this inspiring. :slight_smile:




Congratulations! And I’m happy to hear that your step-by-step approach above worked - that is exactly how I was taught, decades ago, to approach job-seeking. Glad to know not everything I have learned is out of date.

I used Lotus Notes on a job that ended about 7 years ago. It’s fairly easy to learn and it does have some nice features for sharing information over an intranet. However, for reasons I no longer recall (not being an IT kind of person), other people sometimes commented that it was not a great choice because it’s…dated? I forget. However, we were kind of a slave to it; our project had no choice but to use it because the home office did and we had to be able to share data with them. I guess that once everything is in Lotus Notes, it’s hard to transition to better, more up-to-date software?

(Previous paragraph is full of ignorant speculation - if anyone wants to tell me in no uncertain terms that I haven’t a clue, please go ahead.)

First, congrats!

Yeah, I’ve been using Notes for a few years now and I don’t love it. I had previously used Outlook for over a decade, so I guess it just takes some getting used to. The whole look of it is just very old school.



I have been looking for a good job that was a right fit for the better part of the last 8 or 9 years. Finally finding one turned everything around. It’s always great to hear another success story.

For those still looking: Job searching is, literally, the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, so I know how hard it is. But keep at it. Keep trying, and something will land sometime…I promise!

Well done, you! Enjoy your future!

SAP R/3 is dated, too. In fact, the first people who’d loooooove to get rid of it are the SAP company. They’ve been trying to get rid of it since before I got in the business; I suspect they may still trying to do so when I’m living in an old folks’ home. Sometimes “dated” means “we’ve got prettier ways to do it”; sometimes it means “we’ve got more efficient ways to do it”; sometimes it means “we’ve got versions with a lot more bells and whistles what do you mean you do not need any of them of course you do”. The three things don’t always, or necessarily, go together.

Good job! (heh)

I honestly had no idea Lotus Notes (now “IBM Notes”) still even existed. It’s 28 years old!