Lack of experience, bad timing, self-sabotage, and unconscious bias (among other things), have created many underdog stories, my personal story included. Whether you’re interviewing for an entry-level position, or moving towards a career advancement, here are three tips that’ll help you power through:
Understand this: endurance has a job, and that’s to make you better. Even though I wasn’t a fan of my first job, knowing that my situation was preparing me for something better helped me to maintain joy and push through. Have you ever seen a negative person endure? It’s impossible. So keep the big picture in mind, and try to enjoy the journey alongside your fellow shakers and movers.
2. Pursue Qualities, Not Positions
If qualities were tangible, which ones would you chase? I have no shame in saying that I regularly Googled what qualities make a good salesperson and leader. In fact, I still do. The more I attempted to pursue those qualities like empathy, self-awareness, optimism, etc…the better equipped I was when positions finally came my way.
3. Work Like a CEO
This is a company value shared with me by a former employer, and by far the most impactful piece of advice I’ve received in my career. In any role, you can figure out unique ways to get the job done, build out a solid strategy, and execute. You don’t need a fancy title to think big and achieve career advancement.
Others may not recognize your efforts right away, and that is perfectly ok. You have more than enough time to prove them wrong. Remember: we’ve all been underdogs at one point or another, because “what it takes” to be a sales leader is always changing. So don’t be discouraged, be the underdog. You’ll be on top soon enough.
-Shelton Banks, CEO