The Next Opportunity? Look For It This Way...

By Robb Dempsey Let's call my friend Jennifer, just to let her have some privacy. When I first met Jennifer she was a law student and was working part-time as temporary labor for my company. Her personality fit well with the culture and she worked hard while she was on-site. The job was one that I liken to a grudge job for most of us who had to help fill-in during rush times at our start-up. The task was repeatedly sticking mailing labels to envelopes and then packaging all print collateral for shipment to the client as they launched with us. From Temp to In-House Legal Counsel Jennifer stuck with that job through the temp time frame which I think was 2 months and at the end we offered her a permanent position doing the same tasks. Jennifer came on-board and meshed right into the culture. She had built relationships the whole time she was a temp and the transition to full-time was that much easier since she already had friends at work. Her tasks and role remained the same for a while. At a year of service with the company Jennifer took on a new role at work. At a start-up there all sorts of opportunities to wear new hats and she transitioned to a Human resources role. We were a small group (<50) and didn't have an official HR guru in-house. So Jennifer took on the role of distributing open positions to job sites, helping with HR benefits including working with the exec team to close our yearly negotiations on what our insurance providers would be doing for us. As we grew as a company Jennifer put together harassment seminars, employee handbooks and even had a hand in our corporate shindigs. A few years down the road with law school finished, Jennifer was offered an extended HR position that included in-house legal. I think the official title was Legal/HR Coordinator. In the next two and a half years she would be a part of the inner workings of a $20M+ venture capital raise that would be the key to our company launching into the next phase of our growth and future. But EVERY Job Is Temporary The hard part of this story is that with the downturn in the economy our business had to change to maintain control of our destiny and one of those changes was Jennifer was laid off along with 25% of our colleagues. The layoffs are fresh in my mind. Good friends, including Jennifer, who had put in so much sweat equity to stand this company up were suddenly gone. Most of those that are gone are daily questioning why and what are they going to do, but Jennifer's approach appears to be the same as when she was a temp worker. In her words "I'm looking for the next opportunity". In any economy, but especially one like our current situation take any position you can get and once you get in look for those opportunities that allow you to shine. All jobs/positions are created because there is a need within the company. So if it's sticking labels on envelopes, along with the paper cuts, or long hours sealing the VC deal, give it your best and create a place for yourself within the organization. Robb Dempsey is sojourning through this life, currently residing in Huntsville, AL and working out his home as a senior software developer. He loves to read and dig in the dirt in his free time. You can find him on twitter @robbdempsey.


FYI - Heather Huhman, who writes the Entry-level Examiner column and J.T. O'Donnell, the founder of are teaming up to do a live event on cover letters and resumes. CLICK HERE to learn more and sign-up by e-mail and we'll send you the event details and login information. It's free and guaranteed to be informative. AND, it's the Sunday after the Superbowl so there's no football-watching conflicts.

Sunday, February 8th, 4pm EST

Come learn how to craft resumes and cover letters that will get noticed (for all the right reasons) by management. You'll be glad you did!

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less