When I was 24 I arrived in Australia looking for a job in Advertising. My intention was to migrate here for at least a few years. I had a one-way ticket. I had exactly 1 year’s experience and no visa. That’s right – I had already used up my working holiday visa when backpacking. This meant I needed to find an Ad Agency willing to sponsor me with a 4 year business visa. As I had only been working for a year I was looking for a very junior job – an account executive role.
I started out by going to see every single recruiter I could find. I’ll never forget this – but one of the recruiters said this to me:
You may as-well book your plane ticket home because there’s no way you’ll get sponsorship with your level of experience.
Was I deterred? No way! Hearing that sentence only made me want to prove them wrong! So – what did I do? Well I certainly didn’t feel sorry for myself or sit around waiting for an ad agency to offer me sponsorship! I jumped into action.
I pulled together a database of over 65 potential advertising agencies and I contacted them all. I knew I had to work really hard to stand out form my competitors, so I spent hours crafting an email that would (hopefully) get some attention. Here is the (pretty ballsy) email I wrote:
“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. “ Steele, John (2001)
Quite simply I know that I have qualities that you want to know about. I implore you to give lady luck a break and give me the opportunity to reveal my passion for creative & strategic thinking.
Check out my CV, if you would like to inject bubbles of life into your agency, call me.
There was another naysayer.
His reply was something like this:
‘Don’t give up your day job”.
I was getting some pretty bad luck …(or was I?)
Again…I persisted. The positive replies outweighed the negative so I chose to ignore the negative ones. Afterall –
you can’t please all the people all the time
I remember thinking to myself that ‘it’s a numbers game’. Surely out of 65 agencies SOMEONE will take me on! It wasn’t an option for me to go back to the UK! I was determined to make it happen!
Eventually I had an interview with a company called Lavender. They didn’t have a role at the time, but liked my innovative approach with my email. They interviewed me and another hurdle popped up.
In order to sponsor me they had to pay me a wage that was a lot more than the going rate for the junior role I was looking for. What happened next was a huge shock. They didn’t retract their offer.
Instead, they offered me a promotion! I was offered a more senior role so that they could sponsor me. I jumped up to ‘Account Manager’ level with an increase in salary!
My eventual outcome was far better than I could have ever imagined and what was initially a limitation (needing a visa) contributed to a promotion and a salary raise!!
Having only heard the end result of my story you may have initially thought something like ‘Wow! That was a lucky break!’ But was it really luck? Or did I commit to what I wanted and persist, persist, persist until I got it!? On the flip side, others may have seen the challenges & hurdles I overcame (being told to get a plane ticket home, and to ‘not give up my day job’) and perceived those as ‘bad luck’.
I often look back fondly to the original quote that became my ticket to Australia (In fact I picked up my first Australian passport last week!):
“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”
I believe, we really do create our own luck.
Simple Life Strategy | 7 tips to avoid bad luck
Here are my top 7 tips for avoiding bad luck:
- Get clear about what you want
- Take Action!
- Persist, persist, persist!
- Ignore the naysayers – stay focussed on your goal
- Do whatever it takes to create your own good luck!
- Be ‘prepared’ for ‘opportunities’ – you never know when they might turn into good luck!
- Decide that ‘failure is not an option’ – As Will Smith said “I don’t have a plan B, I find it interferes with my plan A”
I would love to hear how you have created your own luck? Share your story with us by leaving a reply below.
Know someone who’s had bad luck recently? Share this article with them so they can turn things around!
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This is exactly what I needed. Im currently looking for employment as a DTP operator in an ad agency and am banging my head against walls. LOL. All I want to do is move closer to immediate family and work in a professional I know and love. Thanks for the inspiration to keep on trying.
Thanks for the comment! Yes – persist we must.
There’s ALOT of ad agencies out there so keep going!
It’s all about ‘taking action’, plus it’s often a numbers game. If you send your CV off to enough agencies you’ll be sure to find something soon – let me know when you do 😉
I’ve recently started a site, the information you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.
I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?
Amazing article, thanks, I will bookmark you later!
actually i am biggest failure of exams and i used be a subject to foolish murmuring talks from my friends and my neighbours at any time my destiny changes
• After I read your 7 tips to void bad luck… With the loss of my other half I have being feeling down and depressed. Four years since He passed away…Depressed and feeling bad about myself isn’t doing any good. It is dragging me down. I started my small business as a used car dealer all on my own with up and downs and lately I am thinking… I am having a bad luck no sales, no money and feeling poor is the true. It may sounds funny called it any way you wanted to call it but here I am this are my 7 tips to void bad luck and get rid of my bad luck.
• 1.- I wanted to succeed in my business
• 2.- Action- Keep doing what I am doing pictures, phone calls, improved in my advertisement.
• 3.- Be persistent as always I have being.
• 4.- Ignore the naysayer. I can do it. Nothing will stop me from. I can get up and not let myself
• down. I am not afraid. I am not afraid If I will not make it on my own like a naysayer wanted to know.
• I can do this with me and for me “how about my family, my love, my pets and the ones that had help me.
• 5.- I will do whatever it takes to succeed, and be ahead without falling.
• 6.- Positive . Opportunities had knock on my door. I must take advantage.
Floor Plans, My Health, My new love they are here for a reason, and God knows why
• I have been blind and selfish just thinking about myself.
• 7 Fail is not my option. I must go on with my goal of succeed in my plan A. I do not need a plan B. I stayed focus and I will not let anything to interfere in my goal “my business” succeed. No more feeling sorry and thinking a about bad luck and negative thoughts. It was my choice to start this business and I must finished I must do it for me and the ones I love R, K, E, E, M, a, b, m. T, k1,k2 . All my priorities!!
Nice sharing Zoe.
I don’t consider myself a failure, but I am just not as successful as I wanted to be. The reason I came across to your article was because I am in constant self-doubt moments (on a daily basis) which I think I can be better. I guess it is a matter of whether the glass is half full or half empty.
Your story reminds me of when I moved from one country to another, desperate for a job as savings was running low. I had a handful of agency at the time but none was useful, so I bought every magazine of the industry I was keen to work in and emailed my CV to every single company who advertised. Within a month I was hired by one of the biggest company. Though that was an underpaid job but better than nothing. I quit after a year to become a sole trader. 7 years down the track, I think I am doing good (not as good as I’d imagine) but at least everyone told me it’s good to be able to work from home. But when I tell people about my story, strange enough I would say I am very lucky rather than feeling I deserve it all because of my actions.
I am sure there are others out there who are like me constantly self-doubt even though they are doing pretty well. I just don’t feel as proud of my achievements as I used to and I don’t know how to bring back those proud feelings. Thank you all for spending the time to read this, I really feel like I have no one to talk to about it. They would only tell me I am doing well and I worried too much. I guess I must have got anxiety issues.