I had just replaced the logistics coordinator for his two week vacation when I promptly marched myself into my Director`s office and said: “I want that job." He smiled and said: “I knew you would, but it’s not available." I answered “I'll wait." And I meant it.
I had been working in the operations department of a worldwide shipping company for the past seven years and I was growing a little tired of the same old, same old. A desk job was never high on my career path choices, but I had grown fond of doing daily inventories and data analysis to detect and provide for an upswing in business or unforeseen decline. However, being down at the terminal amidst the trucks and the trains lent a whole new meaning to being where the action is, and I was determined to get there.
As life unfolded, the job never did become available while I was employed with that organization. Then, one day, while working for the competition, I received a phone call from my old boss asking me if I still wanted the job. I was elated and jumped at the opportunity. As I spoke on the phone, my roommate couldn't help notice my enthusiasm and listened in to figure out what had gotten me so excited. She heard me confirm that I was available to start work in two weeks, that I was fully versed in hazardous cargo handling, I had no problem with fast-paced, chaotic, male-dominant environments, the salary and job title were very acceptable and, of course, I knew how to drive as the position came with a company car.
As I got off the phone I noticed the horror on my roommate's face. “I can't believe what I just heard. You know nothing about hazardous materials. You have never worked in such an environment. You do not make that much money that would warrant such a huge pay hike, and you definitely do not know how to drive!”
I replied: “No problem. I have two weeks to learn.”
She thought I had totally lost my mind and a part of me wondered if I had as well, but just a small part. There was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by. So, I lied. If I had to fake it until I made it — so be it.
Later that same day, I ran to the nearest driving school and asked to speak to the manager. I explained that I needed to have a driver’s license in my hand in exactly two weeks. He told me it couldn’t be done and I told him it could. I received my license on the first day of work in my new position. As for the hazardous materials training, that’s what lunch hours are for, and breaks are for studying. I completed that course online and then later received my certification with no one the wiser!
The title and substantial rise in salary were simply gravy, and as for that so called fast-paced, chaotic, male-dominant environment — what woman doesn’t know how to manage that? So, the moral of the story is to never sell yourself short. You already have everything you need: You!
Heidi Crux is the author of Public Speaking Simplified and Demystified. Communication Basics to Create Lasting Impressions. Heidi is a graduate of Dale Carnegie Training with over 25 years of experience both in and out of the boardroom teaching communication basics and management principles at the university level. As a trainer and coach Heidi conducts seminars and workshops upon request as well as public speaking engagements.