This is a reprint of an article I wrote in my original blog. I lost my blog when I migrated my site from Weebly to WordPress hosted at GoDaddy. After spending a couple of years as the Business Development and Marketing Director at a large automotive supplier, I still missed the fun of the Paper Shredding Industry. I have since joined on as the Sales Director at Allshred Services, a document destruction company based in Maumee, Ohio.
I am truly excited to be back in this great industry.
As many of you may know, my day job lists me as the Sales Manager at AccuShred – a regional information destruction (aka Paper Shredding and Computer Recycling) firm – based in Toledo, Ohio. I’ve been with the company since May of 2008, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount about selling in a B2B environment and operating a serviced-based business.
Recently, I saw a posting on LinkedIn for an interesting position at a management consulting firm. Based on the description of the position, I wasn’t too sure what the firm was looking for, but being naturally curious, and always willing to create new opportunities, I shot the HR Manager (with whom I’m connected) a message. She responded immediately and suggested I call her the next day to discuss.
I made the call, and after some small talk, I asked her to explain why the position had still been unfilled after six months. I was told that they are looking for a person with specific experience, and I recognized that the person was not me. No problem, I always believe in giving before receiving, and asked her where the ideal candidate is currently working.
“Someone from a ‘Sexy Industry, for a sexy company.’
“Oh, you mean a place like Team Detroit?”
“No, I mean a place like BBDO or Leo Burnett.” (Interesting, since my long-term career goal out of Michigan State was to ultimately become the Creative Director at Leo Burnett. “And I can tell you that the person is not living here in Toledo.”
“So you’re telling me that being in the Document Destruction industry in Toledo is not sexy?”
“Exactly. In fact, I was going to tell you not even to bother writing a cover letter, after I reviewed your LinkedIn profile.”
I’m thinking to myself, “Wow! This person is close-minded!” and I was really taken aback – but I went a different direction and started listing off my accomplishments within the industry (Shred Cancer, NAID Public Speaking engagements, social media, online focus groups) and beyond (BeInstrumental), basically explaining to her that sexiness is not necessarily within an industry, it’s within the individual.
She has tagged my profile and is keeping my number on file.
So I pose these questions to you: What makes an industry sexy? Is yours? Is your company? If not, what are you doing to make it so?
Not matter where you are – “sexy” industry or a blue-collar job – keep improving. Challenge yourself. Be proud of what you do, but alwaus aim to change the status quo. Your future depends on it.