During the Praxis Placement process, this company was the one I was most excited about. They had a product I could personally benefit from, several like-minded coworkers, and tons of high-caliber professionals to learn from.
In the first interview, I sucked, but managed to showcase some of my good traits. It lasted only 15 minutes, and ended with a proposal from Jared, PandaDoc’s VP of Sales & Business Development: I should read the book “The Challenger Sale” and schedule a second interview with my would-be supervisor.
I had the weekend to do that. I read the book, contacted other Praxians who worked there, and hopped on a call with one of them, Jake Regner, on Sunday.
He helped me prepare for the second interview, we discussed the book and had a great conversation.
I reflected on the first interview, researched even more about the company, created a plan according to insights I got from the book, and prepared myself psychologically to it.
The interview was better, but not nearly as good as I’d envisioned. When it finished, I thought I had ~50% of chance of being hired.
Being comfortable with uncertainty is something I have to work on. I couldn’t stop thinking about “what if”s, and worrying about things I couldn’t control.
Fortunately, I remembered one thing I mentioned in my first blog post:
What could I do to increase my chances right now?
I wrote an article and sent them this email:
“Here’s an article I wrote about what I learned from “The Challenger Sale”, tailoring the message to PandaDoc’s audience, so you can use it for the company blog if you’d like.
Additionally, by the end of this month, I’ll have finished 18 hours of Salesforce training (edit: they said it was a priority), and I’ve included reading “Secrets of Question Based Selling” and “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (edit: two recommendations from my second interviewer), on my Personal Development Project for next month.
Thank you for the recommendations!”
50 minutes later, Jared, VP of Sales & BD, answered back: “Cassius, when can you start?”.
I put on my running shoes and ran as hard as I could, aimlessly, just to release my energy.
I looked at the sky and said: “Yep, you did it.”
Fast forward some days, this week I was informed they wouldn’t be able to hire me due to my visa situation.
If you know me, you know how much I look down on the State. I always try to ignore it.
When it happened, I had already been pissed off about all the bureaucracies I was facing.
The visa process would cost me more than U$2000, take more than one month, require lots of documents, etc…
Although this rarely happens to me, I felt like I needed to explode.
So I remembered and applied the 5-minute rule.
I don’t know where I first saw it, but it works like this: every time you have a problem and can’t hold it to yourself, go, scream, blame, express everything. But do that for 5 minutes. After that, focus on the solution or alternatives to it.
That’s what I did. After blaming the government and furiously punching my pillow for some minutes, this week I’m applying for other 2 jobs I’m really excited about.
I was theoretically underqualified for the position I’d been offered. Of 6 requirements, I didn’t meet 3:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- 1-2 years of SaaS sales experience
- Experience with outbound lead cultivation + inbound lead generation
Thanks to Praxis and my capacity of creating value, we ended our conversations with statements like:
We really wanted to work with you. You’re a rockstar!”
“You were the most motivated and prepared candidate I’ve interviewed in a long time.”
Yesterday I also wrote an email to myself. I know my potential, and I won’t live my life wondering what it would be like if I had taken responsibility for everything that happens to me.