On April 1st 2013 I posted an “April fool’s joke” on Facebook that went like this:
I just got a call from a company in Nashville for a Job offer to start this Wednesday. I will be working in Advertising and Social Media. It’s a Job that I’ve always wanted and can’t wait to start.
If anyone knows me, I work a home based business full time and am not looking for any job at any pay rate.
Here is a photo of the Facebook Thread
As you can see some folks knew I was kidding, but some folks didn’t.
This post has reminded me of the time I landed a job because I did start and was successful at my home based business.
Here is the story of how I landed a $30,000 per year job without a resume and going to the interview in blue jeans and a button shirt.
Wild and Crazy Motorcycle Trip
In 2001 we were stationed at Ft. Bliss with the US Army and my wife had gotten transfer orders for Virginia Beach. She had to first attend some training and then we would be moving in about one month. I had just purchased a new BMW motorcycle and didn’t want to ship it because I was afraid it would get damaged. So I decided to ride this motorcycle from El Paso, Texas to Virginia Beach, Virginia. This was a 2000+ mile trip.
Our plan was for me to take three days for the ride and spend one week in Virginia looking for a house. We had planned on purchasing a house since we knew we would be there at least three years and the market was booming (this was 2001).
The ride across country was not without risk, after the first day I seemed to pick up a storm cloud that I followed from Dallas, Texas across Louisiana, Mississippi and into Alabama where I had planned to spend the 2nd night with friends. The weather was so bad I had to cut my 2nd day ride 200 miles short because I was soaking wet, freezing to death and there were tornado warnings. It was nine-thirty at night and I was sure I would be run over by a semi truck in the poor conditions or blown away by a tornado that I couldn’t see or hear.
The third and final day of the trip was not as bad weather-wise, though I still had plenty of rain but at least no tornado. Though I did have an extra 200 miles tacked on top of the planned 700 miles. To say the least, I was glad to make it safely to Virginia Beach.
After drying myself off and getting situated I hooked up as planned with my realtor and started house hunting. Turns out I found a great house in a great location on the 2nd day. We made an offer, they accepted and I was ready to head back. Big problem, my flight was scheduled for several days later (remember I was to spend a week house hunting) .
The Job Story
I had only been working at my home business for about a year and wasn’t making much income from it yet. Most legitimate home based businesses take 3-5 years before you can be earning a good income. So I did the natural thing, I pulled open the newspaper and started hunting for a job. It didn’t take me long to find this great help wanted ad for a “customer service” position with the type of skills that I had (more on that later).
I called on the ad and after a short phone interview the agency said to come in for a face to face interview and also to take a test. The prospective company needed to make sure that I could type, operate MS Office products reasonably well and use email. I passed the test with flying colors and the lady doing the interview took a liking to me. I remember she owned a Corvette and we talked more about her car and what type of oil it used than we talked about what my job would be.
The next step was for me to go to the company to do an interview with them. I let the lady know at the agency that I had no resume (I hadn’t planned on looking for a job) and that I had ridden my motorcycle over 2000 miles and had no dress clothes. She assured me that she would inform the company and they would expect me to provide a resume at a later date.
During the interview they asked what I currently did and why I wanted this job. I told them that I had recently started my own business but it was pretty new and I hadn’t made a lot of income yet, but I wanted to work with them and the skills that I gained from my home based business would benefit them greatly. During the year that I had started my business (prior to that I had no sales skills, really never wrote anything as far as documents or papers and such) I learned how to design my own website, learned to use follow up methods, learned Microsoft Word, some Excel and what not. I was also good at providing great customer service and had great problem solving skills.
With the interview over, they offered to start me at $28,000 salary per year. I accepted the offer and let them know I had to go back to El Paso to move the family to Virginia and I would be able to start in a month. During that month I worked on my resume and started doing some online training with the company to get more familiar with their products and such. After about 2 months at the company, I was given a raise to $30,000. This was because I was able to provide sales, sales support, customer training in addition to the “customer service” position that I was hired for. These additional skills in sales really helped out.
I will be honest having my own business wasn’t the only reason I got the job. Being a veteran, and have a diverse background as well as being able to read and comprehend I’m sure scored points as well. I do believe that I would not have landed this job without being self motivated and having learned the skills necessary by starting and operating my home business.
The name of the company that I worked for was called USA Information Systems. USA Information Systems, Inc. located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, provides mission-critical information on parts, vendors, and technical specifications for Buyers, Suppliers, and Engineers worldwide. In 2004 I left the company when we moved to Tennessee. USAInfo was sold to Information Handling Services Inc IHS.com is the leading international provider of content integration and decision support tools, technical standards, codes and product specifications, parts management and logistics solutions.
So after saying all that, be proud if you have started a home business. If you haven’t started one, do it now! Having a Home Based Business will add valuable skills that you could take the market place. Remember it make take time to build your home business but those skills add value to any company that you may be currently working for or one that you have to “temporarily” work while you are building your business.