By Jas Singh
Change can often be for the good.
We all want to grow – and growth is change.
Yet for some reason, hiring managers often are resistant to hiring people who are looking to try something new. In nearly ten years as a hiring specialist, I can say with confidence that most hiring managers would prefer someone who has “done it before”, someone who is ideally working in a similar role, even a competitor.
We seem to now live in a culture where giving someone an opportunity to try something new is falling every day.
Yet the ironic thing is that often the highest achievers do have diverse backgrounds. Very few top performers become successful first time around.
Here are four celebrities who had unbelievable jobs before they became successful.
George Clooney was a door-to-door insurance salesman
Clooney has even described himself previously as an “horrible insurance salesman.” But why did he think himself bad at it? “The selling part I could do,” he once told Larry King, “but then they (the insurance company) wanted you to always tack on a little something extra. We’d take it from a whole life insurance to term life insurance and put some money away in an annuity for them or in an IRA. And then maybe you could use a little other insurance as well. And I couldn’t do that because you felt like you were pulling their leg.”
A few years later he got his big break on ER.
Good job your didn’t stick with insurance George.
Johnny Depp used to sell ballpoint pens over the phone
Prior to him focussing on acting career, Depp sold pens over the phone. As he has said in the past: “You’re calling people who don’t want you to call them. You put on your best fake voice and try and sell them a gross or two of ballpoint pens with their name printed on them. First you say, ‘Congratulations. you have just become eligible to win a grandfather clock’ – or a trip to Greece or a Jacuzzi or whatever.”
After realising it wasn’t the right role for him, he decided to go and audition for a role for a film called “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. The rest as they say is history….
Eva Mendes sold hot dogs
Mendes began her working life in the food services industry, a job she proclaimed to enjoy but wasn’t very good at.
As Mendes has said in the past, “I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get my work permit. Because at 15 you get your work permit in California and I couldn’t wait to legally work.”
After several years working in the food services industry, she finally decided to turn to acting.
Sheryl Crow was a primary school teacher
Prior to launching her music career, Sheryl Crow taught music for several years at an elementary school, especially focussing on helping autistic children.
It was something that she really enjoyed. As Crow has said previously: “I loved it. I really loved it, and I think I was a good teacher, but I was young and felt like if I was ever going to pursue the song writing thing that I needed to do it well.”
A few years later, she decided to change jobs and started recording jingles for local companies before then becoming a backing vocalist for acts such as Michael Jackson, until she launched her own solo music career.
Sometimes it takes time to figure out who you are. The best achievers often try many different things before finally discovering their true passion in life.
Hiring managers shouldn’t over rely on simply hiring those candidates who have come from their industries – sometimes people from diverse backgrounds can be even more hungry.
What’s the most unbelievable job you have had?
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