Job Searching: Grit and Prayer

Not real certain where this fits in this community, but in a recent Hoarder e-mail they spoke about Zero Based Budgeting.

My wife and I had just returned from our honeymoon as I resumed my position as a bookkeeper for a publishing company. The company wasn’t doing well financially and soon several of us were released with a severance check to hold us until we landed on our feet. Not only did I not have the marketable skills necessary to traverse the rough road ahead of me but I also had a few adverse conditions to surmount. I purchased a copy of Crain’s Business Report which blazed across the front cover The Top 100 Privately owned companies in Chicago. I then went to the Reference Library and perused The Million Dollar Directory which in its listings included the address and name of every CEO, President of every company. To them I would send the following letter.

I almost want to say at this point, don’t try this at home, it’s not going to work. I had nothing to offer them in the way of background other than the truth. In the body of the letter I told them 3 things, 1) I had recently been released from prison, 2) I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and was turning my life around, (A prison school teacher had told me God could change my life, He changed hers too. 2 years after I was released we were married and still are today after 39 years) 3) I had the rudimentary skills of a bookkeeper. I closed the letter with a question, “Based on your expertise and experience what would you suggest I do.?”

For the sake of brevity, I first was hired by Leo Burnett Advertising, over the phone sight unseen, Chicago’s largest Ad Agency. (In the Billing Department) 6 months later Northwestern University called as a result of the same letter and interviewed me for a position that would require me to design and implement a charge back system to bill all the departments of the University for the use of our Editorial and Design staff. (What part of ‘rudimentary’ did they not understand.) I was with the University Relations Department for the next 3 years.

My point of this sharing is to point out that in times of difficult circumstances we have to use unconventional means with a bit of creativity and certainly for me, a lot of prayer. My apologies if this wasn’t the type of story for this community.


I think this is an excellent example of how to think outside the box when the going gets tough.

A lot of people in your situation would have simply thrown in the towel and lost all hope.

I can’t tell you how many people I know who simply make excuses for their situation instead of doing something about it.

What you did was unconventional, but in the end it proved that when you think outside the box, with a little perseverance and hard work, you can make the best of your situation!


This was a great way to think outside the box. I’m glad it worked
out foir you.

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Congratulations! What a great story, and I’m happy that it all worked out, and is still working out for you!


Thank you for the encouraging note.