Search form

Career Coach: Be Passionately Persistent

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson provides encouraging advice when job hunting.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson.

"Never, never, never, never give up." -- Winston Churchill, prime minister during World War II. (1874-1965)

"'Tis a lesson you should heed: Try, try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, Try, try, try again." -- William Edward Hickson (1803-1870)

Job hunting is tough -- it's a bit like dating. Even if you are passionate in the pursuit, you may be rejected over and over again. The good thing is, there are plenty of companies that might be a good fit for you. But it is going to take passionate persistence for you to find the right fit.

Don't let discouragement stop you from following your passion. Obstacles may set you back or slow your pace, but keep going. Don't let disappointments deter you from pursuing your dreams.

Believe in yourself, even if others don't. The sculptor Auguste Rodin failed to be admitted to art school three times. Luckily, he didn't think the art school admissions people were right and we can celebrate his creations such as "The Thinker" today.

When I was production manager on The Simpsons, the producer told me to inform one of the artists that she was not producing enough and that she had only a short time to get up to speed or she would be let go. The producer said she was too slow -- she struggled with every drawing to be sure it was on model. Determined to keep her job, Emily spent the entire weekend at the studio, drawing all day and most of the night. On Monday morning, instead of being exhausted, Emily was beaming from ear to ear. She had a breakthrough late Sunday night and had discovered the secret to drawing the characters on model and knew that she would keep her job. Emily could have easily given up but she worked all weekend because she was pursuing her passion.

Here is one story about a man who encountered many setbacks:

This man did not have enough money to attend college. After serving in the military, he ran for a seat in the state legislature and was soundly defeated.

He managed a store that went bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years paying off his debts. He fell in love with a young woman who died from an illness at the age of 22. He was elected to Congress but was defeated when he ran for re-election. He tried to get a job with the United States land office but lost that to a better qualified applicant.

He ran for the United States Senate. He lost.

At his party's Presidential convention, he was nominated for the Vice Presidency, but lost to a political unknown.

He ran for the Senate again. He was defeated again.

This was a man who had plenty of reasons to feel discouraged. But he did not dwell upon failure.

This man who ran for political office several times and was defeated on numerous occasions led the United States through one of the darkest hours of its history. Often discouraged during his lifetime, today his birthday is celebrated by all Americans every year in February.  Elected as the 16th President of the United States in 1860, Abraham Lincoln dedicated himself to the ideals and principles in which he passionately believed:

"That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well." -- Abraham Lincoln.

Don't let rejection stop you. Roadblocks may slow you down, and you may have to take a detour every now and then to get around obstacles. Keep your eyes open for opportunities along the way and learn something new, even on detours. Just keep your goal in mind and never stop pursuing your passions.

What happened to that Simpsons artist? Emily is now an art teacher encouraging young artists to pursue their own passions.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson will be presenting her Career Strategies Workshop on Feb. 11 and 12 at Savannah College of Art and Design. You can reach her for recruiting, speaking engagements, or career coaching at