It was a new month and a new beginning in my life, and I had a new attitude about something that I once was afraid of. I got up on a Monday and attended a job fair at the a certain hotel in Manhattan. I had read about it in the help wanted section of the Sunday paper earlier that morning and decided to take my chances at finding a job.
Carrying my briefcase and folder which contained approximately 35 copies of my résumé, I approached the guy sitting at a table near the entrance to the ballroom where the job fair was being held. He told me I had to pay five dollars to get in. I said, “You’re lucky I brought money with me.” The ad didn’t say anything about any fee, so it was by chance that I happened to have money on me.
Reluctantly, I took a ten-dollar bill out of my pocket book and gave it to the guy at the table. He gave me back five one-dollar bills and I entered the fair with great anticipation of what, only God knew, was in store for me.
To my surprise, there weren’t that many companies there; and of those that were there, nine out of ten of them were looking for sales representatives. Ironically, that’s the very thing (sales work) that I wanted to avoid so much, but I realized that I had just paid five dollars to get into the job fair. And I was going to get my money’s worth, even if it wasn’t what I expected.
So, I went to virtually every table there was, dropping off résumés and filling out applications. It didn’t take me too long to circle the whole room, and there was still plenty of time left before the job fair was to be over. It had started at 9 a.m., and I had gotten there at 1:30 p.m. and had circled the room by 2:45 p.m. The fair was set to be over by 4 p.m.
I set out to leave, feeling a bit disappointed. There was a different guy standing at the door who asked me if I would be coming back. I said that I wasn’t sure. He asked if he could stamp my hand, just in case. I said “sure”. So he took a rubber stamp and stamped the word “FAIR” on my hand so that, if I was to come back, they would know I had already paid.
So I left the ballroom and walked down the hallway of the second floor in the hotel and stopped at a long end of the balcony which overlooked the lobby. I stood there looking down at the people below, contemplating where I should go next. What would be my next move?