Perserverence Leads to Success

Going from a college graduate to working full-time was not an easy transition for me.  My college was paid for and I never really understood the meaning of work.  I remember working for Foot Locker when I was in college and I really enjoyed it.   I enjoyed it until  there was an Ole Miss football game in Oxford and I abruptly quit.  No, work had never been a priority.

Perserverence Leads to Success

My first job out of college was in 1995.  I really struggled.  Wearing a tie daily, and understanding the competitive landscape of recruiting came as quite a shock to me.   My peers were excelling and I was just not getting it.  Yes, Aerotek was tough. The average tenure for someone at Aerotek was less than a year.  For some reason though, I did not give up.  I remember having conversations with friends and they would always ask “Why don’t you quit?”

My father played a huge role in me sticking with it.  He encouraged me to persevere and work harder.  He told me to listen to advice and learn as much from the experience as I possibly could.  It was really hard.  I remember one Sunday I came into the office and we all talked about the strengths and weaknesses of the 50 recruiters that were in the Austin office.  I was probably sensitive, but it seemed like at least 1/2 of the afternoon was a discussion on my weaknesses.

That confrontation was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I listened to everything that was said to me that day.  I took every piece of advice that was given and I got better.  I started winning my peers over one by one.  A manager noticed some of the changes I was making and asked me to join his team.  I knew that until I changed teams I would never be successful at Aerotek.

When I joined the new team, I had to start over.  I had been with Aerotek 1 year.   My goal was to be a Contracts Manager and in order to do that I had to be promoted from a recruiter.  It was hard, but it was worth it.  Whatever I did the year before didn’t matter anymore.  I persevered.

5 months later, I was promoted to a Contracts Manager.  I quickly became one of the most successful Contracts Managers in the country.  I gained some of the top accounts and received awards quickly.  I was happy.  I was so glad I didn’t quit.  I was proud of my accomplishments.

If I would have given up, I would have just been another Aerotek casualty.  Instead, I became a great recruiter and  what I learned I have applied in every aspect of my life today.  Now, I don’t agree with all of the things I learned at Aerotek, but I have learned some terrific things.  It is because if this experience, that  I believe separates me from other recruiters.

There are a lot of times in my life where I have given up.  I have said “I just cant take it any more”.  I was right when I left some roles.  Other times, I wish I would have stayed.  Perseverance does pay off.  You can have success when you persevere.

I have had a Cal Ripken poster in my house that I have had since the Aerotek days.  I think we all have a lot to learn from Cal.  He never gave up.  Never took a day off for 2632 days.  That is an astonishing feat.

Before you make a change, is the grass really greener?  You will be amazed what will happen from sticking it out.

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Will Thomson

Will Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the global sales and marketing recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. Connect with Will.

Reader Interactions


  1. kiersten says

    Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you
    a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up
    the great job!


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