Day 496: Graduating and looking for your first job? Do what Kate did.

Standing with graduate at Georgia College

Finding a job right out of school with no experience is challenging.

With graduation season upon us and s many new graduates trying to figure out how to land their first job, I thought I'd share how Kate Butcher and I met.

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak to an organization at Georgia College I helped found nearly 20 years ago. I hoped to pass along three points of wisdom I had distilled from my own journey.

  • Take opportunities before you think you are ready.
  • Seek out, do not be afraid of, feedback.
  • Suspend your need to be right.

The next morning I received a LinkedIn message from Kate referencing one of the points of the speech, how it resonated with her and a request to learn more about an entry level sales position at SalesLoft. Her message was personalized, relevant and to the point. And maybe most importantly the message was more about me than her 


"Good morning Butler!

Thank you for connecting. I appreciate what you had to say about always speaking up because contribution and involvement matter more than being right.

Is SalesLoft trying to fill entry level positions? I am interested in learning about the "Sales Development Representative" role."

To test her seriousness, I asked if she could be at the SalesLoft office at 9am on Friday, less than 36 hours of receiving her initial message. She agreed to meet on Friday.

Upon meeting her she was poised and prepared, and as I learned more about her I realized she had an aptitude for technology. She double majored in marketing and management informations systems.

Many of my colleagues, my network and I hire for positions that don't have tracks in traditional colleges, and I thought maybe Kate was not aware of all of her possibilities when she inquired about the sale roles. I have the good fortune to work with very strong female technology leaders at SalesLoft. I asked for favors so Kate could spend time with them and learn about their teams.

We don't know where it will end up, but she got her foot in the door by being the right amount of assertive and respectful, and she found a friend and mentor in me.