Let me finish tonight with the thrill of yesterday’s commencement exercises at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Here in this impressive hall with almost 9,000 people, we celebrated the graduation of so many young people into the world of ambition, uncertainty and hope.
Thanks to President Ann Hart of this fine, booming university, each student left with a plastic wallet-sized card with my commencement advice.
I want you all to hear it once - here on Hardball - for your children; for your hopes for them; and also for yourselves and your ambitions in life. They are based on watching politicians close up for decades, “watching I said,” paying sharp attention to how they get where they get, into high positions of power and leadership.
- Show up. Woody Allen was right. It’s 90 percent of getting where you want to get. Don’t e-mail. Don’t phone. Put yourself in their face. If you want a job, show up for it. Nobody’s going door to door asking what you’re good at, what your dreams are. Nobody.
- Ask. It comes down to looking someone in the face and telling them what you can do for them. You’ve got to get them to invest in you. You have got to ask to do it. It’s like asking for a date. What’s the easiest way to get a “No?” Ask yourself, what’s the easiest way to say a “No” to? E-Mail. Second easiest? Over the phone. Hardest? You are with someone and say there’ s great movie coming up Friday night. Wanna go? Yeah, it’s harder to take rejection in the face. But it’s also harder to give “rejection.” Make it harder. If you want a “yes,” ask for the yes. After a job interview - a second one - don’t ask for the verdict. Ask for the job.
- Take on investors. Everyone who gives you a job, everyone who gives you advice, becomes a stockholder in you. People who help you get a job will help you again. That’s just the way it is. They’ll want to say: “I helped get him or her get their first job!” It’s how things work.
- Do it yourself. Keep your friends close. Stay in touch with your classmates. One of them might strike gold and bring you in on it. One might hear of a job that’s not good for them, but perfect for you. Network like a bandit. You’re only in this alone if you want it that way.
- Upbeat beats downbeat. Hey, this is 2011. The economy sucks. Nobody’s going to ask why you’re looking for a job. Who ain’t? So make them say “no.” You keep saying ‘yes.” So grab that job and get yourself in the door.
Those are the big five rules I gave at Temple University this week. They work. I’ve seen them work. Go put ‘em to use!