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I recently had the special opportunity to interview an old friend about his exciting and successful career. Hint: I will be launching the Copeland Coaching podcast very soon! You will be able to listen to the entire interview online. Watch for updates. In the meantime, I want to share a little preview of our conversation here.

Shane Presley has had an amazingly career in technology. I met Shane when we worked together at FedEx back in 2001. Since then, he’s found great job after great job that have taken him to cities all over the world. A few years ago, he worked at Netflix in San Francisco and most recently, he worked for a large bank in Sydney, Australia.

He’s back in the US now, so I had the opportunity to sit down with him to learn more about how he’s grown his career. There were many great takeaways from our discussion. You will be able to hear the entire thing very soon, but there’s one piece of our conversation that really stuck out to me.

When I asked Shane about one of the most important lessons he’s learned that’s helped him along the way, he said it was being open to new opportunities and ideas.

When he started his career, Shane wanted to become a certain kind of computer programmer that was very popular then. But, there were already too many of that kind, so he was given the opportunity to try something that nobody else was doing. It was 100% different than his plan. In the end, it allowed him to enter into a niche market. He’s now a rare find for companies. It has allowed him to grow his career in ways he would have never initially been able to imagine.

I often speak with people who have turned down job interviews for various reasons. It’s not enough money. The location is not ideal. They’re not qualified for the position. The list goes on and on.

I also often speak with people who are not open to trying new things with their search. Perhaps they don’t want to try getting personal business cards, or aren’t comfortable modifying how they talk about themselves. Maybe they think networking is a waste of time.

Regardless, the story is the same. The person knows exactly what they want, and how they want to get there. No alternative path will do.

On the flip side, I also meet people who are very open. Maybe they’ve spent their entire career in non-profit, but are open to a for-profit opportunity that looks interesting. Maybe they don’t have all the skills for a particular role, but they’re willing to give it a shot. Perhaps they’ve never negotiated before, but they try (and risk failing).

Failure is such a scary idea for many people. The idea of it holds them back. But, when you don’t try, you’ve already failed. And, if your current method isn’t working, what do you have to lose by trying something a little outside of your box?

I’ve noticed a trend in my coaching. Those who are willing to be more open, willing to learn, and willing to try something different are successful. They realize they don’t have all the answers, and continue to adjust their strategy until they find one that works. Sometimes they do fail, but they keep moving and eventually, they win – big.

Now, I’m not back tracking on my earlier advice I’ve given you about sticking to one clear message in your elevator pitch. Keep doing that. Don’t start telling employers you’re willing to try anything. I closes doors like nothing else. But, if an employer sees something in you that’s different than you were planning, take the time to talk to them. Learn more. Consider possibilities. (Even if the money seems low at first, remember that you can always negotiate for more.)

Being open to possibilities opens so many doors. It can allow you to create a successful and fulfilling career path you never dreamed possible.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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