Hustle Vs Talent – Which Reigns Victorious for Energy Job Seekers?

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my new-found heroes this year. For those of you who may not know who Gary is, he is the king of hustle (in my book). He’s a wine guy and business guru. Although there’s nothing special about where he does his work or what he does specifically, there is something incredibly remarkable about HOW he does his work – and every energy job seeker needs to take heed.

“Can we get over the point of people thinking that talent is enough? I think the line in the sand, the defining thing in this whole game is hustle.” _Gary V.

A lot of energy job seekers (job seekers in general, really) are just not putting in the hours to get to where they want to be in the workforce. Energy job seekers are just not hustling. I don’t care if you’ve just taken a couple classes in solar energy or you don’t have a lick of experience in the field, you have the tools, resources, and access to achieve what you want – landing that energy job.

Gary Vaynerchuk has hustled and put in the hours throughout his whole career. He took a decent family business and turned it into a formidable empire in a matter of years through hard work and commitment. He’s written bestselling books and dominated the social media speaking circuit despite the fact that he’s not really a good writer. He’s taken his wine tasting/video blog business to immense heights by busting his ass. He hustled to create the career of his dreams and this is what energy job seekers need to start doing.

If Gary’s story seems too distant and unrelated, I’ll tell you MY story – the story of where and how my energy career started.

Before my current energy gig/day job, I’d worked dead end jobs at a call center, a paving company, a couple non-profit organizations, and in retail. I even sold gourmet mushrooms to restaurants around the country from a pole barn. I had no energy-related qualifications what so ever. When I had the epiphany that the energy industry was why I was put on this here planet, I got to work.

I researched the degrees that were accessible and affordable that could get my foot in the door. I went to school full-time while I worked at the most miserable job I’ve ever had just because it allowed me to do schoolwork on the job some days. I gave every last ounce of myself, physically and emotionally, to getting an Associate of Applied Science majoring in Alternative Energy Engineering Technology. Woopity doo… an associate’s degree from a community college – not real impressive for a stepping stone into a highly technical industry, is it? But it didn’t matter.

One day, a job opening for an entry level admin position with an energy firm fell into my lap. I still had another year of studies left before I could graduate. All I had on my resume was a bunch of administrative and customer service experience, a general associate’s degree with a focus in political and economic theory, and a bag full of gusto. I took that following weekend to research the company, revamp my resume, organize my portfolio and write the most epic cover letter I could muster. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning making sure every last detail was perfect.

I submitted my application, resume, and accompanying documents. Shortly after that, I had an interview scheduled. I didn’t have any money because my job at the time was not only miserable, but paid me in peanuts. I borrowed some money for a haircut, a brand new suit and shoes, a leather folder and a nice pen. I was not going to leave a single stone unturned when it came to this opportunity. I spent 3 nights after work researching potential interview questions and crafting my answers. I wrote out everything I could about the company so as to commit it memory.

I nailed the interview due to my massive amount of preparation. I waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity two weeks. I got the job offer and was set to start the following Monday. When I got off the phone with the HR rep, I nearly fell to my knees with gratitude and pure bliss.

When I got started, I worked my tail off. We were starting up a new office so we were all creating, building, and forming our own methods and processes. It was crazy, madness. I worked late. I took on anything my boss didn’t have time to tackle. I did outreach. I created report templates. I called on our sister offices in Wisconsin for insight. I pulled every last damn trick out of my hat to help get our program running – and it paid off.

A mere 5 months later, I was promoted into a technical position as an Energy Advisor on a different program- and I still hadn’t completed my energy degree nor did I have any technical experience at the company. It was my hustle that got me the job and the fast-track promotion.

I didn’t have any extraordinary talent. Hell, I still don’t… but I’m a top performer in my office. I know less about the equipment I consult on than any other Advisor on staff but I land projects left and right. My conversion rate of pitched projects to sold projects is astronomical in comparison to my peers because I HUSTLE. I hustle in everything I do and it pays off every time.

Watch this video from Gary Vaynerchuk about how even in professional sports it’s those that hustle that have massive careers – not those with the most talent.

“Somebody’s going to outwork you. I’m definitely going to outwork you. And there’s other people that are going to outwork you in your niche. If you don’t start putting in the hours, if you don’t start dropping the Xbox controller and the Wii paddle and your Tivo remote and that beer after work in your hands, you’re going to lose. And I don’t give a rat’s ass if you went to Yale or you’re the most creative son of a b****. If you’re the biggest, best of all time and you don’t put in the hustle, you’re going to get beat.” _Gary V.

Whether you’re looking for your first energy job, looking to change careers, or simply just looking to get ahead in your energy career currently… you have to hustle. Stop crying about the economy, the rejection letters, your current circumstances, etc and just – keep – hustling. Put in the work and the long hours. HUSTLE! And don’t stop until you reach your goal – because someone will out work you and will beat you in the next round of interviews if you don’t.

Photo credit (in order): andysteel, channah, Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It” site

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2 Comments on “Hustle Vs Talent – Which Reigns Victorious for Energy Job Seekers?”

  1. Jake LaCaze Says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, and I’m glad to see that your hard work has paid off for you. Here’s to hoping that hustling continues to lead you to greener pastures!


    • Madam Energy Says:

      Thanks, Jake! I’m glad you enjoyed the story. It’s not of epic proportion, by any means, but it certainly illustrates the concept. Thanks for stopping in! Do you have any tales of hustle reigning victorious?


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