Remember when Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptors, took that shot? Yeah…that shot. It was a very difficult shot to make and the chance of it dropping was nearly 0. What if he didn’t take it because it wouldn’t have gone in anyways? Or, he didn’t take it because if he missed he would’ve faced immense pressure from everyone around him. But guess what?! He took the shot! He didn’t let data or trends or the chance of success get in his way of taking the shot. He took it. Why? Because if it went in, even if the chance was smaller than a percent, it could mean another championship for him and his team. He also took it because not taking it would mean life would remain the same, and he wasn’t game for that.
I wanted to write a short post today to cover this topic as it has come up quite frequently in the last few weeks. A lot of my students and people that I mentor, sometimes end up not pursuing certain opportunities or taking the shot because they have these preconceived notions why the shot won’t matter. For example, one of my mentees decided not to apply to Goldman Sachs because she believed “they don’t hire from my school”, or another one recently mentioned to me how certain things on her resume eliminated her from a top-tier role, so it’s best not to apply anyways.
Here lies the issue my friends. Yes there are trends that we can see on how certain groups and firms do their hiring, but, at the core of it, you need to understand that hiring is ultimately a human thing, not a firm thing. Yes, some firms hire certain types of people, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a small shot of getting in. Yes, some groups prefer certain backgrounds, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a slight chance someone would give you the benefit of the doubt. And yes, everyone before you who made it to that firm is different from you and maybe even better than you in your eyes, but, what if, just what if, you took that shot and somehow broke through?
The problem is that most people with these false ideas choose to take the easier path of not applying and eliminate themselves from any consideration. This is wrong. My recommendation to all of you is: always take the shot! Just look at me! I had a 3.0 GPA, non-target background, and international student, I had no business being at Morgan Stanley’s Tech Investment Banking team. If I had stopped my pursuit after taking one glance at the typical profile of a candidate the group historically hired: Wharton grad with a 4.0 GPA who has studied business, I would not be sitting here today writing this article.
So, please, be like Kawhi, take the shot. There is a 99% chance you won’t make it, but, that also means there is a 1% chance you may make it and it could literally change your life. Good luck!
Quote of the Week
Always apply and take the shot.
Videos this Week 🎬
Worst Question to Ask An Interviewer - For some reason, everyone's favorite question to ask an employer is "What's the culture at Goldman Sachs?". This is probably the worst question to ask and you will never get an honest answer from your interviewer. In this video I talk about why it is so bad and what you can do to truly identify the culture of a firm.
One Simple Tip to Win at Work - Today I talk about a simple trick that I learned from my manager (Jesse) at Google and how it has helped me standout from my peers at work. Hope this helps you guys! :) Special thanks to Jesse for being annoying about this and forcing me to learn this. Thanks man!