Life Stories

How Being a “Go-Getter” Scored My First Job – Only a Week After College Graduation

20  Y E A R S  O L D |  The week after I graduated, earning my first college degree (pre-law), I drove downtown and randomly picked one of Honolulu’s tallest buildings with scores of professionals dutifully marching in and out of its doors.

I proceeded to the designated parking structure, paid a ridiculously high fee to stash my rust-covered “island beater” (a ’90’s Jeep Cherokee that I had originally paid $900 for), then grabbed my (also ridiculously large) pile of printed resumes/college transcripts, and headed for the fancy brass-trimmed entrance doors.

Upon entering the island skyscraper, I couldn’t help but feel like a tadpole in a koi pond…

…but that didn’t deter me. I stood on the lobby’s marble floors,  in front of a 10-foot-long directory display table, and started jotting down the names of all the offices listed as law firms or individual esquires.  

I then boarded one of the twelve elevators and was on my way.  I decided to start at the very top – the fanciest (and largest) penthouse office out of all the listed law firms. Being greeted by a monotonous desk clerk, she simply stated that they had no job openings there.  Regardless, I insisted, and ultimately still left a copy of my resume.

Getting back on to my elevator ride, I went down to the next floor.  My second attempt, was an office in which had no front desk receptionist, and everyone else was seemingly away at lunch or in the courtroom.  I left behind (with a note) an *all about me* packet on their entryway desk, then marched right back out and on my way.

I then approached an office of a lawyer with an exotic last name – I remember weirdly thinking to myself, “this is going to be the one”.

I walked in and received a warm greeting by the senior paralegal.  She then told me that her boss was in court for the day, but that she would be happy to chat with me–it was clear that I was in the right place.

She told me, “We have been REALLY needing more help here in our office, I prayed, then you just showed up before I even had time to type up, or post a job advertisement!”  Both of us were estastic. We conversed, she took down all of my information and told me that she would talk to her boss as soon as he got out of court and then call me to set up a direct interview. 

At that point, although I had only a few attempts completed on my job hunt, I decided to head back to my Liliha home.  That was because there was a sense of calm that had washed over me, and I knew that things were going to work out with that last office.  

On my way back down the elevator though, the adrenaline that I had been surviving on had started to settle, and my body reminded me that I was still recovering from an illness. See, a week prior, the same day that I had graduated, I also ended up in the emergency room. Ultimately I was diagnosed with a kidney infection and had spent days unable to get off of my roommate and I’s couch or my suuuuper uncomfortable futon bed that I somehow survived on throughout college.

So driving home, I stopped to grab my cure-all:  Lanikai Juice’s Extravaganza Acai Bowl.  After that, I pulled in to my driveway, then barely got through the door before my phone was ringing…  


The lawyer of course also wanted to meet with me personally, but from the conveyed “go-getter” impression that I had left on his executive paralegal, and what my resume and transcripts told him, he was convinced that I was exactly what their firm needed.

Now long story short, just a few days later, I started my first legal career job at that office, as a Civil Litigation Paralegal. It was the absolute perfect position for me and where I was in my life path. But in hindsight, had I never decided to just GO AND GET IT, who knows where I would have landed otherwise.

I have always been a self-driven, ultra-determined individual: like moving to an island 4,254 miles away from my only family (at just 17 years old), or my brief stint living in Los Angeles at 19 years old where I scored a waitressing job also by this same mentality & pursuit…

My underlying message here though?

In total honesty, if you believe in yourself and exude that from a humble place of confidence, you can seriously achieve ANYTHING!

Now Go Get It,

x. Heather