On A Foot In The Door

Why don’t I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into Jobland where jobs grow on jobbies!

Charlie Kelly, It’s Always Sunny In Philidelphia

I nervously walked through the doors of the digital agency, resume in hand. The job posting was for a video editor, and as such I had tailored my resume for my Video Editor experience (as I had just graduated with a Radio/Television Production degree).

The lobby was brightly lit with shiny white floors and expansive swaths of glass. It was a long way from my existing job in a warehouse office in an industrial part of Orlando, where I could see sunlight through a gap in the roof from my chair.

The woman behind the desk asked who I was here to meet. I said I was responding to a job posting by a Mr. F., and she said to wait a moment.

She called someone, made a few remarks, and then responded, “Just leave the resume with me.” I was insistent. “Is Mr. F. in? I’d love to talk to him about the resume.” “Just leave the resume with me and I’ll make sure he gets it.”

I left, dejected. I have been through that before, with the same result every time. Then my phone buzzed.

“Is this Jared Porcenaluk?”

“Yes. Is this Mr. F?”

“No, this is Mr. J”


I had no idea who Mr. J was, and I had no idea why he was calling. A knot in my stomach formed. Half of me believed Mr. J was going to tell me to stay the hell out of the digital agency and to stop soliciting my resume in person like the street urchin I was.

“I see you have on your resume some web development experience.”

“Yes, sir, I do.”

“Do you know Flash?”


“Do you know C#?”


“Are you willing to learn?”


I’m sure my memory is failing me. I’m sure there was more said, but that’s all I recall. A few weeks later, I had a tiny contract to do 16 hours of front-end web development work for them with nothing but a promise that if it went well, they’d consider hiring me. The compensation was $50 per hour, a mind-boggling sum considering the $14 per hour I was being paid in my full-time job.

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I spent more than 30 hours doing that contract, but only charged for 16. I didn’t want them to think I was incompetent. I could do the work, but maybe not as fast as they expected. I hoped it was enough.

A few weeks later, I had a proper interview and got a full-time position as Web Developer.

When I met Mr. J in person, I understood why he championed taking a chance on me. It was my hustle he respected. Although he was a software developer, not a manager, I can imagine he raised hell to get the company to give me a chance. I’m truly grateful he cracked the door open the slightest bit to allow me to get a toe through.

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