Secrets of the Job Hunt

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Job Hunting Lessons from Charlie Sheen

Without a doubt one of my top ten favorite movies is Wall Street from 1987. In it, Charlie Sheen plays Bud Fox, a small-time stock broker looking to make it big. "Bud" employs some job search tactics only a guerilla job hunter could love.

He uses Creativity to get in the door, conducts research on his target, and uses persistence to get the interview. The following excerpt from the movie script explains my thesis. It starts when Bud begins cold calling to get a meeting with Gordon Gekko. Thanks to IMDB for the script excerpt.

BUD
Hello, Natalie -- guess who? That's
right, and you know everyday I say
to myself, today could be the day...
So what do you say... will you
marry me? Then please can you get
me through to Mr. Gekko?

BUD
Of course he's busy, and so am I.
Five minutes. That's all I'm asking.
I know that if he could only hear
what I have to say... it would
change his life.

INT. GEKKO OFFICE - DAY

NATALIE, a classy attractive Englishwoman is on the phone
with Bud, somewhat amused by his manner. She is the personal
secretary to multimillionaire, Wall Street trader and
raider, Gordon Gekko. His windows look out on a panoramic
view of the city and East River.

NATALIE
Mr. Fox, I've told you before, I'm
sure you're a good broker, but our
traders talk to the brokers, Mr.
Gekko only deals with investment
bankers. Yes, I shall give him your
message ...

EXT. GEKKO BUILDING - MORNING

Bud, crossing lower Broadway, enters a magnificent towering
glass structure.

INT. GORDON GEKKO PENTHOUSE OFFICES - MORNING

NATALIE, Gekko's British secretary, is completing shorthand
notes as the intercom buzzes. A logo for "GEKKO & CO. is
behind her.

RECEPTION
(off)
... I have a delivery here for Mr.
Gekko. It's a personal item and the
gentleman says you have to sign for
it.

NATALIE
(frowning)
...all right, send him in...

INT. HALLWAY - MORNING

Bud, somewhat nervous, is led down an impressive hallway
hung with expensive modern art... past a huge Calder mobile
and a pool of some 15 traders on phones, quotron terminals
and keyboards... into Natalie's outer office.

BUD
Hello, Natalie, you recognize the
voice? I'll give you a hint, you're
thinking seriously about marrying
me...

NATALIE
(recognizing the voice)
What are you doing here?

BUD
...And you're even lovelier than I
pictured. I brought a birthday
present for Mr. Gekko.

NATALIE
First of all, Mr. Fox, you can't
just come barging in here. And what
makes you think it's his birthday?

Bud takes out an old crumpled Fortune magazine cover of
Gordon Gekko, entitled "Gekko the Great!"

BUD
It's in the bible, see. You better
go buy him a present. Please,
Natalie. Let me give him the gift;
Cuban cigars--Davidoff, his
favorite and hard to get.

NATALIE
(sighs)
Stay here, I'll see what I can do.

She takes the gift and enters Gekko's office. Bud paces
nervously. Natalie re-appears, stern, but a note of
compromise in her voice.

NATALIE
Wait outside.

INT. GEKKO OFFICES - OUTSIDE RECEPTION AREA - DAY

Bud on the courtesy phone, hangs up, looks nervously at his
watch. Almost 12. He's lost some two hours of business.
Natalie suddenly comes out, without a smile.

NATALIE
Five minutes...

Bud brightens, pumping himself in the mirror, muttering.

BUD
(to Natalie)
Well... life all comes down to a
few moments, and this is one of 'em...

He follows Natalie.
GEKKO (to Bud) This is the kid that's called me 59
days in a row. Wants to be a player

There oughta be a picture of you in
the dictionary under persistence.

1 comment:

chief executive restaurant recruiter said...

One of my favorite moives of all time. "Greed is good"...

But, I htink if you acted like Bud in the real world, in pursuit of a job, you would be arrested for stalking. ;o)