News Column

'Most Rejected' Job Seeker Tells Students What It Was Like

September 30, 2013

James Haggerty, The Times-Tribune

Sept. 27--Daniel Seddiqui shared his continent-crossing job experience with University of Scranton students Thursday.

"It's crazy how your world can shift with a single idea," the author and motivational speaker told about 80 people during a dinner at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel. "It's all about attitude and willingness to learn."

Mr. Seddiqui's appearance followed the annual fall recruiting expo at the university's DeNaples Center, which was sponsored by the Kania School of Management and its business club.

About 22 companies appeared on campus to recruit students for internships and full-time positions, university officials reported, and about 175 students turned out for the event.

Mr. Seddiqui, a Coloradoan and economics graduate of the University of Southern California, wrote "50 Jobs in 50 States," a tale of how he worked his way across the country in quick-hit, one-week employment stints in 2008.

He embarked on the journey after three years of unemployment following college. He struck out at 40 job interviews, 5,000 phone calls to potential employers and 18,000 emails to job recruiters.

USA Today referred to him as "the most rejected person in the world."

"I suffered through a lot of disappointment," Mr. Seddiqui said. "Take everything in stride and follow your dreams and passions."

Mr. Seddiqui recounted experiences as a TV weatherman in Cleveland, a coal miner in West Virginia, a model in North Carolina, an amusement park entertainer in Florida, a meatpacker in Kansas, a lobsterman in Maine and a furniture-maker among Pennsylvania's Amish.

He found host families in most states to sample local foods and customs and found the work through online searches, cold-calling employers and personal contacts. He said 48 of his 50 employers during the experiment offered him full-time work.

"There's people willing to help you if you help yourself," he said.

Sometimes, Mr. Seddiqui worked 15-hour days and slept three or four hours. He was a potential victim of an armed robbery in Detroit, where he worked as a car mechanic, before co-workers produced their own firearms and deterred the criminal.

"The biggest risk in life is not taking risks at all," he said. "Perseverance is the umbrella message of the journey."

Contact the writer: jhaggerty@timesshamrock.com

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(c)2013 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)

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Original headline: Job hunter shares experiences with students



Source: c)2013 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)


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