We share stories about how we found awesome jobs in the past and new ways you can go about getting the job of your dreams on this episode.
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But money isn’t everything. You also want a job that you enjoy or at least don’t feels miserable going to every day.
What Kind of Job?
Before you start scouring the want ads (no one does that anymore),you should ask yourself a few questions to determine what kind of job you want.
Do You Hate Dealing With People?
Whether it’s because you are an introvert or you just have little patience for the stupidity of the average person, if you hate dealing with people, find a job that limits contact with them. Become an economist, a software developer, or an accountant and you will have a blissfully people-free career.
How Much Do You Want to Work?
Some careers provide more work-life balance than others. If you’re young and single or have a lot of debt to pay off, you might not mind working a lot of nights and weekends. But as you get older and have a family, it might not be ideal any longer.
If you don’t want to spend all your time working, consider a career in corporate recruiting, data analysis or insurance sales. Be sure to research the culture of the particular company you are applying for though. Some companies may “encourage” working long hours even in jobs that don’t traditionally require it.
How Much Schooling is Required?
You may have enough education to get hired at entry or mid level but if you want to move up, will you need more? If the answer is yes, you shouldn’t automatically be deterred. There are many options to go to school part time and continue to work and your employer may pay for all or part of your education.
How Much Do You Need to Live On?
Many of us harbor dreams of doing something creative or working at a non-profit for a cause important to us, but we also need to pay our bills. Know the minimum you can earn to pay your bills, pay any debt, and save for the future.
Getting the Interview
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, here are some ways to get an interview.
Have a Killer Resume
We did a whole episode on this. Unless you have an “in” at the company you are applying to, your resume is your only chance to get the attention of someone in a hiring position.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Anyone considering calling you in for an interview is going to Google your name first. What will they find? If you’re this piece of shit, you can expect never to get a job, ever. But you probably just have some embarrassing Facebook posts and Instagram pictures. Clean that stuff up and make every account you have private.
Set Up a Killer LinkedIn Profile
Recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates and businesses are using Google to find new employees, so if you don’t have a profile set up yet, that should be your first priority. LinkedIn is pretty easy to use and they walk you through the entire process. If you need some more help getting started, check out this article for more details.
You can add things to your account like videos of past presentations. Be sure to fill out your profile completely and to add a photo, both have proven to get more views for your profile. Make as many connections on the site as you can; 50 is the minimum you need for a successful profile.
Use the right keywords in your resume and profile. Carefully read the postings for positions you are interested in and stack your resume and profile with the keywords you find. Many recruiters search for prestigious university names. Don’t lie about your education but if you can take a professional development class at such a university in your area and include it in your profile and resume, it can get those eyeballs on your profile.
Upload Your Resume to Multiple Job Networks
The more people who see your resume, the better so post it in as many places as you can. These are some of the top sites you should have your resume on.
Go to Job Fairs
You can find information about job fairs using sites like LinkedIn or Meetup. Come prepared to these events. Find out what companies will be participating and do some research on the ones you are interested in. Have your “elevator pitch” down. This is a 30 second speech about what you have to offer a company. The recruiters at these fairs talk to dozens of people, you have to sell yourself fast and efficiently.
Have several copies of your resume and examples of your work; websites you’ve built, articles that you’re written. Get contact information for anyone you spoke to whom has a position you are interested in. As soon as you have it, duck away and make a few notes regarding what you spoke about. By the end of the day, you can’t keep all the conversations straight so making the notes is important. Be sure to follow up within 48 hours with a thank you e-mail and remind them when and where you spoke.
Network By Volunteering
This is especially important if you are currently out of work. Being unemployed is fun for about a week and then it gets boring, depressing, lonely and discouraging. Volunteering gets you out of the house, gives a sense of happiness and purpose from helping others, and puts you in contact with other humans apart from the guy delivering your Seamless orders.
Volunteering can lead to a new job or even a new career. Treat volunteering like a job. The people around you are watching and if you blow off shifts, show up late, or slack off, they will notice. The cause you volunteer for doesn’t have to directly provide a job. Maybe you like to volunteer with animals but doing so is not what you want to do for your career. Surely not everyone you meet volunteering works with animals. One of them may work in a career that you are interested in.
If you would like a paid position in the organization you are volunteering with, say so. When something becomes available, you might get lucky or at least get an interview. Going from a volunteer position to a paid one is not so different from being promoted in any job so whatever you would do to get a promotion, you should do in the volunteer position; take on additional responsibilities, show passion and enthusiasm, learn the culture of the organization and build relationships within it.
Volunteering can help you learn skills that you can add to your resume. If you are helping out at a food pantry, that involves a lot more than packing up sacks of groceries, you may solicit donations, coordinate volunteer schedules, market the available service. All of those are skills that you can use in any number of careers.
Even if volunteering doesn’t hook you up with a job, it is a better way to fill in a gap in your resume than to admit you laid around in your underwear watching Netflix for six months.
There are lots of opportunities to network; Meetups, your local Chamber of Commerce, conventions, professional groups, and college alumni groups. Many of the same rules apply to attending a networking event as attending a job fair; get business cards, make a few notes about the people you met whom might be helpful, follow up with them a day or two after the event.
If you’re nervous talking to strangers, bring a friend but make sure your friend is more outgoing than you otherwise the two of you will just huddle in a corner talking only to each other. If you can see a list of the people who will be attending the event, do some research on them and their companies so you come armed with some information you can use to break the ice.
Looking for a job is like looking for a partner; tell everyone you know that you’re hunting. Even people you don’t know, tell the guy in line behind you at the grocery, the person on the treadmill next to you at the gym, you just never know.
Tell one person at a time though, don’t send out a mass e-mail. You’ll just create the by-stander affect, no one will help because they assume someone else will help. When you do tell someone you’re looking, be specific. What kind of position, what companies are you interested in, what area if you’re in a large metro area. Tell them what you would like them to do; connect you with anyone who may be able to help, let you know of any openings they hear of, give your resume to anyone who might be able to help.
Craigslist has a somewhat deserved reputation for being a sleazy place to job hunt but it’s not always so. If you are in a smaller city or town or prefer to work for a small company, it can be a legitimate place to job hunt.
Craigslist can be more direct than other job search sites. Many ads on Craigslist are authored by the person who will be hiring so your resume doesn’t have to make it through a bunch of algorithms or human resources gate keepers.
Create Your Own Opportunities
Matt recently read a book by Twitter co-found Biz Stone called Things a Little Bird Told Me. Biz writes about how he always created his own opportunities. In high school, he started a lacrosse team because he wanted to play lacrosse.
While working as a box loader at a book publisher, he started using the computers to design book jackets. One day, someone saw one of his designs and pitched it to the author. They liked his design and chose it for the book. After that, he was hire full-time as a designer. He has many other stories like those in the book, so definitely check it out.
Matt’s brother wants to work reviewing video games. Our advice is to start a blog and review video games right now! Why wait for a magazine or another blog to somehow discover you when you can do it yourself and build your own audience? At the very least, you can send you blog to companies you want to work for and your work will speak for itself — if it’s good.
If you want a job, do the work first.
Networking is the primary key to getting the job you want.Tweet This
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Once you use your awesome skills to land a job, you need to negotiate for a good salary and benefits. We have done some great episodes on negotiations so check them up before you accept an offer. We interviewed Josh Doody for this one. We taught you how to use the velvet glove rather than the iron fist to make sure both sides come away happy. In this episode we interviewed Daniel Green on how to become a master negotiator.
The Story of Todd McFarlane: Todd is the creator of the Spawn comic book series. Check out his Wikipedia page on how he spent his early years relentlessly pitching his series to publishers and eventually getting a deal. Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin went through similar experiences.
Write on Medium: I have a friend who’s a writer and I told him to start writing on Medium to showcase his talents. Not sure if he’s still doing it, but if you have a creative talent, you need to publish your work online and direct employers to it. This is also called an online portfolio.
The Story of Louis C.K.: He started out as a comic’s comic, and while he still has that moniker, he worked his ass off to become the success that he is today. He worked during the day while other comics recovered from the previous night’s performance. Consistency is what paid off for Louie. And if you don’t watch his show on FX (and Netflix), you should. It’s gold!