Find a job you love

Hardened by years of travel, you come to a pristine lake nestled among the clouds. As you look down and see your own image in the water, a voice sounds behind you. “Ah” says the soothsayer, “I see you’ve found your destiny.”

Resume and cover letter in hand, it's time to make a move. But of all the millions of directions you can go, how do you decide which one is right for you? The answer might be simple...

But simple things are rarely easy.

Find a job you love

“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.”

– Nancy Levin

A great resume can take you places, but you decide where. Planes, trains and automobiles have made distance a thing of the past. Somewhere out there is job that fits you like a glove. Go forth and claim it, and if it’s not there, create it!

Change is inevitable

Let’s address the elephant in the room. You’ve been googling resume and career advice for days now, and no doubt you’ve unearthed a plethora of tricks that are “GUARANTEED to help you get hired!” But the internet is a vast and timeless place and all the wonderful cat gifs in the world won’t shelter you from the fact that much of that information was written by misguided dinosaurs from the industrial era.

What may have been a golden ticket to success 3 years ago can easily be a recipe for rejection today. Technology has dramatically altered the job search dynamic. Consequently, best practices are becoming obsolete, and sometimes even detrimental, at an unprecedented pace.

The following guide is meant to inspire a work paradigm that fits today’s ever-changing professional landscape. If you’re in the market for cheap tricks and gimmicks, this may not be for you. We don’t promise effortless results and we certainly won’t stroke your ego. The reality you must come to terms with is this: great results take creativity, resilience, and a desire to uncover the deep truth of who you are. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a salesman or a fool.

The rat race, exposed

“Work is a drag.” Over time, many of us have embraced this as a fundamental truth. Right up there with the laws of gravity and thermodynamics, we believe that there is an inherent shittiness woven into the very fabric of employment itself. Work sucked for our parents, our grandparents, and our grandparents’ parents. Why should it be any different for you? Well, it must be if you plan to succeed in an age of technological liberation and personal empowerment.

Traditionally, most of us are conditioned to narrow our focus down to a single practical career. This strategy was largely developed in the industrial era, a time when change was relatively slow by modern standards. Following a well-paved path to eventual success, we deferred non-conformity to the rock-stars and hopeless romantics. And for a while, this worked. Progress was predictable, and as long as you did what you had to, the rewards would come in time. Blinders on, we chased paycheck after paycheck with careless disregard for our present wellbeing. Today’s sacrifice was tomorrow’s boon.

But something was off… As the years rolled on, we found ourselves working harder and harder for a dollar that was worth less and less. The effort remained consistent, but the rewards dwindled as the cost of living skyrocketed, leaving many of us having to work twice as hard for half the buying power. Make no mistake, productivity was increasing exponentially, but instead of trickling down to the working classes, the direct payoff of this productivity was centralized, creating an imbalance and barrier to entry that only the most competitive among us could overcome. With time, it became clear that as individuals, we would have to take matters into our own hands. Not tomorrow, not next year, not after the next promotion, but right now – this very moment, is where we have to make our stand.

*It is important to note that we are not knocking the virtues of capitalism. Our purpose is to equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to better understand the world you live in. We’ve come incredibly far as a society and that progress should not be taken for granted. We are not in the business of promoting bitterness, resentment, and revolution. What we are promoting is rational, well-informed adaptation to the changing times.

Holy WOW - What an offer!

How strong is your resume?

Get a free, confidential review from a resume expert.

Get a Free Resume Review

“Life always offers you a second chance…It’s called tomorrow.”

– Nicholas Sparks

An inverted hierarchy

Fortunately, the system had a failsafe that would eventually shake the roots of the traditional bottom-up hierarchy itself. As the internet went main-stream faster than anybody could have predicted, individuals across the board found themselves equipped with the tools and resources they need to compete with some of the largest corporations. This rapid proliferation of access to technology would soon change everything.

Take a look around you… Space travel and the automotive industry is being revolutionized by Elon Musk, a self-made entrepreneur. The banking system is being made obsolete by Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous programmer. Similarly, almost every industry including agriculture, housing, business management, web design, accounting and thousands of others are being updated and modernized at a pace that can only be described as miraculous.

Self-starters, entrepreneurs, innovators, change agents, and non-conformists from all walks of life are building bigger, better, and more efficient companies than we’ve ever seen before. What’s more, they’re doing it from the comfort of their basements, bedrooms, and Starbucks all around the world. Consequently, many industries are finding themselves on a level playing field, competing against an ever-increasing onslaught of self-empowered wizards.

This trend has some seriously positive consequences on the dignity of the individual. Not only are we more empowered than ever before, but there is a growing emphasis on making sure employees are happy, healthy, and inspired to do great work. The largest players in the game are scrambling to attract top talent before the top talent puts them out of business. Consequently, the function of work as an arbitrary exchange of life for a handful of local currency is quickly coming to an end. You are the sovereign of your kingdom now, and if you’re hard-working, creative, and committed to producing great results, the possibilities are more open than ever before.

I work, therefore I am

A decade ago, technical proficiency was king. Today, engagement, initiative, and creativity are the new pillars of a successful career. As more and more responsibilities are inundated with technological solutions, companies are placing an increased emphasis on hiring individuals who demonstrate passion and a willingness to innovate. We are no longer working with outdated linear concepts. Instead, we are collectively working on one of two challenges:

  1. Improve existing systems by a factor of 10 or more.
  2. Find meaningful solutions to problems that may not even exist yet.

This demand for novel, unprecedented solutions has strongly influenced the evolution of our employment landscape. If you look at some of the world’s most successful companies, you’ll notice an interesting trend – they place as much value on who you are as an individual as they do on your capabilities as an employee. Increasingly, job applications are beginning to resemble character evaluations, and much of this can be attributed to the emergence of a global job market. Because access to opportunity has become so widespread, the worker as a cog in the machine is becoming obsolete and practical, skill-based knowledge is giving way to creative, abstract thinking and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

The caveat is that it’s incredibly difficult to think outside the box if you’re not particularly interested in improving the box itself. To this end, we are remembering that great results start with a spirited individual working towards a noble cause that resonates with the very core of their being. Applicants are looking for jobs that feed their passions, and companies are looking for employees who can contribute beyond their job descriptions. Deep engagement, after all, is the cornerstone of creativity and collectively, we are returning to our roots and asking the simple question that has troubled philosophers for eons –  who am I?

The hero’s journey

Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far…

  • There is a revolution upon us. The old ways of doing things are quickly coming to an end and a new dawn is rising on the horizon.
  • Due to incredible technological advancements, you are now more powerful than ever before. If you want to change something, there’s hardly anything that can stop you.
  • The future demands creativity. You are being asked to rise up and share your gifts with the world.
  • Life has meaning, purpose is real, and your dreams have been silently drawing a roadmap to the world you want to live in.
  • Against all odds, you must find out who you are and what you were called here to do. The path to happiness and fulfillment leads within.

All your life you’ve been waiting for something just beyond the horizon, a light that seemed to elude you no matter how hard you searched. Now, as the first delicate leaves break the soil, you see that you were a seed, planted and waiting patiently for the perfect moment to sprout. As you look back on your past, you recognize that the challenges you faced were nutrients to sustain you in your darkest hour. The sweat on your brow – just rain to keep your dreams from dying in the drought… Now, as the light hits your skin for the first time, you reach towards the sky and discover that you are the sun, ever illuminating a world that always was and always is inseparable from you.

Welcome to the other side, my fellow travelers. We’ve been waiting for you and we can’t wait to see what you have in store.

How to Find a Job You Love

How strong is your resume?

Get a free, confidential review from a resume expert.

Get a Free Resume Review

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

How to find a job with no experience

One of the biggest hurdles people encounter early on in their careers is a lack of experience. Have you ever seen an entry-level position that asks for 3-5 years of experience? You’re not crazy, this paradox has baffled applicants since the dawn of time. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this enigma and get your foot in the door without already being on the other side. The key point is this: without any prior experience, you’re going to have to find a way to provide some initial value. Let’s explore a few ways you can demonstrate your worth to find a job without having the prerequisite experience.

Ability trumps maturity
One of the best things about working with others is that we have a shared tendency to pursue value. This means that you can usually overcome the need for direct experience by demonstrating your capacity to deliver results. You may not have held a marketing position before, but perhaps you helped your grandma build her online candle business. It may not be formal experience, but it certainly highlights your impressive marketing prowess if you were able to put Nana in a Lambo with the right combination of Instagram ads and a successful viral marketing campaign.

No one turns down free coffee
If you’re confident in your ability to deliver great results, it may be a good idea to take an unpaid internship. Be sure to specify the terms of the internship so that you don’t find yourself working indefinitely for a paycheck that never comes. A good strategy is to gradually accept a handful of core responsibilities within the organization. If you can make yourself indispensable, chances are the company will choose to hire you rather than scramble to find a replacement.

A culture of cool
Sometimes companies will hire inexperienced applicants because they bring a fresh, culturally-grounded perspective to an otherwise stagnant industry. For example, if you’re particularly good at identifying trends, your core value proposition could be just that. Show the hiring manager how you can modernize their brand, and they may hire you to do it (i.e. rewrite a bit of site copy, create an updated logo, or redesign an outdated piece of marketing material). The idea is to use your inexperience as an asset and show them something they may not have considered before due to their hardened perspectives.

Create your own job

Sometimes, the only reasonable option is to say “Screw this, I’m doing it on my own!” An individual may gravitate towards the independent path for any number of reasons. Maybe routine just isn’t for you. Maybe you’re so deeply dissatisfied with the idea of a day-job that the thought of it has you Googling things like “How to live in the woods and forage for mushrooms”. Whatever your situation, there are plenty of options for lone rangers looking to forge their own path. Before you start building a treehouse in the remote corners of the Himalayas, consider the following alternative:

Freelance, entrepreneurship, and turning passion into cash
If you prefer to live on your own terms, the freelance or entrepreneurial life may be for you. These days, it’s relatively simple to learn valuable skills that allow you to provide meaningful services for clients in a variety of industries. Social media, web development, graphic design, writing, photography, and video are just a few options that can facilitate your escape from the corporate grind. Before you pull up your anchor and set sail towards infinite possibilities, consider the following advice:

  • The easiest way to build yourself as an independent brand is to start by choosing a specific niche within your industry and aggressively building a portfolio in that direction. Broadening your horizons may seem like a good option, but people will generally work with someone who specializes rather than someone who generalizes. Once you’ve built a reputation, it’ll be easier to expand your market.
  • Results speak louder than ads. As a freelancer or entrepreneur, your best marketing is your last client. There are plenty of people out there offering half-assed work for short-term gains. If you spend more time delivering excellent results, the long-term benefits will certainly justify the added effort.
  • Without balance, your ship is sunk. One of the biggest challenges faced by self-employed professionals is knowing when to act and when to rest. Many follow a burn-out cycle that quickly destroys any enthusiasm for the long-haul. Remember, just because you’re your own boss, doesn’t mean you’re a good one. So take time to understand your needs and remember that sustainable effort is just as important as taking massive action.
  • Be prepared to hustle through the hard times. Like it or not, there will be moments when you feel like you’ve given it your all without getting much in return. The life of an entrepreneur always seems glamorous until you’re down to your last packet of ramen with 87 cents in your bank account. Clients will disappear on you, payments will be late, and family will look down on you with disapproving looks when you’ve failed to launch for the third time this week.
  • Develop a compelling vision for the future. When times get rough, you will need to remind yourself why you set out on this path in the first place. Having a strong why will help bolster your resolve when shit hits the fan and nothing seems to be working. If you did it just “to make money”, it will be all too easy to default to a regular day-job as soon as the chips don’t fall in your favor.
  • Remember – the future is uncertain, you may be an email away from achieving your wildest dreams. In fact, the most difficult times often yield the most profound and unexpected solutions. So don’t give up, keep moving, and trust that the universe has your best interests in mind.

How to ace an interview

So you’ve written the perfect resume, charmed the hiring manager with your cover letter, and now they want to meet face-to-face. Is your heart racing yet? I know mine is. But don’t worry, we’re about to give you a handful of interview tips that will allow you to conquer the three primary challenges that will inevitably come your way. This advice may be more abstract than what you’re used to, but since every interview is unique, we believe it’s best to prepare for the underlying principles rather than for any specific questions.

The test of value
Before anything else, the interviewer will want to know what kind of value you bring to the organization. This usually comes in the form of a generic question like: “Tell us about yourself…” or “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for the company?” Make no mistake, the interviewer is NOT asking for your life story. What they want to know is what practical benefits you can bring to the table. The best way to prepare for these types of questions is to have a clear idea of you primary strengths, weaknesses, and core value proposition.

Of all the skills at your disposal, which one has the potential to make the most significant impact in a professional context? Similarly, what are your weaknesses? Knowing what you can’t do is often a strong indicator of how well you understand what you can do.

The test of creativity
The next piece of information the interviewer will look for is how well you handle situations that require creativity or logic. Sometimes, this comes in the form of a rational question that challenges your problem solving abilities. For example, consider Google’s question (“Why are manhole covers round?” To keep them from falling through the hole!) This is just one example, but the general idea will be the same – here is a logic problem, what is your solution?

On the other end of the spectrum is the absurd hypothetical question. These don’t have any clear answers, but will challenge you to think creatively and step outside the box. Consider Urban Outfitters’ question: “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?” The point of this question isn’t to confuse you, but to see how you respond when you’re faced with a problem that has no apparent solution.

If you find yourself faced with a question like this, it’s good to loosen up your tie (metaphorically) and let your intuition guide you. Remember, there is no right answer. The aim of the question is to observe how you react under pressure. Stay calm and composed and say what’s on your mind, even if it seems a bit odd. Demonstrating your willingness to try is more important here than attempting to use a hammer to solve a musical problem.

The test of engagement
The final piece of information an interviewer will be looking for is your level of engagement. How invested are you in the position you’re applying for? Usually, this is tested by giving you an opportunity to ask questions. Fundamentally, a request for questions is a subtle challenge to see if you’ve actually thought about the job you’re applying for.

An applicant who has no questions about the job probably hasn’t thought about it deeply enough and will come across as unprepared, aloof, and disengaged. So have a few questions ready ahead of time, even if you know the answers. In fact, this is an excellent opportunity to challenge the hiring manager and guide them towards your comfort zone. If you can inspire them to think, you’ll command far more respect than someone who awkwardly ends the interview after a long one-sided discussion.

Regardless of how comfortable you are with charisma and persuasive rhetoric, interview skills can be studied and practiced. With a bit of foresight, insight, and preparation, you can make a memorable impression that helps you land the job.