Speaking, teaching, helping to inspire others. I love speaking to crowds, I learned this in grade 7 in Mr. Hall’s class. I gave a speech on racism and went to regionals and lost. I’ll never forget the feeling after reciting Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream speech” in his voice. The look on people’s faces, it was priceless.
2. My least favourite job?
Easy. Out-bound calling to fill out survey’s. I had a close second where I had a horrible boss at one of my first jobs.
I always talk about how at every job a hated something. There was always something that made me think I could never do that job for the rest of my life. This is quite possibly why I had to run a business, I need to be able to not hate what I’m doing.
People can make a shitty job fun. I’ve had terrible jobs but because I worked with fun people the job seemed pretty great. Being kind to people at the work place goes a long way.
3. How did I get my past jobs?
I knew someone who knew someone was hiring. My best job I had in university was because my Dad went to church with a guy in the HR department. He wasn’t even the guy hiring but it got me an interview.
I was on the U of R Alumni Association board of directors and a fellow board member recommended I apply for a job teaching at which was SIAST at the time, now Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Again to teach at the Hill School someone I knew told someone else about a job hiring and that I should apply.
I made the point to showing that rarely do people look online (what traditionally was the paper’s help wanted section) to apply for a job. Sure you can do that but you’re in a pool of hundreds if not thousands of other people competing for that job.
Knowing someone close to the company you want to work at is a great way to get a job. Keep meeting people, keep networking. You never know when you’re going to need a helping hand to aid your job search.
4. Resumes are useless
I get a lot of negative feedback on this one but I stand by my opinion. When we’re hiring someone we don’t need to see a resume, a LinkedIn profile should include all the information that would be on a resume.
Resumes were around a long time ago, and yes some jobs will require one. For the creative industry I wouldn’t worry too much about a resume. We actually have never taking one in before we hired someone. If people try drop one off, we refuse it. Resumes are too easy to lie on.
All the certifications, training and education don’t matter unless you’ve done something. Experience even from the volunteer sector is much better than an overly educated person with no practical experience.
5. A recommendation weighs a lot
The last two people we hired at Strategy Lab we found from a personal recommendation from people in our network. Not close friends, acquaintances that happen to know the type of person we look for. One recommendation and they got the interview. After that it was simple as when can you start?
Recommendations from a trusted source are powerful because if someone recommends you, you kind of don’t want to let them down. There’s some pride at work there. Generally people don’t recommend people they don’t believe so I like using other people as a trust source.
Who’s recommending you? No one? Not yet? Start over-delivering at work. Start volunteering more. Start meeting new people. The larger your network the better chances someone knowing someone who is hiring at your dream job.
6. Why would someone want to hire you?
What’s your thing? I remember early on when I had no experience I struggled with this one. I didn’t have a reason to hire me. No optimism and a can-do attitude aren’t enough reasons to hire anymore.
If you want to job you need to know what you bring to the table. What are you good at? What do you excel at? Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family about this too, you’ll always gain insight from the people closest to you (specially if they’re honest).
7. What’s your Superpower?
Once you understand you have value in the workplace your next step is to identify your Superpower. What’s the one thing you can be the best in the world at? People struggle with this because they’ve never thought about it as a Superpower. What can you do with little to know effort for hours on end? What brings you great joy and satisfaction that isn’t something easily done?
If you could do one thing to help others or help our planet in some way what would you do? We all have a reason for being put on this earth, once you find our yours it generally is tied to your Superpower.
8. What do I find when I Google you?
You need to understand how powerful Google is and give her reasons to bring up good stories about you. Volunteering is an easy way to get good publicity on the internet. Also starting your own website and beginning to create your own content is a great way to start a positive connotation to your online brand.
9. Who will you out-care?
Caring is the new competitive advantage in business. Your online strategy needs to show people how you care more than others. When it comes down to it, comparing you to someone else with the same credentials, whoever cares more will get the job. How do you show you care more during an interview? How do you show you care more on a job application?
Those who care more will win.
10. Start building your portfolio today. – Volunteer, Learn, Create.
If you don’t know what to do or even your next step start by volunteering. I read a post by Seth Godin in 2008. I just graduated from university and didn’t want a regular job all my friends were getting. So what we Seth’s recommendation? Volunteer, Read, Write.
It doesn’t matter where you’re at or what you’ve done in the past. When you start to volunteer you learn about things you like and don’t like about the working world. When you read more (and no I don’t mean textbooks) you understand there is way too much knowledge out there and you have a certain respect of those who learn.
Finally create something. Start writing. Online services are free, get in the habit of putting your ideas down on paper (or a blog). Over time you’ll get better and there isn’t much more valuable in the working world than being a good writer.
11. The most important advice I received about job interviews.
“If the interviewer doesn’t remember you, what are the odds you got the job?”
I heard this at a conference in Calgary. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I’d always had an attitude that I was different but her this psychologist was saying that’s a GREAT thing. I was forever changed.
Be different. Be yourself.
12. When I learned about “Purple People”.
At the same conference as earlier mentioned in Calgary. A lady talked about “purple people”. You know those people, always bubbly, hard to have a bad day, always smiling, making jokes at the most appropriate and inappropriate times.
I realized I was purple. She made the case that if you were a purple person you had to own it. Purple people trying to be another colour doesn’t work. You’ll spend years trying to be something you’re not.
Own it. Be yourself. When I came home from this conference I told myself I was going to be different. So I shaved my head and always have ever since. My own little sacrifice to join the ranks of the purple people.
13. What do you want to become when you grow up?
No one asks you this at a young age so I make a point to ask every young person I can. If you don’t know what you want to become then you’re guaranteed not to get there. Dream, stretch, become something you never thought possible.
I remember at the end of university reflecting on who I looked up to. My sports coaches were people I always looked at in a different light. The individuals that could make you a better player, I had the most respect for my coaches.
So I asked the coach at Winston Knoll if I could coach with him. He said yes and it was 9 years of unforgettable fun, hardship, winning, losing, and finding out who I was as a person. I recommend coaching to anyone who had a great upbringing in sports.