Money isn’t everything. Time, knowledge, happiness, autonomy, geography and output are all currencies that can be measured and prioritized in different ways. When job hunting, you look at more than just the salary – how much time you’ll get to spend with your kids, how far away it is, how much you’ll be able to learn and grow, what autonomy you’ll have and what you’ll be able to build. Sometimes, money is the most important and necessary thing to you. Other times, you might be willing to make a salary sacrifice to learn something specific or work closer to a place you call home. What matters most to you now? How does that affect your decisions? I find it useful to rank the currencies that matter at this moment. Do you need time more than money now? Do you want social outings more than the number of books read? Do you want a job that constantly teaches you new things or do you want an easy commute? Write it all out. Prioritize your life and make important decisions accordingly.
Forcing a person to fit the itemized mold of a job description is unrealistic and myopic. Every employee has so much to offer; failure to encourage peripheral skills and passion will drive him or her out unfulfilled. On the other side of the table, applying for and interviewing to fit a job description may be equally naïve. Why sign up to do what you are told and nothing more?
Great organizations understand that human beings are not simple tools. They judge character and accomplishments over trade skills. Why do you think more than 70% of Americans secured their job through someone they knew in the company? Relationships bare the fruit and culture of success.
The dream hiring situation? First, the company acknowledges a need for talent in a certain area. They screen fresh talent and possibly give them a trial run. When a comfortable cultural fit is found, the company throws him or her into the wild. No guiding hands or operations checklists, only a dish full of puzzles to solve. Before long, the new hire will find his or her own place. Effectively, he or she will write his or her own job description.
Find a job you can make your own. If by the end of every day you have satisfied the thirst of all your talents and interests, you will know you have found the right fit.
Announce that you will work for free.
Check out Vladimir – this guy is a genius. I was seduced into his offer to web design for free. I clicked his link and read his offer. News aggregators will get a kick out of this and plaster his link around the interwebs today. He will get a job.
Offering your skills for free is not the same as asking for an internship. Internships have you do whatever the company wants you to do, no better than an entry-level job. Donating your skills can place you higher in the company where you can leverage your talent and demonstrate niche value. The more specific your announced skill set, the less room the company has to ask you to do things outside of your interest range.
If you offer to work for free, you have to be willing to work for free. But I bet you will not have to. People will be attracted to your résumé and realize you are a strong candidate for their team. They will pay to buy you away from other companies pouncing on your offer.