Challenge: Help me help you Find a Job

Really quick post here:

Recently in the past few months, believe it or not, in this economy, I’ve had various people talk about jobs.  Either finding a job, or actual opportunities.

Believe it or not, jobs in the new media fields are very plentiful.  I’ve been asked on numerous occasions if I know people with experience who are looking.  And to answer their questions, I honestly don’t know.  I’d like to facillitate connections better.

I was also inspired by Chris Brogan’s Job Post on Twitter and his website, calling for a #findajobfriday instead of a #follow friday on Twitter.  I thought that was ingenious.

Also, my friend Brendan Tripp runs The Job Stalker blog on ChicagoNow and has been vigilant about his job search.

So I’m starting with if anyone wants to leave a link, or send me an email regarding the following.

  • I’m looking for recruiters (i.e. people who get paid to place people on jobs) to send me information.  I’d like to have a list of you guys to just send potential prospects to if they are  looking and then follow up with the source.
  • I’m looking for websites people should be involved with.  Despite the regulars (LinkedIn, Connect Work Chicago, Mashable) is there any place people should be looking / connecting to? Let me know.
  • I’m looking for people looking to fill positions.  Send me the information and if I know someone in my network who is interested, I can forward the information to them.
  • Lastly, if you’re looking for a job, let me know.  I’m going to put a list together for that, along with an ebook on the subject.  But if I’m aware, I can help.

Lastly, as a shameless plug, please connect with me on LinkedIn.  I need to get better about tending this network anyway.

Also, check out my previous (and most popular post on my blog): 7 things everyone ought to know. . . about finding a job

Some lessons I learned from Tim Ferriss . . .

so I have to you tell you about a little book I read. . (btw, I’m an avid reader. Of physical hardcopies of books. Never caught on with the Kindle thing, but I digress)

It’s called “The 4-hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss.

If you haven’t been under a rock in the past few years, you’ve heard of this book. Right behind when “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. (God Bless Inbox Zero)

What this post is about is something I should have heed a LONG time ago when I first read the book. Quoting Tim Ferriss directly,

THERE ARE A million and one ways to make a million dollars. From franchising to freelance consulting, the list is endless. Fortunately, most of them are unsuited to our purpose. This chapter is not for people who want to run businesses but for those who want to own businesses and spend no time on them.

What I’m referring to is my decision to start my own business last year, but to say ‘screw all of the evidence’ and do it service based. Thinking to myself I can leverage the power of WordPress to sell websites ($0 upfront cost and Time later)

1 year later, I learn two things. 1) I’m not a graphic designer by any means, so that’s where the majority of the cost of the ‘design’ phase of the website is and 2) People are very finicky about their respective designs.

So I have to change my plans, and go for sales, as Tim mentioned.  But that’s not all.

A second lesson leared, through my frustration, I learned something about myself. I actually enjoy Marketing.

If I had to do it all over again, I’d do Marketing and Sales. I hate the latter in the 100% commission range because it just makes the human condition ugly (i.e. Are you talking to me because I’m your friend or that you need to make a sale?)

The only caveat is that yet again I don’t get along with the majority of the creatives out there.  Too much ego and some with very shoddy personalities.

I am getting into what’s deemed Direct Response Marketing.  The basic premise is that we write ‘copy’ (advertisements for those who don’t know the lingo) which has a traceable result.  So instead of taking a picture with a slogan and a testimonial and placing an ad in a paper,  we niche it down to a smaller audience, put a call to action with a phone number or website, and then track the results of the campaign.  I’ve learned that I’m kind of with the Dark Side of the force. However, being the geek, I’m attracted to the numbers, conversion rates, etc. about it. It makes sense to me, as opposed to ‘making it look pretty’ and hope people show up.

Thirdly, I like telling people what to do.  I don’t want to be the boss or a manager, but I like telling someone what to do, they say ‘Yes, Sir’ and come back with the result.   That’s cool. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Tim’s book inspired me to hire an assistant. I had a Virtual Assistant that got me out of a jam earlier in the year, but I found out later on that the building I work in has a concierge service. Any research, event planning, or appointment scheduling goes through her now and it’s an awesome relief. I still intend on retaining the VA to speak on my behalf in a few manners, but regardless. To quote Tim again, “Get an assistant, even if you don’t need one.”

That’s it. So, I’ve decided to completely change my business model.  I’m getting out of the website design business.

Thank you, Tim Ferriss.

BTW, it’s also no surprise to me either that another new hero of mines, Jason Fried of 37signals is friends with Tim Ferriss.

Tim Ferriss: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/

Jason Fried: http://37signals.com/svn/

There are some things I’m not good at.

When asked about my business, or service, I can never really define what I actually do or what my business does.  One of the main reasons I do this is because I believe that I gain more opportunities by building relationships.   As opposed applying a ‘pitch’ to all ‘customers’ and situations.  However, I do know a few principles that I try to keep in mind when I’m out networking or talking about business.

I’m good at a few things, I’m not good at others.  I want to help people get back to what they are good at so that we both prosper.

Obviously I meet people in various fields and careers.  Each of them represents a subject matter expert in my word on their specific trade.  However, one thing I do know is that in any successful operation, each person has a role and does it to the best of their ability.  When they are asking for help, it does not come from a place of lack, but a place of abundance.

At the very least, that’s my view of people asking for ‘help’.  They are asking the universe to return to them what they have given out (karma) and in return it attracts the correct energy.  (It takes alot for most people to even admit they need help, but trust me, it’s a good thing!!)

But back to my point, I find those little niches and I serve them in the best way possible.  Which leads me to my second thought I keep in mind. . .

Never say NO to work.

I’ve gleaned this from a few CEOs, and various social mavens I’ve met along the way.  And that is whatever opportunity presents itself, they never say no.  They either find a way to make it happen or fall flat on their ass.  Either way, they learn something which makes them a better person for the next experience.  I know one person who makes it a habit to never say no to an invitation.   He will always accommodate it if it’s possible / not already committed to something else.  I find that awesome as a philosophy, but I’m not there yet.

The ‘never say NO’ principle just brought me a major opportunity that may pan out in the coming weeks.   I tend to think about sometimes what if I said no to it, it would have never manifested itself.

To your success in 2009!

Image provided courtesy of Elvert Barnes