I write as a person who has decidedly given up on spending hours applying on job sites. Since those sites have wasted enough human hours, I’ll be brief.
No one owes you anything. I promised brevity, that’s all there is to that one.
This one is a bit longer, but has the meat of the argument, along with a copy pasted template that works...If you do the work that needs to happen before using it.
Organize your time —> Learn something useful —> practice by applying it.
If you’re great at doing all the above, skip to No. 3
Organize your time
With all the time I’ve saved you from visiting job sites, I’ll now need you to write down all the things you need to do in a day. Preferably on post it notes. Otherwise take a scrap piece of paper, tear it into equal lengths and get writing. One task on each piece of paper. Anything and everything that needs to happen in your day, including sleeping and eating.
All set? Alright, now if you’re currently working, get post-it notes, tiny ones, if you don't have tiny post-it notes, cut a normal sized post-it note into 4 pieces. Do that 8 times in total. That’s your work day in 15 minute increments. People not currently working, you can follow along and do the same exercise for 8 hours of your day.
For the things that need to happen within that 8 hour framework, please assign those pieces of paper (which represent 15 minutes) to the task that needs to be completed. All out of paper? Good. If not, you have more time than you thought you needed to fill 8 hours of stuff. Where does all the time go? Try and pinpoint the distractions, they exist, you’re only fooling yourself if you pretend they’re not harmful, eliminate them. I classify things that I think are a distraction, make your own classifications and stick to eliminating them.
Learn something useful
It needs to be strategic to the industry you seek to create value in. Note the use of the word value, not work. If you’re working, you’re dead and will be replaced, if you plan to grow and create value, you will be indispensable. What counts as creating value? Read this article. In short, making, writing, sharing, teaching, something useful, making people smile also counts. Ever hear Disney Land being sold as the happiest place on earth? It’s not the rides, they’re mediocre, it’s the people bending over backwards and consistently smiling to create an experience like no other, that you...value.
Practice by applying it
What you learn is useless, unless it’s creating...value, so reach out to meetup group organizers and offer to participate as a speaker, workshop facilitator, moderator, or any role that actively allows you to convey what you’ve learned to an audience seeking that knowledge. Then get their feedback, rinse, repeat until it's like breathing, then move onto the next thing you need to practice.
5 years ago I swore up and down that I didn’t have what it takes to be a “speaker”, this year I was on the same stage as a “Best Selling Author”. I phrase it in this manner to highlight something important, “Speaker” and “Best Selling Author” bear a weight of sorts. For me, it was a barrier, which I didn’t dare cross, until I re-evaluated why I placed so much weight on those words. Now, they’re just words, labels, like the stickers they give at networking events, you can write your name, or you can write anything, you give that empty paper meaning.
If your conditioning is too strong, which mine was for a time, then surround yourself with people who don’t care for labels, you’ll find them, they’re easy to notice if you’re looking. Attend events and observe their behaviour, their choice of words, their actions online, find someone that looks like you, it gives you a tiny boost, practice feeling proud for their achievement, your psyche will apply that felt pride to the steps you take. Because why not you?
If you’re here, congratulations, this got longer than I expected, probably because I wrote with anger for myself, that I didn’t meet someone who slapped me upside the head, but then broke down why what I was doing was not working.
This part is easy, if you’re curious, if you have a proclivity for growth, and persistence. I’m sharing a template from a course that is built for founders, who want to grow their company and break through barriers. The course recommends founders write a book, because creating value is currency that can be exchanged for 5 minutes of a stranger’s time. You’ll need to be persistent, and follow up with people you’ve identified, consistently.
Your outreach to them is based on something you’re looking to create, build, explore that has a defined output, whether it’s an article you’re writing, a podcast you’re producing, a book you’re writing, or a white paper you’re researching. Yes, this means work, this means realizing that 1-click apply is a sham, and that no one owes you anything, even if you’ve got the best grades and the best degree, because the worlds most open secret is referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate, 7% of referral applicants can account for 40% of all hires and that’s probably higher in this region.
If you’re not strategic about who you meet, and for what reasons, how will you successfully follow up with them? How will you avoid contributing to the noise they consistently receive? By Getting organized, learning something useful, and practicing it.
If you beat yourself into submission, and agree that no one else will do that for you, then you’re ready to reach out to them. The assumption here, is that you’ve done your homework, understand what makes them tick, what they value, what they write about, what they’ve read recently, and what conferences or events they frequent. It’s public information, use it. Once you’ve met them. Use these templates to reach out.
To Connect Via LinkedIN
Hi [Name]. I’m a [YOUR SCHOOL alum/student][INDUSTRY/SECTOR veteran/newbie][fellow entrepreneur/COMPANY alum] researching about [20 word summary]. Your background looks like it could be really helpful and hoping to chat in the coming weeks. Thanks! [Your name]
To connect via Email
I’m a [YOUR SCHOOL alum/student][INDUSTRY/SECTOR veteran/newbie][fellow entrepreneur/COMPANY alum]. Great to connect over email. ([Reference the five minute favor or another connection in these parentheses —ex., “I recently [read your book/recent article][listened to your podcast/a talk you gave at X][learned about your cause][started following you on Twitter/Instagram/YouTube] and it resonated enough with me to share it with my network.”])
I am working on X [podcast, book, white paper, research] and it’s about [20 word summary]. I thought you insights could be really valuable.
Would you be available to do a short 20-minute phone interview in the next couple weeks? I’m early in the process and would appreciate your thoughts.
*The above template was sourced from the creator institute.* The blog topic was inspired by SPN
I just realized that the title is what NOT TO DO, I'm too lazy to re-write this article, so I hope by sharing what worked for me, you'll be able to identify what not to continue doing.
Thank you for your time. Now please spend what remains in a way that'll make you proud. Inshallah إن شاء الله