The entire premise of the founding of Market Aces is to re-energize and combine the dust-collecting industries of advertising and software development. The difference is that almost everyone in our office has worked in some capacity under the free work model.
What? The free work model? What the heck is that?
The free work model challenges the idea that a good GPA, extra-curricular activities, and a degree will lead to a job. As I wrote about before, the economy isn’t doing well and even Ben Bernanke is warning us about it. The truth is, you don’t have to get sucked in to a soul-crushing job right out of college, you can create a career for yourself in any field.
I know it seems counter-intuitive, but it just takes 6 easy steps (as laid out by Charlie Hoehn).
That sounds crazy. I can’t get a job doing something unrelated to my degree in a field I know nothing about.
What do I know? I’m just a former English major managing day-to-day operations and marketing at a tech company.
Step Zero: Stop Being Entitled College degrees are a dime a dozen in 2012. We had over fifty applicants for one graphic artist position. People with masters degrees are applying for internships. The job market is hard and you are only as good as you allow yourself to be.
Step One: Choose Areas of Interest So you majored in History. Don’t let that pigeon-hole you. What are you interested in? What sounds fun to you? Make a list and don’t limit yourself. Just because the job market is hard doesn’t mean you have to settle for a position that will crush your soul little-by-little, every day.
Okay, so I’ve got an open mind about my future and I’ve got this list of things I’m interested in. What now?
Step Two: Get Skills If your resume brags about your proficiency in Microsoft Office and your ability to communicate, you don’t have any special skills. There are people with those same skills and ten more years of experience who are willing to take a pay cut in this market, and they are going to beat you out every time. Look at the industries you’ve got listed and consider which skills are hard to learn and in high demand.
Step Three: Build Your Online Presence Let’s be honest. Resumes are antiquated. Your future employer is going to Google you. What is visible to anyone looking for you? Make sure that the content that comes up when a potential employer searches your name, the things that come up are things you want people to see and know about you.
Step Four: Pay Bills If you’re thinking about going into the Free Work Model, you’re going to need to find a way to pay your bills on the side. It doesn’t really matter what you do, so long as you can cut costs, keep afloat, and don’t lose focus of your end goal: Your dream job.
Step Five: Contact Targets Think about industries you could break into. Send out a Free Work Proposal. Outline some ways the company or organization could improve what it is doing, what skills you would like to provide to them for free, some sort of time frame you’d like to work with them, and ask for a meeting or phone call.
Step Six: Transition Every time I interview an intern, I explain to them that the goal of our internship program is for them to create a custom position within the company. “Prove to us that we can’t afford not to hire you” is our motto, and that attitude will exist across anyone effectively running a business or organization.
To hear more, watch Charlie Hoehn explain this concept in one of our favorite Ted Talks: