While jobs may be hard to come by nowadays, there’s a group of individuals who seem to be able to find jobs no matter what the state of the economy is. How do they do it and more importantly how can you?
The first group of individuals who are always employed is skilled employees. The most obvious group in Silicon Valley (where the job market does not reflect the rest of the world) is developers. Pretty much every company out here is in need of developers. While not limited to this part of the country, it’s clearly one of the most active job markets. Not all people have skills that are in demand though.
From the individual who works on an assembly line (and has a very specific skill), to the individual who has a skill that was needed years ago but is no longer needed, there are people with skills that simply aren’t in demand. Others don’t even have a skill that they believe is marketable and as such, it’s extremely difficult to find a job. So what are these people supposed to do? Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to stand out in the marketplace, no matter what your skill level is.
Getting A Job Offer In A Few Weeks
While this post isn’t going to explain every step in the process (you can learn all the steps by subscribing to this blog), I’m going to share a quick story about how my girlfriend started getting job offers pretty quickly. A few weeks ago Natasha (my girlfriend) told me about a post she wrote on her blog (Reorg) which described some basecamp best practices.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Basecamp, it’s a popular web-based project management software solution. For the most part, this post was just another article among many others that she had written in recent months. She had totally forgotten about the post until something happened two weeks ago: someone commented on her post. For the most part, someone commenting on an article that you wrote on the internet is not an extremely unique experience. It was one of the first comments she had received in a while though and it made her think: “I should start writing about Basecamp all the time!”
I told her she should think bigger and start writing about the project management software space in general. That was all the motivation she needed to start writing four times a day. Some people immediately are thinking “O.k., four times a day is a ridiculous amount, I can barely come up with one post!” While it isn’t easy, the main reason people find it so difficult to come up with post ideas is that they try to come up with any post in the world. As soon as you add constraints (like just writing about project management software), things become much easier.
Only two weeks since getting that comment on her original post, Natasha received a job offer from a popular project management software company. Natasha may not be looking for a job, but there are over 14 million people in the U.S. who are. My bet is not a single one of those 14 million people are actively marketing themselves through developing an industry-targeted publication.
Unskilled But Marketable
Stop looking desperate!! It doesn’t work in the dating world and it doesn’t work in job world either. When you walk into a job interview and the employer asks “why haven’t you had a job for X months?” you’ve probably already lost the position. What if you could flip things around and have employers begging to hire you? That’s what specialized online publishing can accomplish. This doesn’t mean go set up a blog where you talk about your thoughts on everything in the world (politics, romance, etc), although that could actually work.
It means seeking out a niche and covering it in depth. Here are 4 reasons niche online publications are an instant formula for employment (including self-employment, something I’ll discuss at a later date):
- We all want to be celebrities - Imagine calling up potential employers and asking them if you can interview them for your online publication. They’re much more interested in being famous than having a needy person ask them for a job. Make people famous!!
- You become a domain expert - After writing four times a day about a specific topic, you suddenly become more knowledgeable. You know everything about the industry and people will begin coming to you for information that you actually know!
- You build a network - Someone once said that your network is your net worth. This is completely true. Once you know everybody in the industry, you’re much more likely to get a job. Being connected is a valuable asset … it builds your social capital.
- You’ll be a name brand - Imagine going into an interview and the employer knows your name because they read your site. You’ve suddenly stood out in an ocean of unemployed individuals. More importantly, you want people saying to their co-workers, “we need to find someone like [insert your name here]”. Unfortunately (fortunately for you) they won’t be able to hire you because you’re in so much demand!
In the coming weeks and months I’ll go into more depth about building successful online publications and how to turn them into the most valuable asset you’ll ever own.
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