Get rid of all your piles, all your lists, all the projects, all the things that hang over your head but never get done.
Searching for a cool job that you get excited to go to? Finding the right career opportunity can be overwhelming.
Finding a cool job can be hard, with so many people hoping to score the same position. We are here to help give you some information on your industry, and the best way to go about landing a new job.
Are you looking for help with your job application, resume help, or help preparing for the interview?
Everyone is looking for a cool job. That’s the honest truth of it. People want flexible jobs in fun cities doing interesting things. There are tons of sites out there that assure you they have listed the “top ten coolest jobs” on the web, or in business, or whatever industry you are looking to work in. However, what is cool to one job candidate might not be cool to another candidate. Maybe you like to work nights to have your days open? Maybe you want a job in an office with other people, or maybe you like to work individually on your own time schedule?
Whatever you consider cool, is what you should be looking for in a job. One thing we talk a lot about is the importance of knowing your own expectations. We suggest you go and write down a list of the top things you are looking for in your next career opportunity. What would you like to be doing? Where do you want to be sitting (or not sitting) when you do that? What kind of co-worker would be cool to be around? All of these questions are crucial when trying to figure out what your next job should look like.
When you want to get a new job, don’t look at your resume to see what you could get. Instead, take time to build a resume that meets the requirements of the jobs you want. This doesn’t mean using keywords that are in the job description. That is not going to work. Instead, look at the types of experience that are required to get the job you want, and then get yourself that experience.
1. Make up a project for yourself
You don’t need to be paid in order to put something on your resume. A resume is about experience, not income. So invent projects for yourself, and do them, and make sure you execute exactly what you need in order to put a bullet on your resume. For example, if you need to be able to say you executed national campaigns, then do one.
2. Work for free
You don’t need permission to get the experience you need to get the job you want. And you don’t need to be paid to do every piece of work. It’s true that if you work for free all the time, people will not value your work. And you’ll have to marry very rich, or starve. But work for free sometimes, when you can gain important experience that you can leverage to get high paying work.
3. Use other peoples’ resumes to build yours
If you aim high – to jump a few levels in your field, or to switch fields but skip the entry level – then it’s sometimes hard to conceive of what a resume should look like for those jobs. The best way to make sure you have the right resume is to find people online who have already had the job you want. Look at their resume. Look at the bullet points they’ve collected.
Then transfer those bullets to your resume and start figuring out how to make them true for you. It’s focused skill-building and it’s very smart – you gain the exact experience you need to get the job you want. So much of what we accomplish at work is not relevant to the next job we want. It’s hard to control what you do in your job (but you should try). However, you can control the work you do for free. So start with the bullet you want to write for that work, and then maneuver yourself backwards into the work.
4. You don’t have to do everything perfectly, just try
It’s very hard to do something outside of what you know you're good at. Usually, the first time is extremely difficult, which is why I suggest you do it for free. Give yourself freedom to execute on a plan to get that special bullet on your resume even if the execution is not great. Perfection is totally overrated, and just having the guts to make an effort is totally underrated.
5. Have patience
You will need at least a few months to envision the resume that will land you the job you want, and then gather the bullets you need for that. It requires planning, and commitment, and a leap of faith – in yourself.
But really, all three of those characteristics make a great employee, so maybe that will be a bullet for your resume, too.
It’s no fun to start a job weighted down by a big to do list that has nothing to do with your new responsibilities. Take a week to kill your to do list. Anything you can’t get done in that week, delete: admit that you are not going to get done in the next year. You can console yourself with the fact that if it’s not important enough to do when you have a week with no plans, then it probably wasn’t important in the first place.
Get rid of all your piles, all your lists, all the projects, all the things that hang over your head but never get done. But going through this mess once is not enough. Figure out a system so that you don’t create new piles and lists once your job starts. Piles and lists and unfinished projects are borne of unrealistic ambitions. Acknowledge what you can do and get rid of the other stuff. The pressure you feel to address your unfinished business drains you every day. Create a system that does not generate unfinished business.
Do you want eight hours of sleep a night? You should. People who get less than seven hours of sleep exhibit the same mental signs as someone who has had a little too much to drink. Do you want to exercise regularly? You should. People who exercise regularly have more successful careers. So get started on this during your down week – the week when you have no other commitments except to get your life in gear in preparation for your new job. It’s a lot easier to get yourself into a routine when there is no other pressure. And if you can do a week of the life you want you’re more likely to keep it up when you start your new job.