Aug 03, 2020
The New Way to Find a Job - Pick Yourself.
Ten years ago, if you had the dream of becoming an actor, the only way to achieve such a dream would be going through auditions for any roles in the hope to be noticed and to get picked for one of them. Or in other cases, you would get your way around finding a way to join the camera crew just to get a glimpse of the cinema world.
In the mid of 2010, in the rise of the internet vines, a group of friends from Los Angels started a wave of making comedy sketches that included acting. Believe it or not, some of them found acting roles and made it to Hollywood. And the rest of them have built their worlds differently. They have become successful Youtubers who are followed by millions of people, getting commercial deals, monetizing their online presence from social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, all while doing what they love. What have they done that was unusual? What they have done was, instead of waiting for production companies, directors or film crews to pick them, they picked themselves and created their own presence.
The world we live in today is no longer guarded by gatekeepers. In the past, in order for you to be on TV, you needed to get the attention of some of the TV show hosts or reporters (The Gatekeepers) and they had pretty much controlled what people viewed. Since the television era is over, social media is now allowing everybody to reach as many people as they want, without having anyone else filter or control their content. These examples are everywhere in the new creative work environment. For instance, in the past, someone who was looking for a computer programming job needed a computer science degree and an experience working for a company.
Today, all you need is creating your own software and uploading your own code to the web, and by that, you are creating a presence and adding a value as well. Also, if you are a gifted writer and would like to share your gift with the world, you are no longer conditioned by being picked by journals or newspapers. You can use platforms like Medium to publish your thoughts or perspective and get the attention of some of the prominent publications and magazines out there.
As for publishing books, without having to hassle to find book records or publishers, you can simply self-publish on Kindle or other digital platforms that are tailored for that.
And to bring this closer to home, and share my own journey too, last year, I made an important decision regarding my professional life. I had left a job as a lead developer at a tech company and I had to see this notion of picking yourself first unfold and come to life. I was interested in finding a job as a communication specialist. I had found an opportunity from an online source, and I sent in my resume. Althought the norm is to wait for their call and be patient, I Instead leveraged the idea of volunteering and started working as a volunteer for them. Fortunately, they were doing an important event in that month, and it worked out really well as I was there to help them out with anything they needed.
Today I am fully employed by that organization as their official Communications Specialist.
What if I had decided to just wait for them to pick me? I might have never been picked. At the same time my previous volunteer work let me in the door, what made them consider me even for a volunteer was all the previous volunteering work and the different types of roles I had filled in mostly for free just picking myself. Thus, they had a clear view of my potentials and capabilities.
Look at it this way, if you were to employ someone as a graphic designer or content creator, you wouldn't ask them to send in their qualifications or certificates. But rather, it will only make sense to look at what he/she has done and delivered to get a feeling of whether or not they're capable of doing the job.
Whatever job you are hoping to get, it's better to build a portfolio doing the job, show up in spaces, build something of your own, join your favourite local non-profit organization and take part in helping them get attention. Only then can you create a value, learn the work, find experience and win over your future employers. And at the end, only then are you picking yourself first and choosing yourself without having to wait to be chosen! to be picked!