Get a Job in 7 Days
I’ll bet you are looking for a job because you need money. Even though you KNOW you don’t really want a job, you KNOW that getting money is the goal, off you go looking for a job instead of looking for money. Now be honest, that’s a bit dumb isn’t it?
Why do you want a job? If the answer is “money” are you saying that getting a job is the ONLY legal way to get money? That statement is clearly not true because there are plenty of people who never get a job and live happy and productive lives. I am one of those, almost, I did get a couple of jobs when I was very young, but not in the last 40 years.
This is where I think many people create unnecessary stress for themselves and waste a lot of productive time trying to achieve the wrong goal.
Getting a job is not the goal, getting paid is the goal. Making money is the goal.
A job is just one way of doing that and sometimes, not a very satisfactory way, but still, it’s usually the best way for most people.
Starting out on a journey with the wrong destination programmed into your neck-top computer is almost guaranteed to take you to the wrong destination. Sure, when you arrive you may be able to see your destination in the distance, but what good it that?
At least start your journey with the correct destination programmed in. The place you want to be is “money-land”, not “job-land”. To do this you need to recognize that you are already employed, self-employed, at least until you get another employer, so you need to make sure your boss, you, is making money now.
Don’t forget, if you do get another employer, he or she will not keep you around for long if you are not making money, so get some practice in now while you are self-employed.
You have something for sale. The one thing that is cheap to get (free actually) and delivered to your door daily. Time.
Think about a business for a moment. It provides its customers with a product or service that is buys in bulk, splits into small parcels and on-sells. Where the business buys the goods is not your concern because you don’t have any goods for sale, but they do buy time and you have an almost endless supply of that for sale.
This service component (time) the employer may be willing to buy from you, but it will be at a wholesale rate. The employer is buying in bulk to split it into parcels and then on-selling it for a profit. His/her customers don’t want to buy 6 months of your time to fix a tap, they just want to buy an hour or two. The customers of a manufacturer don’t want 4 weeks labour to make a product, they just want to pay as little as possible for the least amount of time it takes to make the product.
Splitting time into small parcels is not an easy thing to do as the employer has to find customers who want to buy that labour in small parcels, but all the time he buys, expires at the end of the day.
Any time that has not been sold is lost because he is buying it from you and has to buy another batch tomorrow. Being an employer is a dangerous business if you have to buy time (and they all do). Is it surprising that most businesses close in the first few years?
At least stock can usually be held over for a day to two or more and so has the possibility of being sold tomorrow, but time is gone. Today’s purchase of time cannot be sold tomorrow.
The reason I am telling you all this is to give you an understanding of what you are up against. If you know how the system works you have a better chance of making some money selling the only thing you have for sale.
So here is where you have a choice. You can take the easy way and sell your time cheap in bulk, also known as getting a job, or you can take the hard way and sell it by small piece at a far higher rate.
In the long run, you will probably end up with more money selling it cheaper in bulk than will selling only some of it at the higher price.
Before we get into the part about how to sell your time we need to clear up one point. If you want a job doing only those tasks for which you trained or for those tasks you enjoy, don’t bother reading any further. This article is for intelligent people.
Selling your time
You are in the business of selling time. Your time’s value is determined by the experience, knowledge, qualifications and the manner in which it is delivered. If you are selling goods, their value is determined in a very similar way; quality, quantity, timing and quality of delivery.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you have plenty of time for sale and have never seriously considered selling goods (the other main legal way of making money) which is, above all else, the goal. Before you could consider selling goods, you would need capital and a lot of other qualifiers that we can’t go into here, so we need to look only at selling time.
What price you can get for your time is decided on the open market and if you are desperate or there is little call for your brand, you can’t expect to get top dollar. The fewer employers that are prepared to make an offer, the less you are going to get for it. If there are a number of employers who can see a good profit in buying time from you, the price goes up.
The trick is getting employers to compete for your time but until your time is valuable, it’s a good idea to sell some for the best price you can get, while you figure out how to improve the price, either with that buyer or a new buyer.
If you consider that you get the time for free and there are few buyers out there, getting any price for your time is a profit. Also, bear in mind, nothing is forever and nothing stays the same for long, so no matter what price you are getting at the beginning, the price will change. It’s up to you to negotiate it up, not down.
If you accept that you are self-employed and are trying to flog as much time as you can for the best price you can get, you need to start thinking of unloading a few hours asap. Be aware that your time expires at the end of the day and you can’t sell it once it’s gone. Fortunately you get issued with a fresh batch tomorrow, but you could also start tomorrow with money in your pocket if you manage to sell a few hours today.
The secret of selling time to an employer is to think like one. You should do this anyway considering you are self-employed.
Part 2. Employer thinking
First thing, if you were the employer you are about to approach, what would you be looking for? The answer is making a profit of course. How do you think an employer will react to someone looking to get money off him, someone that’s come looking for something for themselves? It’s most likely he will tell you to pingoff and who can blame him?
Aside from the problem of selling all the labour he purchased that day, an employer has 3 other main issues with labour; getting enough quality labour to sell for a profit, labour to reduce expenses that gobble up his profit or labour to get rid of the stone in his shoe. (Fix an annoying problem.)
When you come along asking him for a job, he has to figure out if what you are offering can solve any of the above problems. This is just another task in an already stressful day so unless you show him how this can be done, he is not interested. Anyway, he is too busy with his problems to talk to you about your problems.
Nearly all the advice I’ve ever read about getting a job has been written by employees and they sure don’t know much about the subject. I’ve had face-to-face interviews with a thousand potential employees and paid out millions of dollars in wages over 40 years to hundreds of employees so I can say with some certainty, most of the advice about getting a job is rubbish. I was going to say “crap” but I’m too polite.
Let’s start with that hoary old theory, the all-important resume. Just how important is it really? If you’re depending on it to get you a job, no wonder you are unemployed. If it were so critical, half the working population would be unemployed and employers aren’t stupid, they know your resume is fake. All the little bits you left out, the reasons for leaving your previous jobs, the contrived referees, what do you take us for? Fools?
There are certain circumstances where a good resume is critical, so if you are applying for the Prime Minister / President’s secretary’s job or head of international operations for BHP, then forget what I said, but if you want to flog off some time to put food on the table, let’s concentrate on the essentials.
In any case, if you have been working for an employer for a little while, say a day or two and you are going to approach him or her with a request for a better job, more hours, better rate, is he or she going to ask for a resume? Just get on the books anyway you can and worry about the resume later. Don’t take that as not having a resume at all. That would be a dumb mistake, just don’t put too much faith in it getting you a job.
Another myth worth busting is the appalling advice about the brick wall. You now the one, “if you come up against a brick wall, call at the next place, then the next and keep going at it. Eventually you will break through.” Tell me this, if something you have tried many times (calling door to door asking for a job) does not work, what makes you think it will work if you keep doing it? To keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result is just crazy or very dumb.
If you call on 3 or 4 places and fail, you are doing it wrong. Change what you are doing (saying) if you want to get a different result.
One of the few useful pieces of advice I’ve seen on the net is this one from WikiHow. Whoever wrote this bit is on the right track.
Change your attitude. There’s a difference between making phone calls and going to interviews thinking “I’m looking for a job” versus “I’m here to do the work you need to have done”. When you’re looking to get a job, you’re expecting someone to give something to you, so you focus on impressing them. Yes, it’s important to make a good impression, but it’s even more important to demonstrate your desire and ability to help. Everything that you write and say should be preceded silently by the statement “This is how I can help your business succeed.”
Unfortunately there is a lot of other stuff in the article that is either useless or wrong.
How to sell time
Now, how to approach the task of selling some time. Before you even start, you need to look like you can deliver a good service on time and be trusted to do it without someone watching you every minute. People should not judge others by their appearance, but they do, so get over it.
Bosses especially judge those who approach the business, with great suspicion which is understandable if they have spent years building something that feeds their family. What do you think they should do, welcome every idiot that calls? If you are covered in tattoos, have metal hanging off your face and don’t bother to dress for the job, why waste everyone’s time? I wouldn’t even talk to you. Cover up, clean up and be straight up.
You can start by looking at a business near home and really looking at it. Could it do with a tidy up? Maybe it needs a splash of paint or maybe they just look very busy. You can also talk to the employees at lunch time or after work and ask them if they think the boss could use another hand. Any research like that will tell you what to concentrate on when you are looking to sell some time.
Bear in mind, the boss is tired of people like you turning up looking for a job (read “handout”) and those who do are generally the ones no one else wants, so he will have defenses in place. These defenses will be a receptionist, secretary or counter-sales worker and they have already had some practice. As far as they are concerned, they are protecting the boss and looking after number one, themselves and their job.
What you need is a question only the boss can answer. You have to use your imagination here but if you look at the business, you should be able to think of a question to which the staff are unlikely to know the answer. Beginning a question with “does the boss intend to ….?” is a good start but there endless variables.
Part 3. Talking with a boss
When you do get to talk to a decision-maker, make it simple, short, truthful and friendly. For example, “I need to get a job but in the meantime, I’m looking to get a few hours work doing something useful. Is there any chance I could …. (paint the fence, clean up the yard, sell some of your widgits, whatever)?”
You may be surprised how many times the boss offers an alternative because you most likely don’t know exactly which of his problems is causing him the most grief at the moment. At the very least he will admire your great attitude. You might even be a good substitute for the grumpy unreliable employee that is currently giving him the most grief.
If the boss asks if you have specific skills that you don’t have, all is not lost because you can say ‘no’, but you might know someone who does. Now you may be able to solve a problem for the boss and that puts you in a better position already. A bit of asking around your network of family and friends could turn up someone and the boss may want to keep someone useful around. After all, no one else tries to help him with his problems so you don’t have much competition.
If you want to approach a business that has no obvious needs, you can offer a free sample. Remember, you get your time for nothing so giving away a few samples is no cost to you. If you happen to be one of those who doesn’t want to give away time because the boss will get something for nothing, your attitude will most likely be the reason you are unemployed. I’d kick you out the door at first sight. There’s no place in my team for you.
(There’s no word in the dictionary for people with that attitude so I have coined the word “mangering” from The Fables of Aesop, which describes the hungry dog in the manger who cannot eat the hay but won’t let the horse eat either because the dog doesn’t want to see the horse get a benefit. It’s a lesson in bad attitude and perfectly describes people who are ‘mangerers’.)
Once you are face to face with a decision maker, bear in mind he or she is subject to the same emotions as you and will respond in a similar way. When someone pays you a compliment are you pleased? Even if you think the other person is being a little self-serving, it still sounds pretty good. You should mention, just mention not go on about, a part of the business the boss could be proud of, like how long the company has been in business or how well it is presented to customers or how professional it looks on the web site, whatever. No one is going to be unhappy with a compliment. Sincere praise is very good, even slightly insincere praise is better than no praise because you just might mean it and can’t express it properly.
The one thing the boss does not want to hear is your opinion. Your opinion has no positive value. If you get asked for it, consider it a trick. The boss really wants to hear his or her opinion coming out your mouth. If you can do that, you have a good chance of selling some time. (This is not the way it is supposed to be, but that doesn’t change the truth of it.)
How long does it take?
Here is where I have to admit I have tricked you with the title about getting a job in 7 days. If it takes you 7 days to find some work, there can be several explanations, so pick the one that will most likely apply to you.
‘I only asked at one place’ or ‘I didn’t actually approach anyone’ or ‘I made myself look un-employable, un-trustworthy and dangerous’. One of those will be the reason it is taking so long, assuming you are not insisting that you stay where you are and the work should be where you are.
Tell anyone who will listen that you are trying to sell some of your time and list no more than 3 specific things you could do, followed by the general, ‘anything really’. It is amazing how many times friends and family can come up with a contact if you change the parameters. Obviously they don’t already know anyone who has a job for you but unless you tell them you are interested in selling some time doing ‘anything really’, they will never be able to help.
Just a tip here, no matter what they suggest, don’t knock them or they will not come up with a better suggestion tomorrow after they have had time to get used to the new you.
When you get a job
When you do get a job, remember you are just selling your time. If you think now the job belongs to you, it’s ‘my job’, you are a fool. No matter what you hear, read or are told, a job is not your possession. It’s a contract where you provide time and the company pays you for it.
There is no such thing as ‘loyalty’ in employment, at least not in the modern workplace and nor should there be. You have been paid for what you supplied so that makes you square. The company only buys your labour to sell, with the expectation that if you get a better offer, you will look after your family’s interests first. That’s also how it should be, professional, not some ridiculous concept that you are a ‘loyal servant’.
The ‘loyal employee’ tag is commonly used as a weapon against an employer who has terminated a contract to buy labour. It is not the employer’s fault if the employee has not made any alternative plans, never bothered to keep his options open. Sitting back believing that you ‘own’ your job is a recipe for disappointment. Frankly, if your attitude is that now you have a job, you never need worry about your family’s security again, you deserve what you get. Nothing is forever.
If you are thinking, ‘this is just a series of part time jobs, not a real job.’ I want a real job where I am paid well doing something I like’, well, I’m sorry (not really) to be the one to tell you, but no one cares what you want. Let me repeat, no one cares.
If you ever manage to achieve your goal of getting well paid doing what you like, then all power to you, congratulations and you deserve to be proud of your achievement or good luck. Just don’t ever think anyone owes you this. If you get it, it will be the result of your own hard work.
A couple of last things, check what’s on your Facebook account. Employers read them too and if that’s where you criticize your boss it’s because you are too lazy or dumb to sell your labour to a better company and you deserve to have your contract terminated. Who wants to buy time from someone who slags off the company or the management? If you’re so clever, start your own company and see what it feels like buying time that expires every day.
If you can’t use a computer and that is holding you back, there is no merit in claiming that you haven’t learned to use one. Access to computers is easy and if that’s the main reason why no one wants you, it serves you right because it costs nothing to learn.
So that’s it. Now you’ve heard the real facts from an employer and you know what to do. Don’t be one of those who whinge about not getting a job. It’s hard out there and even worse for employers who stand to lose their homes and other possessions if the work doesn’t pan out. At least you get to keep your house and all you need do is sell some more time.