I don’t “not hire people” because they lack the right pedigree. I don’t hire them because I almost always give a few test assignments, paid, to see how they will do. I give a lot of people the chance at work, especially people who seem to have a spark, but who don’t have the officially correct background (eg, the screening mechanisms and signifiers such as degrees and credentials and experience) and I, or someone on the team, will explain and teach as needed. It’s a chance to be a self starter and make something happen…if you’re a fast learner and you show up, we have a beautiful thing. If not, no big risk either way.
What I am finding is that there are some basic work skills that people just don’t have, and they aren’t related to education. They are however, related to teachability, and to accountability. These skills speak volumes to how easy it might be to work with you over the long haul.
Does this seem like tough love? Read the corollary post: Why Noone Wants to Work for You.
Why Noone Wants to Hire You:
1) You don’t follow through. When given a small task, you don’t do what you say you will do, or you only do it half way. You always have an excuse or a reason for not doing the work on time. You don’t really take the time to listen to the requirements, critical dates or drivers, and internalize them.
2) You don’t take initiative or think for yourself. You don’t take responsibility for your own life. You are waiting for someone to give you a handout, to answer your life questions for you. You don’t care enough about your own life path to attempt to define it and make it happen. You just “want a job”. This extends into how passively you show up in your job.
3) You have a lot of drama, and/or distractions. You care more about your hobbies than your work. You are in a bad relationship or marriage and it spills out into your moods or ability to focus. You aren’t mentally or emotionally present, or you are strung out on something.
4) You don’t connect the dots. You don’t ask why you are doing a task and then check to see if the way you are doing it will meet the business goal, or if it will impede it. You don’t check to see how your approach will impact the customer (revenues or user experience) or the business (costs and efficiency). You are kind of unaware in what impact your work has on others.
5) You’re missing basic emotional skills. Like the ability to take care of yourself and others. The ability to not blame and refrain from gossip. You are snarky. You have trouble telling the whole truth & being direct. You have some sort of chip on your shoulder. You are competitive to the point of being untrustworthy. You take but don’t give. You’re self awareness is still in its infancy.
Want to get hired? Want to be the go to person on a project?
Show up and do what you say you’re going to do, think for yourself, keep your drama to a minimum, connect the dots between your role/tasks and the big picture, be an emotional grown up.
Even if your resume isn’t brilliant, you can start from these principles, learn any tangible technical skills needed to do the work, and go anywhere you want with it.