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I need help/advice getting a job
Old 08-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #1
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I need help/advice getting a job

I am against the occupy movement, there are jobs, you just have to get up off your ass and find them or make them.

I am a 22 year old web entrepreneur from Seattle Washington. 2 years ago I dropped out of college to start a social network with a group of fellow students, the social network was designed to be a timeline of the users life. One year, 14,000 lines of code and 20,000 dollars later, Facebook launched its timeline a month before launch and the project was abandoned. Now I am living off other websites that have been profitable, but by no means stable. I have a ton of business experience in web management, search engine optimization, social media marketing.These are skills that cannot be taught in updated form at a college. I've been managing the development and monetization of websites since I was 15. Society says I have to get a degree to get a job, but I beg the differ. I have more experience and social skills than the majority of business grads.

So I need help in what direction I should head in now. Being self employed for so long, i'm out of the loop in finding a full time job, and getting around the degree requirements. I may just need a good contact. Or if you know anyone who can relate to my field of expertise and offer advice, let me know.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:27 AM   #2
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Darrell, good luck with your job search. Our focus here at Early-Retirement.Org is how to get out of the job market, not how to get in, so you may not get all the help you're looking for.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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Darrell, create a killer resume that emphasizes your experience and successes, and de-emphasizes your lack of a degree. Write it with a close eye to what skills are in highest demand in your field.

Then send it to every recruiter and relevant company you can find. You'll likely get some bites.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Craigslist is full of development jobs in most local areas and it's a strong market for programming talent. People will be more interested in projects you've done than in degrees. If you are looking for a job you should have no problems as soon as you start looking. If you are looking for an opportunity to run your own show, but be paid like a job, that's not realistic. The closest might be connecting with the start-ups in the area. Try networking through meetup, linkedin, or several high tech lecture/activity series in the area.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Darrell, I hope your networking efforts pay off for you.

You asked for advice, so here goes: lose the attitude.

Life is tough, unfair and owes you nothing. The fact that a degree is required to get your foot in most doors is a fact of life and you can't change it. Having a chip on your shoulder about it only diminishes your chance that an employer will look favorably on you in an interview. One way or the other you need to get more education - either college or charm school, you choose.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Let's say I am the hiring manager and you were offered as someone to hire for our company's 3.0 social Web project.

We don't need entrepreneurs. We need project people to perform roles.

For our project, what do you have to offer?
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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Darrell, I hope your networking efforts pay off for you.

You asked for advice, so here goes: lose the attitude.

Life is tough, unfair and owes you nothing. The fact that a degree is required to get your foot in most doors is a fact of life and you can't change it. Having a chip on your shoulder about it only diminishes your chance that an employer will look favorably on you in an interview. One way or the other you need to get more education - either college or charm school, you choose.
+1

Working for somebody else is a lot different from working for yourself. You have to give them what THEY want and need, and (meaning this in the most friendly and constructive way possible) usually an attitude like yours isn't quite what they had in mind. On the other hand, picking up a college degree should be pretty fast and simple for you, and then with a revamped attitude you'll be unstoppable!
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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It's much tougher to make a career in consumer software than corporate software: relative to individuals, corporations have deep pockets.

If you want to work for yourself rather than someone else, find a way to repackage your skills/software to fit the needs of corporations. For example (off the top of my head), morph your software into something a company can use internally, a social network of sorts for use only inside a company.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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I certainly agree with the OP that one can get excellent work and social skills without a degree. A degree does show that, presumably, the applicant has demonstrated their skills to a good level of proficiency.

When I have been in a hiring position one of the reasons I looked for a degree was that it showed me the applicant had the ability to start a complex project and see it through to completion.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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The "foot in the door" is the toughest part without a degree. In a normal economy, the more experience you have, the less the education matters -- and with a fairly long, unbroken work history with solid references the degree requirement might be overlooked. But even in a normal economy, few people would look at you without a degree or significant experience working for someone else.

And this isn't a normal economy, so employers get so many applicants that they are likely to "weed out" some applications in bulk based on a number of factors. (If they get 100 resumes, they aren't going to interview 100 people so they look for reasons to quickly whittle it down to, say, 10 applicants.) Education and years of relevant experience are front and center in that respect, so in *this* economy employers can be extremely choosy -- and they generally are. The bottom line is that there are so many unemployed and underemployed individuals with a degree that many employers see no need to even look at anyone who hasn't jumped through the hoops.
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What I could bring to your team
Old 08-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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What I could bring to your team

Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
Let's say I am the hiring manager and you were offered as someone to hire for our company's 3.0 social Web project.

We don't need entrepreneurs. We need project people to perform roles.

For our project, what do you have to offer?

I'm an exceptional listener and communicator when dealing with managers as well as fellow team member's, I can effectively convey information to each, as well as facilitate constructive communication in between all. Working with a demographically divided team in the past has better exercised this skill. I effectively maintained communications in between business partners and employees that weren't in the same office/country, let alone on the same work schedule.

I'm an experienced team player who strives to build trusting relationships with my colleagues. My positive attitude and great interpersonal skills can translate into friction less execution of assignments requiring teamwork. You could hire a 4.0 MBA grad, but if they cant communicate appropriately and connect with fellow team members, they would be near useless if not problematic.Sand paper vs. wood. Where as I have been friends with most all of my past colleagues. Two north ends of a magnet.

Your project team could use an analytical thinker like me, who can evaluate, scrutinize, and improve the project on hand. I am the creative team member who can think outside the box, put himself in the customers shoes if necessary. When working on my latest project, I had to step into the shoes of a 12 year old girl an come up with 2000 images that one might desire to download. The current count stands just shy of 50,000 downloads.

I'm at my best in environments requiring the ability to effectively prioritize and juggle multiple projects. In the past I've effectively produce multiple quality web projects at the same time.

I also have experience in bridging communications gaps between technical employees and administrative figures. You might find that your technical employees have difficulty conveying information or ideas to an administrator or fellow team members in a language other than technical gibberish. I posses the patience to understand a technical concept/process, and relay it in a simplified manner that a busy administrator/pm can work with. I've used this skill when talking to my developers who are speaking in code, and I must relay the information in a manner that my business partners, being unfamiliar with code, could understand.

I'm a very resourceful team player. A knowledge hungry individual, self motivated to use all tools of research at my disposal.I can effectively grasp the concepts and possibilities that any given project may hold using proven research techniques. The most beneficial result of researching I've encountered is in researching similar projects.The failures/mistake as well as the success of a similar project can be harbored as a lesson to be incorporated into the current project, this saves you time, money, and high moral. Before I constructed my current website, I was able to find that my competitors were using an outdated image uploading program for their image content websites. Modifying my own, I uploaded my thousands of images (in the Google preferred way), resulting in my images showing up on Google Images above all my competitors, this drove additional traffic to my site and boosted revenue 200% on top of our expected quota . I learn from my mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.

There are many more skills I could bring to your team, The skills and assets I list above are among the most important I thought to be brought to your attention.

Regards,

Darrell cray

I appreciate the reply you gave me and the practice I have received in answering you. so how'd I do? would you accept me onto the team if that were the q&a?
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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I appreciate everyone's honest replies, its given me a lot to think about and things to practice as well.

In my frustrated tone of typing I realize I may have come off as arrogant, and given the impression that I wish to work on my own terms.

But I have no problem working under somebody who challenges me intellectually, who I can learn from, who I can impress. That goes for the company as well. I've done all the odd jobs through middle school (food industry, lawn care, office work sorting papers) and I Remember how intellectual dogging they were on me. I want to find out if besides being self employed, if I could achieve a job showing similar benefits of a non-zombie job, without having to devote 4 years of my life for a degree.

I wish to go to school but its for other reasons than to get a degree, I wish to surround myself with people my own age, most of which are going somewhere in life. I want to network with other students again. And I really do love some classes, i'm a huge history buff. But I've watched my friend spend the last two years of their schooling taking classes they hated, and would never even remotely use later in life. Especially with my field of web management the business and marketing classes are leagues behind on what I'm doing with my sites right now.

Anyways I welcome any additional advice/wisdom you soon to be retirees can offer

Regards,

Darrell
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #13
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But I've watched my friend spend the last two years of their schooling taking classes they hated, and would never even remotely use later in life. Especially with my field of web management the business and marketing classes are leagues behind on what I'm doing with my sites right now.
Yes, a degree requires you to take some classes you'd really like to avoid, just like work requires you to do some tasks you'd prefer not to do. Getting a degree proves to a potential employer you are willing to take the good with the bad, show determination, and do what is necessary to achieve a goal. They want employees who will see the job done to completion, not seek only the 'fun' stuff and shirk everything else.

Like I said, it isn't fair.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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Most IT jobs aren't going to be like the startup environment you have been immersed in. Unless you are looking for more stability and less excitement I would recommend you focus your efforts on finding jobs at other startups and small businesses. They are going to be a lot less focused on the degree and much more interested in how you can contribute to the end goal.

If networking is the issue, take a look at some local meetup groups. Tech oriented ones will get you contacts within the industry and business oriented ones will get you potential funding and\or startup contacts.

BTW: If you were close to going live with your latest project you might think about shopping it around to some of the bigger social network players. At the very least you will build up your network. In a best case scenario someone picks up the software and your group of developers and puts some money in your pockets.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #15
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One additional small point.
You probably already know this, but find someone really good at writing and have them proofread anything you send to anyone. It may not seem very important, but it is.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:38 PM   #16
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Yes, a degree requires you to take some classes you'd really like to avoid, just like work requires you to do some tasks you'd prefer not to do. Getting a degree proves to a potential employer you are willing to take the good with the bad, show determination, and do what is necessary to achieve a goal. They want employees who will see the job done to completion, not seek only the 'fun' stuff and shirk everything else.

Like I said, it isn't fair.
That's a good point, I agree with you, a degree would act as proof you completed the bad with the good. An employee that would only want to do the fun stuff would be a bad employee.But i'm sure many non-graduates could show proof of completing non fun tasks on a more extreme level, there's kids that raise their own siblings in the absence of a parent, if they had that and some business experience, to me that's more impressive than some kid barely passing his accounting class.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:41 PM   #17
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.But i'm sure many non-graduates could show proof of completing non fun tasks on a more extreme level, there's kids that raise their own siblings in the absence of a parent, if they had that and some business experience, to me that's more impressive than some kid barely passing his accounting class.
You are still trying to change the facts of life. You can provide all the logic under the sun and it will not substitute for a degree.

Get your butt back in school.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #18
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That's a good point, I agree with you, a degree would act as proof you completed the bad with the good. An employee that would only want to do the fun stuff would be a bad employee.But i'm sure many non-graduates could show proof of completing non fun tasks on a more extreme level, there's kids that raise their own siblings in the absence of a parent, if they had that and some business experience, to me that's more impressive than some kid barely passing his accounting class.
You are undoubtedly correct. But that detective work takes time. When the hiring manager is sorting through a large stack of resumes they don't want to take a lot of time. Thats why the folks without a degree frequently don't even make the first cut.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:10 PM   #19
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Megacorp world is different than startup world. I believe you should focus on entrepreneurship and the startup world.

I'm a VP hiring manager for a large IT shop in megacorp land. Your approach and resume would concern me for the following reasons:
1. No degree. As mentioned. It matters even if that seems unfair or makes little sense.
2. Your background is maverick. I would be concerned about your ability to conform to megacorp policy and politic. Megacorp praises the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. But the truth is.....they just want you to conform.
3. Keeping you happy would be a concern. Could I as an employer keep you happy enough with all our projects (some cool, many mundane) to make you worth the investment? Or would you quickly get bored, frustrated, and leave? Worse yet. What if you were assigned to systems support instead of new project development? Egad!

I do think your background is impressive and many of the skills you have mentioned are important. You are right to emphasize the importance of your practical experience. I just think the megacorp world might be mutually objectionable between you and your employer.

In any case, I wish you the best in your employement search.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:34 PM   #20
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One additional small point.
You probably already know this, but find someone really good at writing and have them proofread anything you send to anyone. It may not seem very important, but it is.
+1

You may have thrown the above resume together quickly but it is full of spelling and grammar errors. By the way, in using the analogy of two north poles when describing your teamwork and communication abilities, the fact that two north poles repel gives the wrong message, or I may have misunderstood what you were trying to say.

Poor spelling and grammar, and using improper analogies will count against you when employers are reading through resumes even though it matters little if you have the talent where it matters.

As a manager I took great pride in seeing talented members of my department with no degree achieve job positions normally requiring a degree. However, I would never be allowed to hire an outside applicant into a position that required a degree, and in my old company your resume would never get past the HR screening process so I would not even get to see it.

I wish you all the best of luck in your job search, but with no degree you will probably fall at the first hurdle when applying to most large companies.
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