And, of course, you can join Praxis and we’ll give you the job straight up! We provide a three month professional bootcamp, help you build a personal website and populate it with projects that demonstrate your value, give you a paid apprenticeship at a startup, and at the end you walk away with a job offer.
The idea that you should spend four years and six figures in classrooms, shielded from the real world of opportunity, and cross your fingers and hope it gets you some kind of job is absurd.It’s time for a new era in education and career. If you’re good you can prove it in the market without going into debt or dying of boredom.
That’s why we created Praxis, and that’s why we’re making it better every day.
Over at the Praxis blog is a description of current opportunities with business partners in Austin, Atlanta, Charleston, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and San Francisco where we’re placing participants. If you get in, you not only get paid to apprentice there, you get a job at $40k+ when you graduate.
From the post:
“Participants accepted into the Praxis program get an intense bootcamp where they gain the skills needed to succeed in their careers. After the bootcamp they begin a paid apprenticeship with one of our business partners. These aren’t dull corporate internships. These are dynamic startups and small businesses where participants get a chance to create real value and do real work. Entrepreneurship is the most valuable skill in the emerging economy, and there’s no better classroom than alongside entrepreneurs in the real world to learn it.
While apprenticing, participants get weekly coaching, access to a rich resource library, tailored modules to improve hard and soft skills, a world-class network, and a portfolio to showcase their work.
Upon completion of the program, graduates get hired full time with their business partner at a minimum of $40k/year.
That means in less than a year and at zero cost you begin your career. No debt. No wasted time. No blasting out resumes to jobs you’d hate. No fretting over GPA’s for four years just hoping it results in a job. You join an amazing team doing meaningful work immediately.
Here are some of our current business partner opportunities, and we’re adding all the time…”
Check out the post to see what kind of companies we’re placing participants with.
A great career won’t come from classrooms or generic resume blasts. It will come from you taking charge and going out and building the mix of experience, knowledge, network, skills, and confidence that can only come from working with dynamic people in real companies.
We talk a lot at Praxis about building a better signal than generic degrees and institutional imprimaturs. Whether or not you have a degree, you need to learn to 1) create value and, 2) signal your ability to create value to the world. Degrees are a very weak way to achieve either. You need something more.
I got an email today from a guy who decided to put that advice into practice. Check out what Daniel Myers had to say:
You know how Praxis always talks about creating value? About taking the entrepreneurial route in your work? Well, I decided to do just that, by writing a 44-page report on business and entrepreneurship for a venture capitalist firm here in TN. I had read an article this past Fall on the Praxis website about value creation for a company instead of just shooting a CV/Resume out to everyone and expecting it to do all the work. This report has been well received by the public and has truly allowed me to create a name for myself, rather than just being another undergrad with “some resume”.
All this said, I want to thank all of you at Praxis for what you do. I am continually inspired by all of you at Praxis and hope you all continue to be successful in all your endeavors. Again, thank you for your inspiration!
P.S. I’m reading Derek’s book on “How to Get Any Job You Want“. It aligns perfectly with what I did and will continue to do in my career.
Here’s a link to Daniel’s report on startups in TN.
I don’t know how long it took for Daniel to put together such an in-depth report. But compared to what? How does time spent creating a valuable resource like that compare to time spent sitting in a classroom, blasting out generic resumes, or waiting and hoping for a cool opportunity?
Daniel gained not only a great signal of his value creating potential, but a lot of knowledge, skill, confidence, and even some free PR along the way. In short, by creating value now instead of waiting to be invited to with a formal job offer, Daniel became more of who he wants to be, instead of waiting for someone to tell him what to do.
Go start building now. What are you waiting for? And of course, if you need some help, a great apprenticeship with an entrepreneur, and an intense year-long experience in value creation, discover Praxis.
From Life Learning on Medium.
A lot of people are looking for jobs. The thing is, not all job searches are equal. “Looking for a job” might actually mean hoping someone finds your resume online, shooting out a few emails, or posting unsolicited comments on Facebook pages that say, “Are you hiring?”
If you want a job — really want a job — you’ve got to go level five with your job hunt. And call it a hunt, not a search. You’re not hoping to stumble into a pot of gold, you’re tracking your prey and bagging it.
Let’s take a look at how to do it.
Level 1: A Good Resume
While most of the best jobs you’ll get in life will be gotten without a resume, if you’re job hunting you should have one on hand. I don’t particularly like them, but a lot of people expect them. A good resume will never get you a job, but a bad resume could lose you one.
For a resume to actually convey something, serve as a starting point for interview questions, and keep you from being dismissed out of hand, there are really just two main features: Nice appearance and outcomes-based content.
For appearance, keep it simple, clean, a single page, uniform use of line breaks or bullets, not too many indents and sub-sub points, and a clear order top-to-bottom of what’s most important. (Hint: experience is more important than education to most people, even if you assume otherwise). Oh, and get your spelling and capitalization triple checked.
For content most people simply list credentials they have and activities they engaged in. This is boring and conveys a lot less about your ability to create value than what kind of outcomes you produced. Don’t just list that you were a digital marketing intern and ran email campaigns. Show that your A/B test improved open rates by 10%.
Even if you were waiting tables, see if you can demonstrate value created. “Server at Applebee’s” is less interesting than, “My section consistently brought in 15% more tips than average sections.”
Anyone can have a title and do a task. The good ones create value and can show positive outcomes.
Level 2: Good Profiles on LinkedIn, etc.
Whether you like it or not, LinkedIn is hugely valuable in the working world, especially for those making hiring decisions. Have a profile. Have a decent headshot that actually looks like you. Have accurate information. Keep it up to date.
Your LinkedIn profile should be consistent with your resume, but it is not the same thing. It allows you to go a little deeper into who you are, what drives you, who you’ve worked with, what you did, etc. Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, and whatever else you kids are using these days. Be you, but use good judgement. If someone only ever found your online accounts, would they have an accurate idea of who you are and what you want to be known as?
Many people fear all social media and online presence because they think of it as a liability. Some people try to stay undiscoverable online as a protective measure. This is a terrible idea. First, always assume if some hacker wants to find your stuff bad enough they’ll find a way, regardless of your settings. But more importantly, seeing social media as a liability blinds you to the fact that it can be a huge asset. There is no neutral. It’s either helping you or hurting you. Being completely anonymous online hurts you. Take charge of your online presence and make it an asset.
Level 3: A Personal Website
It’s easier than ever to setup a personal website. If you’re serious about finding a great job, just do it. Go over to WordPress and get started. In a few hours you can have a clean, simple website that serves as a repository of all the things you enjoy and want to be known for.
A personal website gives you far more control than profiles on third party sites. You can feature whatever you wish, you can blog, share video, include a longer bio, express aspects of yourself you wouldn’t cram into a LinkedIn profile, and really use the blank canvas to create whatever you wish.
But more than what you have on your site is the fact that you have one. Anyone who has put together a basic, neat, up to date personal website stands out. Not many people do, despite how easy it is, and if you do you’ll have something that gives you far more cred than just a decent resume in a pile.
If you really want to gain an edge, overcome fear, build confidence, and become a better communicator and thinker then take the next step and blog on your site regularly. I recommend blogging daily, but if that’s daunting, try weekly. You can always hide bad posts, but the act of doing it and knowing it can be seen by others will do more for your creative capacity and productive power than any other simple activity I know of.
Level 4: A Portfolio of Projects
If you’ve already setup your personal website here’s a way to really beef up the value. Beyond a nice homepage and about page with a bio your website can feature projects you’ve completed.
Remember when I said the resume should show outcomes instead of just telling about activities? A portfolio allows you to show in much greater detail what you’ve created. It’s especially easy for those with skills in art or coding or engineering to share publicly what you’ve produced. You may think that your management or communication or sales skills can’t really be put into a portfolio that shows what you’ve done, but it can.
Go to a freelancer website and pay someone $50 to design a nice one-pager that shows the results of that event your organized and executed. Have someone build an interactive graph tracking your fundraising or sales campaign. Show articles you’ve written and clicks they received.
If you can think of nothing tangible that you’ve completed to put in a portfolio it’s a good sign you should get cracking! Writers and photographers know that their portfolio of work is what really matters. If they have none, they start out just doing things for free to build it up. You can do the same. Just get started creating something and share the results. Do projects for free that will help you get something under your belt.
The great thing is, the success or failure of your projects is less important at this stage than that you completed it. I’ve talked with tech companies who say they’d rather hire someone who built a cheesy, non-innovative notepad app than someone with a stellar resume who never built and “shipped” anything at all.
Level 5: Unique, Stand-Alone Websites, Videos, InfoGraphics for Your Target Company
Here’s where the great stand apart from the very good. If you really, truly, deeply want to work for a company why not devote yourself to studying them in depth and presenting your unique take?
Remember Nina, whose resume was lost in the heap at AirBnB? She went level five and became internet famous. She put together an impressive site that deserved attention, still it’s telling of just how low the bar is among job-seekers that a simple website was such a viral sensation. No one is doing this. But you can.
One thing employers will tell you when sifting through job applications is that too many people talk about themselves and too few talk about the company they claim to want to work for. “I’m Joe and I’m great at XYZ” tells me nothing about why Joe applied specifically for my company. Does he just want a paycheck, or is he passionate about my business? Does he even know what we do and what we value?
There’s no better way to demonstrate your knowledge and passion for a company than to dig into the industry, business model, customer base, competitors, and build something unique that describes what you love about and what you would do for the company. Don’t think about what would make you look good, think about what would actually be valuable to the company.
I guarantee spending 30 days doing a deep dive on your target company will be more valuable than spending an entire year getting a second major and more clubs to list on your resume. If you can create something of value to the company before you’re even working for them that sends a strong signal that you’re a person they want on board.
What Are You Waiting For?
One of the reasons I launched my company Praxis is precisely because so few young people realize that they have the power to create their own professional future. There are more tools available than ever and more opportunities but so few realize it. You can’t sit on the conveyor belt and expect it to drop you at a fulfilling job.
Look, I’m not saying it’s easy. But don’t tell me there’s no way to get a great job if you aren’t willing to push yourself to level four, or ideally level five. You can probably think of ten more things I didn’t even list here if you really try.
The days of buying a degree and hoping it buys you a job are over. Be your own credential and prove through the work you do that you can create value.
The resume is supposed to be a relatively quick way for someone to get to know your personal and professional accomplishments, skills, interests, and the potential you have to create value in a given setting. The thing is, it’s pretty outdated. In fact, it never worked all that well, evidenced by the fact that most people do not get jobs because of a great resume but because of a personal connection. Resumes have always been a poor substitute for other, more robust ways to get to know someone. There just weren’t too many other ways once upon a time. But things change.
Today we have so many ways to paint a picture of who we are, what we love, and what we can do than we ever did before. It’s time to stop leaning on a sheet of paper with boring bullet points and begin building better ways for people to see what you’re all about. When I get resumes now I barely look at them. A quick scan, then I immediately jump on Google to find the things that give me better signals. Here are five of them.
1. Create a personal website.
This might sound daunting, but it’s doesn’t have to be. Go to WordPress, get a domain with your name in it if you can, pick a basic theme, complete an “about” page with a few photos and a bio, and write a few blog posts that update what you care about and what you do. Update it at least once a month so it doesn’t look dead. Don’t feel too much pressure if you’re not a great writer. The content is less important than that you have a site. Someone who has taken the time and developed the basic skills to set one up has already set themselves well above the crowd.
2. Have a LinkedIn profile
Most young people hate LinkedIn. So do most of the adults they spend most of their time with – teachers and professors. But in the professional world outside of academia, LinkedIn is gold. It is everything your resume is, but far less boring and with several added benefits. You need to have a profile there. It can house all your basic experience and skills and other stuff that goes on a resume, but it also has some color, endorsements, and a way for people to see shared connections, what kind of articles you’ve liked, and more. When you send a resume to someone they are going to look for you on LinkedIn whether you like it or not. If you’re not there, or if you have a shabby, out of date profile, your stock will drop.
3. Make use of Facebook and other social profiles
Everyone uses at least one social platform. Most are on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, or others. My advice here is controversial but I stand by it. Make your social media pages publicly viewable. Look, if you have something really incriminating on there someone could find it anyway if they were motivated enough. Making your profile public is a good way to keep a check in your mind on what kinds of things you may and may not want to share. This doesn’t mean your entire Facebook presence needs to become whitewashed of anything personal or fun. Far from it. That’s good stuff, even to a potential employer, and a completely polished presence is slightly disconcerting. But if you’re constantly in name-calling flame wars over political issues on Facebook, for example, that’s probably not good for most jobs and probably not good for you. Let the world see a little bit of the real you, and let that be a you you’re proud of. Again, when you send your resume people are going to look for you on social platforms anyway. They tend to get frustrated when they can see that you exist but can’t view any details without a friend request. Let them in. They’ll get a flavor for so much of the richness that a resume simply cannot provide.
4. Review books on Amazon
This is an underutilized gem. Amazon has a wonderful reviewing community, and reviews you post there under your real name have pretty decent search engine results. One thing that’s hard to gauge from a static list of activities is a person’s intellectual depth and passion for learning new things. Curious, interested people are people employers want to hire. Everyone does a few classes and clubs, but how many people read interesting books and take the time to write a review? It’s a good practice in general for your writing and thinking skills, and it really gives you an edge in demonstrating your interests and abilities.
5. Build something
Anything. Outcomes are more valuable than inputs. Products are more valuable than paper. Everyone can list activities they’ve done from date X to date Y. But what did it result in? What did you create? The ability to build and “ship” something is rare and valuable. Most people get stuck thinking about the article they want to write, the app they want to build, the event they want to run, the group they want to launch, or the painting they want to do. It takes guts, discipline, humility, and grit to actually finish it. Think of projects you care about that have a tangible, demonstrable result you can put out there for the world to see (another great use of your personal website). Saying, “I worked here” is so much less powerful than showing, “I built this”. Showing beats telling, so find more things you can show.
If these sound like interesting ideas but you’re a little overwhelmed, take them one at a time. And, of course, you can join Praxis where we have one-on-one coaching and an intensive educational experience focused on helping you learn how to do these things and do them well.