Have you ever looked through classifieds for job postings and thought to yourself:
None of these feel like me. Why don’t I match ANY of these?
Statistically, hiring for people over the age of 35 sucks.
And the feeling of “none of the above” is common. Indeed, it’s quite possible, likely even, that you won’t ever fit neatly into a job description.
However, there is a useful alternative.
Instead of relying on job descriptions, you can create your own.1
How To Get a Job When No Job Descriptions Fit You
Do the following:
- Write Your Job Description: Write your own job description, and carefully define the benefit and value that you would provide to a potential employer.
- Identify Employers: Find potential employers who you would like to work with. Reach out to anyone you know and ask for suggestions for employers, business owners, etc. who you can talk to.
- Evaluate Their Businesses: Outline the nature of the business of each of the employers. Figure out how they make money. What can you do to help them make MORE money? Think deeply about how you can help them be more profitable, grow their client base or otherwise add tangible value.
- Make Contact: Set up meetings with the decision makers at these companies. Do NOT go to HR. Contact the owners themselves or someone high up in the business who is actually in charge.
- Pitch Them: You will pitch the business owner in the following way:
- You will ask a hypothetical question. An example is: “What if you could___________________?” The fill in the blank here would be something like “increase your profit per customer by 10%” or “have your clients wake up thinking about you” or “make your business stand out in a commodity industry” or “grow your business from $10 million per year to $20 million per year by doing xxxxxx“.
- Your goal with this person is to explain why you will add value TO THEM. They should see $$$ in their eyes when they talk to you.
- The only reason they will talk to you in the first place is because they are intrigued … They think they can make more money or improve their position by hiring you.
- Get Hired: If you are successful in convincing the decision maker or business owner that you are worth hiring, they will hire you.
So, even if some days you feel like “none of the above” when looking through job listings you can use this approach in applying for a job that is in your existing career path. You can also use this approach to work for a company for free to gain experience if you are switching careers entirely.
Working for free (i.e. on commission or on a “draw”) can be valuable because it adds to your resume and experience, but may not be practical for everyone.
Remember, though, if you talk to HR or someone who then needs to talk to someone else to ask permission, you will fail in this approach.
This is because the HR person is looking to protect their own job, and they do not directly benefit from taking a risk by making efforts to hire you. They are risking their position by recommending someone who does not fit neatly into a job description.