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What do you do after you make a mistake?

Great job (last part, for now)

A friend of mine is a world-class lawyer, with a great background in copyright, deal-making and intellectual property issues. She has a stellar resume and could get a cog-job in about two seconds. Except that she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to work for a fast-growing neat organization with flexible hours. And she’s willing to take a 60% pay cut to do so.

In the current system, there’s no place for her (or for you, for that matter) to let the right person know that they ought to rethink the way they’re allocating their payroll and their services budget and take advantage of this opportunity. This is ridiculous. There’s no other similar expense in a corporation that is totally demand based. Companies don’t say, "We’re thinking of replacing our phone system, please let us know if there’s some new technology that we don’t know about" or "Our charity currently uses a traditional system to do fundraising but we’re auditioning automated online systems, please send a properly formatted brochure…"

Well, if the single-most-important thing a business can do is hire amazing people, why shouldn’t that
process be more flexible and be built around the people, not the slots?

At this point, I’m supposed to point you to some amazing web site that is people-centric, not job-centric, and talk about how smart bosses from around the globe are using it to scout for great people. How an eBay-like revolution is changing this huge marketplace. I can’t, so I won’t.

Sure, there are resume-driven sites. Wouldn’t matter. The bosses aren’t there. The culture hasn’t shifted yet.

But it will.

Why not print this blog out, attach it to a letter (not a resume not a resume not a resume!!!) and send it off to the place that needs you? If two or three or ten people did it, it might not matter, but if thousands of people started auctioning off their skills in the way it ought to be done (recognizing that you, not the factory, is where the value is) it could become a movement.

Great job (part 2)

Well, if it’s the jobs at little companies that we want, what’s wrong with the current system?

In my experience, little companies are rarely so organized that they know just what slot to fill, what to call that slot and who to hire for that slot. In all the fast-growing companies I’ve encountered, a new job is just that… new. More often than not, companies bump into someone cool and find a job for them. Or, even more likely, they see someone really cool at ANOTHER company, wish they had that person and invent a job that they hope someone like that will fill.

Implicit in this reasoning is this: it’s the  Purple Cow that will fill this job beautifully. Not some automaton who will follow orders, but someone remarkable who will ask great questions and make magical things happen.

So, if you were going to invent a system where remarkable, hard-to-classify people got hooked up with fast-growing organizations that could put those skills to work, would it look anything like the classified section of the New York Times?

I don’t think so.

Are you looking for a great job? (part 1)

I’ve been thinking about the job-finding/person-finding paradox a lot lately, and it seems completely broken to me.

Consider a few facts:
1. The traditional way to get a job is to send a boring resume in response to as many posted jobs as you can afford. Your resume will be scanned, culled and if it doesn’t stand out too much, a person might look at it.

Then you go for a job interview and try to be coglike in your malleability and desire to fit in. If random acts are working in your favor, you get the job.

2. Then, the big Fortune 1000 company that hired you complains that all their people act like cogs, don’t care enough, aren’t creative in solving problems and don’t push the status quo.

3. Then, the big Fortune 1000 company realizes that as long as they’ve got interchangeable cogs, they ought to just move jobs offshore, cause that’s cheaper

or

3.a. The company doesn’t do that, succumbs to Wall Street pressure and either cheats (and gets caught and tanks) or doesn’t cheat (and gets bought or folded and tanks).

Something’s wrong here.

Let’s start with one assumption that has changed in just a generation:

It turns out that 100% of all job growth is now coming from small (under 500 person) companies. In fact, the big companies are shedding jobs, not adding them.

That wasn’t true for our parents. It’s true for us.

Also true: more likely than not, the best jobs, the most interesting jobs and the most secure jobs happen in small organizations.

SO: first conclusion: fitting in to get a job for the big guy is a bad strategy for everyone.

Link: Monster Jobs – Get work. Network. Build a better career. Today’s the day..

I’ve been remiss

Worse than remiss. Negligent.

I haven’t told you about Vincent Flanders’ funny and useful and free article on web design.

Link: Web Pages That Suck presents the biggest web design mistakes in 2004 learn usability and good Web design by looking at bad Web design.

Must reading. Do it before you go to bed tonight.

Mitch Joel discovers…

That life is a bit like an open source project. The more he gives, the more he gets. Montreal Gazette – canada.com network.   New link: http://www.twistimage.com/articles/gazette2.html

Fix your computer

Radiorss

I had to use a PC today in order to run Exact Target to do a mailing. I was stunned and astonished at how much the experience has degraded since my last exposure. There were dozens of pop ups and flashing lights and buzzers and it was awfully frightening.

At the same time, I discovered that just a tiny portion of the population is using RSS to watch their favorite blogs.

SO, HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO to dramatically increase the quality of your online experience.

1. Download the free Firefox browser. Just click here and follow the instructions: Firefox – Rediscover the web. It really is free, it really only takes a few minutes, and it’s not hard.

2. Whenever you visit a blog or similarly updated site, look for that funky radar symbol at the bottom of the page (see above.)

3. Click on the symbol and Firefox will ask you if you want to store that link. Choose to store it on your toolbar.

4. From now on, you’ll have a menu that looks like this:

Pulldown

which will automatically list the headlines as they are updated.

That way, you don’t have to wonder if a blog has been updated or not.

Ten minutes, tops. Worth it.

Now, many people are worried that the IT guys will get mad if they do stuff like this. So they ask. Don’t ask. Just do it. You won’t break anything, and even if you do, they love to fix stuff.

Did I mention that if you go to the preferences menu item, you can choose to turn off pop-up windows? Well, you can.

Welcome to Seth’s Blog

There’s been a rush of new traffic, and for those new to the blog, I commend you to the archives (at your left, it goes back a few years). To get you started, please click here: Seth’s Blog: The Best Seth Godin Posts of the Year (2004). You’ll find 24 posts that are more remarkable than most.

Thanks.