Vincent Nguyen has, at 19 years old, provided a perfect example of the new path to a great career. The exact type of path described in Self-Made U.
I’ve been following Vincent for nearly a year now and have continually been impressed by the quality of the work he puts out – which is to say the quality of his thinking.
He knows what to do and, more importantly, he knows how to execute. Action is something we talk about over and over again at StartupBros and we get giddy when we see somebody pushing forward no matter what. Vincent is one of these people.
I’ll let him tell you the rest of the story…
Remember when getting a job was relatively easy?
You went to a good college, got great grades, and then you were on your way to a comfortable career.
Unfortunately, the script is now flipped. Everyone has a college degree, but not everyone has a job.
In fact, there are a lot of graduates that are either working in positions that don’t require a degree or even worse, they’re unemployed.
Okay, so I’ve either scared you shitless or you already knew all that. What can you do about it now?
I’m a believer in more than looking good on paper and fortunately many entrepreneurs are the same way. You don’t have to hold credentials to have an exciting job or be taken seriously.
Here’s what I’m doing right now without a degree:
- Living in the Philippines 7,722 miles from home with the majority of expenses paid for.
- Working remotely from anywhere I please (I’m writing this article from Starbucks in Davao.)
- Having my skills ripped apart and being taught how to refine what I have.
- Getting paid to do work I enjoy.
So how do you get to that position?
You don’t send your resume out to anyone with a door, that’s for sure.
You get creative.
Reach out to someone you want to work with.
Back in October, I did a podcast interview with College Info Geek’s Thomas Frank. I shared how I landed my first three internships and my dream job in the Philippines.
One of his listeners chimed in with the following comment:
“I saw this post a few months ago and I decided that I should try sending some emails to people that I really wanted to work for. As of last night, I was hired by someone that I emailed and in January I’ll work at a job I couldn’t be more thrilled to begin. Thanks for the inspiration!”
She’s not the only one who got a job just by reaching out because that’s exactly how I got my first three internships.
During my second semester of college I decided I needed to start getting serious about my future. First, I went on my college’s job board to see if I can find something interesting.
Just as I was going to send out my resume else I realized I’d be competing at the same time with everyone else (assuming my school will send out our applications at the same time.)
So what I did instead was research the companies I wanted to work for and reached out to them by phone and in-person.
It worked like a charm! Got all three of the internships and left a great first impression with my direct approach.
Network like it’s your full-time job.
It’s ridiculously easy to connect with people now so you have no excuse. Big names are often active on social media, especially Twitter, and they reply to most people who reach out to them.
Get your name in front of entrepreneurs. Leave comments on their blog. Start conversations on Twitter.
You can even use Twitter like a search engine to look for interesting job opportunities. Tools like Topsy make this easy.
Hell, I found my current job through a tweet I saw.
I leveraged the connections I had and asked them to get in front of a camera to film a short testimonial for me. I even emailed people I didn’t know like Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin, who both helped me out.
I put all the videos together and sent it along with my application for my current job and now here I am.
Find an apprenticeship with an open-minded and driven company.
This sounds ridiculous because an apprentice doesn’t sound like a glamorous job title, but here are the benefits of an apprenticeship with a great company:
- You learn “insider” secrets
- You start building connections with the people your company knows
- Your name gets out there
- You open up the opportunity to playing a huge role in the company
- You don’t need decades of experience to be attractive to founders
- You work with people smarter than you
- You get to travel
Let’s talk about a few companies that have done apprenticeships in the past. You can keep your eye on them for future openings. They also share other apprenticeship opportunities that pop up in their social circle so it’s good to keep up with them.
TropicalMBA is one of the first location independent businesses that shipped someone out to their location to train on-site as an apprentice. Although they stopped bringing out apprentices, they’re still occasionally looking to bring people out and give them a half-year trial period before considering them a full-time position.
Here’s a look at their previous opening.
Greg Cee is a location independent entrepreneur who is running an e-commerce company. He put up an offer for an e-commerce apprenticeship at the end of November.
Check out his opening.
Time Lapse Strategies
This one is already expired but it’s an example of the opportunities out there. Mike and Euvie from Timelapse Strategies was looking for a multimedia editor who wanted to come out to Southeast Asia to work with them.
This is who I’m working for today and I’ve got to say, it’s got me fired up about the whole apprenticeship thing. Here’s the original post that got me hooked.
Reach out to startups
Startups need talent and they’re willing to take you on if you give them an offer they can’t refuse. Check out Charlie Hoehn’s TEDx talk on doing work for free.
Do you need help landing your dream job? Read TropicalMBA’s Dan Andrews’ post where gives you 10 tips to help get that position you’ve got your eyes on.