Yesterday, I watched this super rad interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer. She talks about her relationship to work after achieving the highest success possible in her line of work: writing a book so big that Julia Roberts plays you in the film adaptation of your own life.
In this interview, she said something cool: "You don't like it? Go write your own f*cking book. And guess what, you won't. And I did, and that means I won. If you can just *finish* something, you are ten miles ahead of everyone else."
Which naturally, I dug. As you know, I have this theory that it's phenomenally simple to be better than 97% of your competition just by doing. In the case of hunting down your first job (or your next promotion), there are a couple things you can do that will automatically put you in a strong spot.
(1) Get a professional headshot. When I was just starting out, I assumed that people only had great, professional photos of themselves after they got featured in a magazine or something. So wrong. I use headshot(s) all the time. On Twitter, on LinkedIn, in interviews, whatever.
I paid a professional photographer friend to take those shots for me (and you can, too!).
(2) Get a title and a business card. Remember the story I told a while back about how I ordered some business cards before moving to Berlin? And how I felt like I was kinda faking it, but the card made me look legit?
I cannot hammer this home enough: there is no Title Police. You get to call yourself whatever you want to call yourself. For you first-time job-seekers, I've seen some brilliant "hire me" business cards. Check them out!
(3) Get a website (or at least an easily sendable portfolio). This won't apply for everyone, but if you are a writer, designer, performer, actor, dancer, videographer, producer, marketer, editor, painter: it's a must. It will take you one day to pull together all your screenshots and video links and documents.
The presentation should be super simple and clean. A Dropbox folder link, with everything titled uniformly and correctly, will do.
Questions? Just ask.
Hugs from Berlin,
PS: I super-love Marie Forleo's interview series on marieTV (where I got that Elizabeth Gilbert interview from). If you're looking for in-depth interviews with really fascinating people you may recognize from TED talks, check it out.
PPS: Are you following me on Medium? I've been doing a wee bit of writing recently. Stock up on reading material here.