“Focus on output more than input” -Tim Ferriss
Those who are close to me know that I’m a Tim Ferriss fanatic. But this quote especially resonates with me. It summarizes one of the biggest concepts I love about his teachings: what is the impact? I think rarely do we look at what we’re doing and ask, “what’s the purpose of this?” I think we’d find that many of the things we do actually give us little return in the bigger picture. To be frank, they waste time or distract us.
Hence, I’ve been thinking about the output of this job search . Lets look at the numbers:
- I applied to 21 jobs over 9 weeks (71% marketing related, 24% consulting related, and 5% other-related), which averaged to 2.33 jobs per week
- Of those 21, 4 resulted in an email response, 1 in-person interview, 1 informational interview, 2 phone interviews, and 3 upcoming interviews
- 3 of the 21 jobs “found me”
- 11% of the companies (2 of 19) were on my original list of “Companies I’m most excited about” (Uber & Tesla) while I became excited about 4 only after learning about them (Lenati, GlowForge, Avvo, & ZT Systems)
Not bad. Another area where I was successful was 1) building a professional network and 2) developing my personal brand. It’s been over 3 years since I’ve actively built my network and it was refreshing to turn the gears again. I was able to kindle minor but promising connections at 5 companies.
But now that we know where I found success, where did I fail? Well the goal was to “…get you a job that plays to your strengths and 2) that you’ll love” in 63 days. I did not achieve this in the time frame, BUT have gotten many steps closer. Finding a job you love is an ambitious venture and like dating, can take a while until you find a great catch.
I also failed these past 2 weeks in the Weekly Expectations. Going on vacation threw a big wrench in my rhythm and lagged the release of blog posts and application to jobs. I also am yet to join an industry-related organization in Seattle, something that could reap long term benefits but is tough in seeing the short-term gains.
So what have I learned the past 9 weeks? 3 lessons immediately come to mind:
- Knowing exactly what you want can greatly help filter out jobs that aren’t worth your time. An example was an insurance management consulting company that found me. They boasted some incredible starting salary and vaguely touched on what the job would be about. It was enough to reel me in until I learned the true nature of the job: selling life insurance (or something like that). This was very far from my mission so I had to tell him thank you but no thank you. A surprisingly empowering feeling.
- Implicit multipliers are powerful. Tailoring your resume to the specific job resulted in 3 companies getting back to me. True, it’s correlation not causation but I can’t help but to think that using the relevant keywords and “lingo” helped catch their eye (or their keyword machines).
- There’s clout in numbers. The success rate I found was pretty significant and I can only imagine what would happen if I applied to 100 jobs with the same amount of energy & vigor. Therefore, if I did this full-time for 40 hours, returns would be pretty strong.
And now what? I plan to start another 9-week internship. Why not? It’s a new quarter and I’m dedicated to reach the goal I set out 63 days ago. I’m going to resist focusing on the “input” and the distraction of being “busy for the sake of busy.” There’s a job out there that has my name on it. Even if I have to make it myself.
See you next year.