What I say to people who are looking for a job

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I took a turn in my career, not a complete 180°, but around 60°.

I started off in corporate finance doing analytics on budgets, and now I’m in the world of data science doing analytics on user behavior.

After I got my new role, I did a video explaining my process on how to get a job. Today, a lot of people have questions about their journey as they try and navigate a new career for themselves.

Most questions follow the same format. Here are my responses to the most common:

“Greg, I don’t know what I want to do”

  • Ok, no problem. Make a list of the top 30 specific activities you’re interested in, yes 30.

    • “Building things” isn’t an activity. “Building furniture” or “Building a web app” is an activity.

  • Rank them in order of most interesting to least interesting (prioritization).

  • One by one, spend a week on the top 6 items learning everything you can about the topic.

    • Google, “[this activity I like] for dummies” and learn for a week.

    • Hint: If you can’t get through the whole week, you probably didn’t like it that much.

  • After each week of an activity, rank it 1-10 on how much you still like it.

  • Take the top 3 you still like and then do those for 2 more weeks.

  • Goal: Find what gives you energy. Following your energy (not a specific task) is the key to finding what you’re stoked on.

“Hey Greg, my job is lame, I would rather be doing XYZ”

  • Greg: “Awesome that sounds great. Don’t leave your job yet. Take up XYZ as a side project, and continue with it until you can’t possibly do both.”

  • Goal: Make sure you have energy for your XYZ ambition. Make sure you do before you go for it.

“Greg, I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to get there?”

  • Talk to as many people as possible in the field that you want to get into.

    • What do they say about your next step?

    • Here’s a “cold start” process from a programmer's perspective. It applies to anyone

  • I have no idea what’s the next step for the thing you want to do, but I know where to find the answer, and it’s through people already in the field.

“Greg, I want to leave work and go travel”

  • Been there done that. It’s fun while it lasts, the re-entry can be hard. It’s takes a lot of work when you come back.

  • Do you already have something lined up for when you come back? If so, then yes, get offline and leave now. I’ll buy you a bottle of champagne when you’re there.

  • If not, then it still sounds fun, but understand it is going to be tough coming back.

“Hey Greg, I want to do data science”

  • First off ask yourself, “what is data science?” Once you understand there is no right answer move to the next step.

  • Then, read this entire PDF (it changed my life) if you’ve done all the exercises and it still calls to you and, then...

  • Start a side project and make it marketable online, send it to as many people that will look at it.

  • Along the way you’ll find The Path