Career growth happens with small, consistent, compounding gains punctuated by big leaps. We want to help you along your journey by sharing our favorite resources and career guides.
Sometimes you are in a career phase where sticking to the daily work is going to take you to the next level. But sometimes, when we look inside ourselves, we realize it is time to make a big leap.
Is it time for one of those big leaps for you?
You don’t have to know in a crystal clear sense what you want, as long as you know directionally: I want to be doing less of X and more of Y.
Can you take this leap immediately or can you start gaining skills and ideas and connections to make this happen?
Do you need to:
Wherever you are in this process, we want to share some resources that are some of the best kept secrets out there.
Here are some quick links to the show:
P.S. Don’t forget to give the show five stars (or six)! 😉
Welcome to Career Crashers, where we tell the stories of those who are not content to wait around following rules and hoping for good things to happen. Great careers aren’t found. They’re forged.
It’s time to crash the party.
Hey, career crashers, excuse me, probably shouldn’t open a podcast clearing my throat. But you know what we keep it real here on Career Crashers.
So I want to just talk a little bit about really crushing the job hunt process, but not just the job hunt process, like the whole broader process of taking a next step in your career journey. So the whole idea of just making progress, like where you are now, what is the next thing, what would represent growth, what would represent leveling up moving in the right direction, doing less of what you hate and more of what you love.
That whole process kind of tends to happen in chunks, yes, you’re progressing every day, little by little, hopefully, you’re adding a little value to yourself every day, hopefully, you’re doing a little less the things you hate, and a little more of things you love. Every day, hopefully, you’re gaining a lot of self knowledge and self honesty, you’re building skill, adding value.
But those things tend to happen over the course of let’s call it a season. If you think in a sports analogy, where you’re getting better throughout the season, and then that’s punctuated with a big step, a new contract, a trade to a better team, the acquisition of a new teammate, right, you have these big moments that kind of represent the payoff from all the hard work you put in during the previous season, even though it was compounding daily, you get kind of a larger leap, where it kind of pays off as a renegotiation of some kind, and a big leap to a bigger challenge where now you’ve sort of, you’ve sort of gone with small daily challenges to get better and better and better in the minor leagues, and then boom, you have a huge jump in challenge.
Now you’re in the major leagues, and you’ve got a whole new level that you’re playing at. And that’s kind of how I think about the career journey. It’s, it’s both consistent, continual, contiguous, where it’s, it’s just a series of small things that are happening all the time. But it’s also punctuated by large leaps and movements, and opportunities and threats, and all kinds of things that happen, big changes can happen fast, as all of the sort of potential energy of the fuel of a bunch of small changes happening over time throughout your day throughout your life has these these temporary bursts.
Okay, so what does all this vague theoretical stuff mean? It means wherever you are now, if you look forward and say, okay, for the next unit of time, whatever unit of time works for you, when I was younger, it was always six months, as I’ve gotten older now, it’s like one to two years, I think in. And if you look at the next unit of time, and say, for the next year, for the next year, for the next 12 months, what do I think is the most valuable use of my time?
Now that forces you to ask a lot other questions. How do I define value? What am I trying to achieve? What am I trying to do? And before you get overwhelmed by feeling like you have to have some one single overarching goal or value, I mean, it is valuable to examine your desires and your preferences and your core values and that way, but you don’t necessarily have to know in a crystal clear sense what that is.
As long as you sort of know directionally. I want to be doing less of x and more of y. And then you can ask how can I best be positioned to do those things? Can I can I immediately move myself into something where I can do less of x and more of y?
Or can I begin to gain skills and ideas and connections and things that will make that more possible down the road? Is there a change I need to make right now? Do I need to quit my job? Should I find another job? Do I need to start a company do I need to start freelancing? Do I need to start side projects go I need to plant some seeds to be able to do those things soon.
So wherever you’re at in that process, I want to share some some resources that honestly are like some of the best kept secrets out there. I’m not just saying that because they’re on crash.co. I had a hand in creating some of them. But these had been created really they’re the result of years and years and years of personal career struggles by the people who created them, myself included, as well as working with literally 1000s of young people all across the spectrum on their careers.
And not just young people interviewing hundreds of people on podcast being interviewed hundreds of times in depth career coaching and placement for hundreds of people, you know, feedback and interaction and conversation with 1000s of people being on both sides of hiring, being hired, starting businesses, investing in businesses, starting freelancing, hiring freelancers being on all sides of all these things, digital nomads remote teams, in person, you know, nonprofits, corporations, like the experiences that created the resources I’m about to talk about are really vast. I think these are a combination of enduring insights. And incredibly, up to the moment prescient, relevant current insights.
What I’m talking about are the career guides at crash.co/career-guides. And what we’ve put together are kind of a series of one stop shop. And when I say that, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing else you can get anywhere else a value. It’s more like, this is where you start where you get the template. And you can kind of see what’s relevant within there to you and all of these point to other resources for specific areas if you want to go down the rabbit hole.
But there’s, there’s kind of two categories of career guides we have here. One are career guides to careers in certain roles. And I’m going to talk about those in a sec, I’m going to go through those first. And the other our career guides to particular parts of the process of winning next career opportunity. So remember, I talked about you kind of have this, every day, you’re doing some stuff to make yourself more valuable, and your life is changing. The economy is changing in little, little ways. And then you have these big punctuated moments, the renegotiation of a contract, quitting a job starting a job, those big leaps, these career guides are all about those big leaps.
And the first series of them is about how to think about the roles that you may be leaping into. What are the hottest, most relevant categories of types of work, types of skills, and interests that you have? Where are those valued in the market, what big buckets are those placed in, so that when you make those leaps, it’s sort of where you’re leaping to.
And the other career guides are about what happens in that leap. What are all the things that you’ve got to do, you’ve got to, you know, to win opportunities, you’ve got to win attention by showing what you can do, you’ve got to master the interview process, the negotiation process, the follow up process. So we’ve got career guides that kind of go through all that.
So the first category of career guides the roles, there are six of them. And these are the buckets that we have really found consistently these are, these are imperfect. This Is us drawing lines around labels that are used frequently. And they’re pretty broad labels. But they’re there sufficient to help you kind of boil down and to help you match your personality, to what opportunities out there in the marketplace.
Because the first step in any one of these big leaps, is discovery. And you’ve got to discover both yourself and the market. What do you like? What are you good at what comes easier to you than other people? Right? The nexus that I always talk about of the three things, stuff you don’t hate, stuff you don’t suck at, and stuff people will pay you for? Where does that nexus leave you?
And then when you look at that, and you say, Oh, I love solving technical problems with a high level of detail and figuring out new coding languages comes easier to me than most. Great. Now, you know that about yourself. But what does that mean, in the market? in the market? Are there people willing to pay for that? And what do they call it when they pay for that? Where would you put that?
There’s actually a couple places you might put that set of skills. Could be operations, it could be software engineering, those are a couple big buckets. I mean, it could also be in in marketing, it could be in some other places as well. But when you can find those large buckets, that kind of, Okay, here’s my most likely, here’s the area where I’m most likely to hit the target the most frequently.
You know what I mean? That’s kind of how I think about it. Like, okay, given like my personality, sales and marketing are the two areas the two very broad buckets where I’m most likely to check off the don’t hate it, don’t suck at it, and people will pay me for it buckets. I’m talkative. I like to write. I’m highly competitive. I am very action biased. I’m not a detail oriented person. I am a people person. I’m very interested in psychology, I’m fairly persuasive. These are things that go really well in both of those buckets.
And for most people, I found there’s usually two dominant buckets to sort of roll buckets that they could fit fairly well, and sometimes only one. But for the most part, most people have about two that they tend to fit really well in. And everything else tends to get less and less, you can find niches with any within any of them. But that’s one of the things our discover quiz is kind of all about. Saying, Hey, here’s your personality based on that, here’s a couple career buckets that we think you might be a good fit in.
But anyway, so we have six career guides, marketing, sales, design, operations, customer success, and software engineering. And these are guides to getting your career started in these very broad buckets. And just to give you a sense for when I say these are broad buckets, you know, I’m going to click on one of them. I’m going to click on the operations guide here.
While I’ve got you, each of these career guides kind of starts with a little framing just a little narrative that describes a person. Hey, do you know somebody who’s, you know, always organizing everything, when you and your friends get together, they’re, you know, planning everything out, they’re very everything’s on a spreadsheet. This might be the type of person that would excel in operations, kind of to tell you the type of personality that is often a good fit in there.
And then each of these career guides really is broken into sections, an overview of a career in startup operations. And we’re focusing mostly on startups, because those are just a shorthand for dynamic growing companies with lots of opportunity doesn’t have to be a startup. But that’s that’s kind of the shorthand. Career paths and startup operations that kind of tells you where people who start in operations, the various places that they often end up again, none of this is set in stone, right? I mean, you you can’t predict where your career is going to go.
But this is just sort of looking at what have other people who have who have done this, Where have they gone? What are the various paths? A salary snapshot. What are kind of the various earning potentials at some of these levels? Getting started in operations, the skills, every operations professional needs, the operations software toolset. And every one of these career guides has these here are the key skills utilized in this role. Here are the key pieces of software that you should probably know or can can learn.
And we have them categorized in different categories. And you can poke around and look at all these. All kinds of online reading learning resources, we’re linking to. Top podcasts, essential reading lists, thought leaders to follow on Twitter and elsewhere. Companies who we think have great products or processes in that in operations. In this case, career success stories, and then what to do next.
Each of these guides goes through these. We tell you, Hey, if you’re interested in marketing, here’s a bunch of Twitter accounts to follow. Here’s a bunch of podcasts. Here’s the essential reading list, here are some companies that you might want to look at.
So each of these career guides really goes through this. And again, don’t be hung up on the labels, it’s almost unfortunate that we have to use labels. But you kind of have to, because it’s too long to say, you know, things that people will pay you for if you have a high level of attention to detail, some analytical skill rigorously organized. Well, you know, like, that’s a mouthful.
And there’s a lot of different titles that fit underneath, you know, say operations as a broad bucket. I mean, accounting, finance, billing, business operations, sales, operations, marketing operations, revenue operations, human resources, information technology, recruiting, office management, executive assistance, billing clerks, there’s all kinds of title variation in there. And we actually list this on a chart in the guide.
But for a bucket like operations is essentially people whose job is to make sure the internal components of the business the business of the business is flowing well. Not so much the products themselves that customers are consuming, not so much going and getting new customers. But how the internal functions work. That’s kind of the you know, if you imagine a business as a ship, the you know, the operations people are plugging the leaks and making sure that everybody knows how to properly hoist the mainsail, you know, it’s not about where we’re going. It’s not about you know, navigating, it’s about making sure that things are working anyway.
So that’s just an example of one of the career guides. And these guides are just truly, truly phenomenal. Like, I wish I had had these when I was younger, I had to stumble through, oh my gosh, and college is useless at this kind of stuff. I went to the Career Center, I looked at different majors I, I just picked majors because like the words, the classes and I thought a major was going to have some impact on my career. Turns out it doesn’t at all.
And I didn’t know until well into my career, that these kind of conceptual buckets even existed ways to thinking as ways to think about how the market demands and rewards certain combinations of skills.
So I would highly encourage you go poke around and if there’s one that you just kind of like software engineering, that might be me. Design, sales. I’ve always felt kind of icky about sales. But people tell me I’m really good with people. Let me let me just go click on let me learn.
Dive in and explore these guides are truly phenomenal. And they’re the kind of kind of reference material that you can keep coming back to, you know, looking at those lists of resources, looking at the software tools, and we keep them relevant, we keep them up to date.
Okay, the second bucket of career guides, we have our two parts of the process. And we have five guides right now how to make a great digital resume, don’t make a resume at all make a digital pitch, which you’ll get into in there, but we’re using we’re using the words everyone’s familiar with. Make a great digital resume, how to write and send a great cover letter. And again, the resume is the part of the process. That’s essentially, how do you build a body of work? How do you build a signal that represents the value you have in the market?
So you’ve identified particular role areas that you think your skills and interest would match up to. How do you signal that to them? Because remember, in the market, all that matters are two things, your ability to create value, and your ability to prove it. That’s it, you got to be able to create value, and you gotta be able to persuade people of that. So if you’ve, if you’ve gained some skills, and you figured out, hey, I actually can create value, you know, I have some of the attributes and skills needed to be good at sales, I can create value there. Now, how do you convince people that?
Guess what you don’t need fancy education credentials, you don’t even need work experience that’s in that specific area. You can build a body of work. A digital body of work that showcases that signals very tangibly that you have the personality traits, the interest, the forward, tilt the skills necessary. And you can build something so powerful that people don’t even ask about your work experience or about your educational history if you do it well.
And so, the guide to making a great digital resume is all about building that body of work. That kind of is continually updated as you grow. But it’s your digital footprint. It’s your it’s your digital, it’s your Ironman suit, it’s the layer of technology that you put over your natural skills to enhance them, to amplify them and to show them off to the world. And that’s a continual process of keeping that refreshed and having something so that when people Google you, they find something that shows what you’re good at what you’re valuable for, and that has this perpetual opportunity to lead opportunities.
And then writing and sending a great cover letter, again, phrase, the word cover letter, boring, throw it out, burn, it sounds like paper. But we’re using the word that people are familiar with. What that means is something that you send to one company, whereas the resume or the body of work is sort of more of a enduring. This is what I’m all about the cover letter. And again, we use pitch instead.
How do you send a great cover letter? You don’t. You send a pitch instead. This guide is all about how to tailor and craft and send a pitch to a company to a person that they can’t say no to that makes them say, Alright, I’ve got to interview this person. And it walks through how to do that.
We have three additional career guides in this kind of steps of the process category. How to prepare for and pull off a successful job interview. And I wrote this one myself, and I love interviews. I love getting them. I love both sides of it. And I talked about how one of my most successful interviews was a interview where I didn’t get hired for the job. And it was successful because I accomplished what a good interview should accomplish. I learned about them, and they learned about me. And we both learned that we didn’t want this relationship together.
And so we got the right outcome, we discovered that there wasn’t a fit, and we walked away, not not trying to make one. That’s a successful interview. If you discover there is a fit, you walk away and you make one that’s a successful interview as well. But this breaks down how to be perfectly prepared for the interview, the different types of interview questions you’re likely to get an examples of those. So you can prepare. There’s several different categories of interview questions, advice for virtual interviews, in particular, a lot of people just miss really simple things. General advice for all job interviews, and then a whole bunch of things to avoid during interviews.
And again, this is just a great, you’ve got an interview lined up. This is some really useful stuff to help you nail it and to help you master that specific slice of the process. How and when to negotiate job offers. I wrote this one as well. And this is also something that I enjoy. Knowing how and when negotiation ought to play a role in this process. You can kill yourself by negotiating too much or too early. You can also hurt yourself by not negotiating at all or too late. And this guide tries to help take away the stress and the pressure and make this fun and playful and help you not feel threatened by negotiation but actually enjoy it.
And then how to follow up on the job hunt. Yeah, you’ve gotten somebody interested. How do you follow up? How do you run process, they’ve, you’ve showed them your body of work, or you’ve showed them a pitch and they’ve said, interesting. I’d like to learn more. And they ghost for a while, then they disappear. This is really normal.
How often should you follow up? Should you email them immediately? Should you email them every day? Until they respond? Should you call them and text them and show up at their house? Right? Like, Is that weird? Is that creepy? How much is too much? Everybody has these questions. And this is a great guide to helping you not giving you an exact playbook. It’s it’s always gonna be unique, but giving you some tools and frameworks to think about it and helping you put yourself in the shoes of the other party, which is really what this process is all about.
Thinking like the other side of the table and understanding how they feel, what motivates them, what causes them to take notice or not. So again, the follow up component, a lot of people are like, cool, I sent in my thing, and they email me back and said, they’ll look it over and get back with me. And then they wait. And their whole job hunt consists, like 90% of it is just waiting. That’s crappy. You don’t want that you want to be running a process.
You want to go deep, send tailored pitches, follow up, follow up with other people at that company, and have this going for four or five companies simultaneously, where you’re really doing a phenomenal diligent job running a process for those handful of opportunities. That same for freelance clients. Same for investors, we’re trying to start a company, you run a process, you don’t just blast out and wait till somebody says, Okay, I’ll get back with you. And then just sit around powerless.
The follow up, the ownership of the process is really, really key. So I just wanted to encourage you, I’m not just on this episode here to show these crash career guides, although I think they’re awesome. crash.co/career-guides.
But I wanted to just frame up kind of thinking about what is career crashing mean, it’s not just about getting a job or applying in an interesting way. Career crashing is about taking ownership of your life and career trajectory, doesn’t mean plotting exactly where it’s going to go and stick it on that course that’s not possible. And that’d be boring anyway.
But it’s about moving directionally, towards something exciting and interesting and a resonant with who you are, and you being the force that makes that happen. And you can do that by increasing the luck surfaces. So random things happen that end up opening opportunities you never knew about. But two things.
One, you got to increase those luck surfaces. So that happens more frequently. And two, when those lucky events happen, you got to know how to act on them. And then there are a lot of events that aren’t luck at all. They’re really just hard work and persistence. And that whole combination of like, deliberate focus on trying to move in a particular direction or move away from a bad direction, consistent progress, maximizing your luck surface, maximizing your ability to take advantage of luck creating your own luck by going and winning things.
This whole churning process has that gradual, gradual, gradual, big leap, gradual, gradual, gradual, big leap, and I want you to think about is it time for one of those big leaps. Is it time right now? Like close your eyes and really think I don’t want to get weird, but close your eyes and really think about this for a minute. Just close your eyes. And think. And ask yourself am I in a spot where just a little compounding growth and improvement every day, is just what the doctor ordered? Keep the pace just keep moving little by little.
Or am I in a spot where it’s time for a big leap? Am I in a spot where it’s time to shake off some shackles, am I in a spot where it’s time to jump into the unknown? Am I in a spot where I need to get away from something that I know is not serving me that’s draining my energy and move towards something that’s a little less bad? Even if I don’t know how good it’s gonna be yet? Am I in a spot where I can see something on the horizon, I can sniff opportunity in the air. I don’t know exactly what it is. I know in my gut, I know in my heart of hearts, it’s time for a leap.
If you’re in a leap spot, if you know deep down, that you ought to make a leap. Go over and check out some of these career guides. Go start looking at some of those roles that might be good for you. Start thinking about how to build that body of work. Start thinking about how you might pitch companies and opportunities even for side work even for projects. In the meantime, while you’re thinking about it this just get a wedge in there and start if you really get going in the process. How do you handle interviews and negotiation and follow up and the whole process.
But whether or not you check out these guides, I want you to check out your own internal guide. That was a nice cheesy play on words. Check out your internal guide and ask yourself what one if you’re not making small, incremental progress every day at all, we’ll just start doing that no matter what, there is nothing, no excuse that should ever stop you from doing that. Just start doing it. Blog every day, do a few push ups every day, learn something new every day, learn to play around with a new software skill every day, whatever it is at work outside of work. add value every day, just be doing a little something.
But really ask yourself really be honest and don’t ask but how but why but oh my gosh, don’t don’t think about what it means. Don’t think about the implications. Just start with the question. Do I need one of those big leaps? Is this a moment where a big move takes place? Ask yourself that question. If the answer is yes. set about figuring out how to do it. Don’t cloud your mind with the solutions yet. Just ask the question. If the answer is yes. Then you go and start poking around for the how.
Like what you hear? Go to crash.co and join the career revolution. Do you want to share your own career crash story? Send it directly to me at email@example.com.
If you’ve got a story you’d like to share, don’t hesitate! Email Isaac at Isaac [at] Crash [dot] co.
You can stay up-to-date on every Career Crasher episode as it launches here.