The masses seem to believe getting hired these days is like winning the lottery. They're thankful when it happens, but their chances are astronomical.

This is simply not true. If you want a job, they're out there. If you want a job with someone who's doing things a little differently, the jobs are definitely out there.

But that's not good enough. That's not actionable. Based on conversations with myself (don't worry, I don't *usually* have them out loud or in public) and some of my entrepreneur friends, here is how to get a job in any job climate:

Step 1) Stop thinking like the masses.

The masses believe getting hired is difficult because the masses go about it just like everyone else, which is why they're "the masses." It's difficult to stand out from a crowd when there are hundreds or thousands of applicants for a single position. You might be thinking, "Well, that's how the job application is set up. What am I supposed to do?"

That's a great question. Lots of companies are still living in the 1900s and aren't interested in hiring exceptional people in an exceptional way. It's your choice whether you want to work for a dinosaur or not. (And even if you do, I still think my thoughts in this article are relevant.)

If you look at thought leaders like Seth Godin or Ramit Sethi, do you think they hire people in the traditional way? Not a chance.

Even big companies like Viacom are getting the picture. Last year Jen McCoy wanted to move from Florida to New York City to work for a company doing social media. She had no prospects lined up and didn't have many contacts. What she did was create a website stating her plans and within weeks MTV (owned by Viacom) hired her to run their MTV News twitter as well as write articles for their website. Was that position listed on Monster or any other job seeker website? Maybe, but probably not. As far as I know Jen created that job out of thin air by being creative ...

Which brings me to my next step ...

Step 2) Get creative, even if you're not.

I hate it as much as anybody when somebody tells me to "get creative" or "think outside of the box." For the most part those are baseless, empty, useless statements from someone who has nothing of value to say. Also, I'm not a particularly creative person so when somebody says that it particularly irks me.

The beauty of the masses is they make it easy for you to get creative because they're so incredibly, uncreatively, lame.

How does the following look for the regular job hunt? Search online, submit resume, wait. Search online, submit resume, wait. Search online, submit resume, wait.

Does that work? Yes, sometimes. Is it creative? Not at all. Does it put you in any kind of position of power? No way.

Another example of getting creative: Susan Lewis wanted a job. Nothing special there, right? But Susan Lewis got creative, and instead of "looking for a job" she decided to "hire a boss." Much more fun, right? Beyond that, she created the website SusanHiresABoss.com, got the word out, and guess what? She found a boss.

Here's the simple reason why any smart entrepreneur or manager will always hire people like Jen or Susan: they need creative people who take action! Which brings me to ...

Step 3) Get off your ass and do something.

If nobody knows you exist nobody will hire you. Setting up a website and reaching out to people publicly seems like a daunting task, but you can break it down into smaller, less-daunting tasks. Just get it done.

Bonus: Do This and I Guarantee You Will Get A Job Within The Next 60 Days

This is definitely not for the masses. This is for the bad asses. Work for free.

Not forever, of course, but for a single project or X amount of time. A "trial run" so to speak.

Example:

Let's say someone came to me (or created a website or blog post) and said:

Karol, I want to be your affiliate manager. I don't have any experience right now so I'd work for free for 60 days. Here is what I would do in those 60 days:
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Etc.
After the 60 days are up we can discuss if you'd like to hire me on for the future. If not, we go our separate ways with no hard feelings.
How likely do you think I would be to hire someone who put together a risk free proposal such as this? I'll give you a hint: I'd hire them.

Am I even looking for an affiliate manager? Not necessarily. But I'd be dumb not to accept a well thought out proposal that has virtually no downside to me.

By the way, this same type of thing will work for almost any position, not just an affiliate manager. Just think "what's in it for them?" What can you offer the potential employer? How can you increase their business or save them money or save them time? Smart business people want all of that and more.

Working for free also gets you over the biggest stumbling block any entrepreneur or hiring manager has: "Will this person be a good fit?" It's impossible to answer that question before hiring somebody. Once someone is hired it's a big mess to fire them. But if you put all the risk on your shoulders it's completely up to you if you keep the job.

What's it gonna be? Are you going to complain there are no jobs or are you going to create the job you want?

BTW, here's a proposal I wrote for HowAboutWe.com today. This isn't exactly what I'm talking about in this article, but then, I'm not looking for a job. Update (11:25am): They already got back to me. They said they'll support the project on their site, but won't pay for any of it. :)

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