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How Can A Genius Be So Dumb? Does the Disruptor Need Disruption?

(Sidebar: Turns out pictures of Trump also show up when you search Google images for dumb.)

But I’m not talking about him. I’m talking about the guy who famously said that changing the world requires 80-hour weeks.  I wonder what the author of the 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss, would say about that. I’d have to imagine he has a portfolio full of case studies of people who are changing the world and working FEWER hours.

So Elon Musk, in case you didn’t realize who I quoted, is CEO of four different companies concurrently, all of which he has charged with disrupting industry. He’s one of the most innovative minds of our times, able to leverage the best in technology and science to do things most would have thought impossible. BUT, he seems completely ignorant of what science has proven about human performance optimization.

According to a Wired article, though Elon was able to finally achieve producing 5000 Model 3s in a week, his factory machinery and car features had been riddled with errors. His workers are avoiding any potential contact that could spark a firing tantrum. According to Tesla’s Glassdoor reviews, people are being micromanaged and turnover is high.  Do we even need science to know that these conditions do not lead to sustained success or growth?

It’s no wonder why he’d love nothing more than for someone to come along and take his open source designs and start a company to compete with him. Actually, I’d really love that, too. I’d love someone to come along and leverage his science and technology as well as neuroscience and human performance optimization techniques to surpass him and prove to him that not only can you can change the world in a reasonable work week, but you can do it faster and better, more collaboratively, and solve even more problems when your workforce is rested, inspired and encouraged to have enriching experiences outside of work, as science proves.

I wonder what would happen if workers were encouraged and supported in stretching every 25 minutes, exercising every morning, taking half-hour breaks 3 times per workday, and working a 35 hour work week.

I wonder what would happen if instead of being berated when something doesn’t work, workers were told to meditate or engage in a cathartic activity. I wonder how they might perform better if they were trusted to fix their own mistakes.

I wonder how much faster solutions would occur.

I wonder what would happen if he turned around his employment brand and was able to attract twice the genius to cover the same amount of hours, but put twice the brain power on issues and plans.

I wonder how many fewer mistakes would be made and how much faster production would be.

I wonder how much more profitable Tesla could be. I wonder if he would actually then acquire the GM plant and re-employ its workers but under favorable conditions. I wonder if he could do that with many other abandoned plants. I wonder if Detroit could have a second hay day as the Motor City.

I challenge any who have the experience, resources, and funding to disrupt the disruptor. Anyone up for it?

Aretha Franklin Chain Of Fools

Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain (Catena, catena, catena, …)

 

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

5 of the Craziest Ways People Found Jobs

Crazy Fools by Ian Wilson from Flickr

Crazy Fools by Ian Wilson from Flickr

 

Creativity and passion are important in distinguishing yourself while searching for your career or making a transition, but some job seekers take theirs to epic levels. While many insist on stating in their résumés and profiles that they are creative, innovative, think out of the box, etc., there are some job search heroes out there proving it. I scoured the internet for the craziest ways professionals sought their dream jobs. Here are five of my favorite stories.

1. Using an employer’s platform to showcase yourself.

 

Mike Freeman wanted a job as a Business Analyst at Shopify. Instead of sending the usual résumé that hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants use, he bucked the system and made himself a spectacle, a very creative and attractive spectacle. Freeman set up a store using Shopify’s own platform and used it to showcase himself. A bold and dazzling display on the storefront read “So I’ve noticed that Mike Freeman doesn’t work for you guys yet. Let’s fix that.” The clever job seeker went even further. Going beyond just listing his résumé, Freeman even gave employers the chance to book a meeting with him in-person. Fortunately, his boldness bred success and Freeman landed a marketing position at Shopify.

 

2. Launch a spectacular online campaign promoting yourself.

 

In 2011 Kimberly Ashdown was determined to work for Ashton Kutcher’s media company, Katalyst, as an intern. There was only one problem – she wasn’t currently a college student. The Creative Production Coordinator didn’t let a few minor details stop her. Ashdown launched several websites including iwannaworkatkatalyst.com, internuptopia.com and kimberlyashdown.wix.com in order to land her dream job as a Katalyst intern. Her efforts were rewarded, and she worked briefly for Kutcher before returning to her career as a Production Coordinator.

 

3. Infographics can be spectacular résumés.

 

Chris Spurlock was a senior journalist student at the University of Missouri in 2011. He showcased his ability to create infographics by creating a résumé with visual flair. The result was a spectacular infographic. Spurlock took his work a step further by posting his résumé to Huffington Post. It wasn’t long before the article went viral and garnered hundreds of tweets, thousands of likes on Facebook, and tens of thousands of views at Huffington Post. The popularity of the infographic résumé persuaded Traffic and Trends editor Craig Kanalley to hire Spurlock as the news organization’s Infographic Design Editor. Spurlock isn’t the first person to obtain his dream job by taking a visual route with his résumé. In 2010 a few other creative job seekers saw success by using infographic résumés, and I’m somewhat surprised the practice isn’t used more often. At Epic Careering we promote infographic one-page profiles as a very effective way to generate high-quality employment leads. Images are so much more memorable than text.

 

4. Stalk your potential employer using social media.

 

Max Crowley was a Systems Integration Consultant for Accenture when he wanted a change of pace in his professional life. Namely, he had his heart set on working for Uber, a relatively new startup company introduced in 2009. His previous role and company weren’t an obvious match for Uber, but he devised a strategy to overcome that challenge. When Crowley learned Uber would be launching in Chicago, he positioned himself to be hired. His endeavors included following Ryan Graves, Head of Operations, on Twitter, sending him e-mails, and showing up at recruiting events Graves attended. Crowley’s passionate determination paid off and he got the job as Uber’s Senior Community Manager. While this approach can produce favorable results, you must take care not to blur the line between pursuing a potential employer and being creepy. In my 2013 article, “Can this strange campaign advice land you work?,” I highlight the risks of digging too deeply into a decision-maker’s background.

 

5. Advertising yourself on Google’s AdWords.

 

Alec Brownstein was a Copywriter. His professional life at a large ad firm was not what he wanted. He wanted to work for genuinely innovative Creative Directors. Brownstein was also a fan of Googling the very Creative Directors for whom he dreamed of working. One day, the copywriter was hit by a stroke of genius. He noticed his favorite Creative Directors didn’t have sponsored links attached to their names. Using Google AdWords, Brownstein purchased the top advertising spots for the directors’ names and used the space to advertise himself. He figured the directors, like everyone else, Googled themselves and they would eventually see the sponsored ad. The effort literally cost him $6 and paid off a few months later when he was contacted by almost all of the Creative Directors he targeted. It wasn’t long before Brownstein was hired as a Senior Copywriter at Young & Rubicam (Y&R) New York.

 

When you look at how most people look for a job, it isn’t hard to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Focus on doing a few things well instead rather than reaching for a particular volume of activity. Volume does not equal desirable results; it’s not necessarily a numbers game! Work smart rather than hard. Creativity and passion can go a very long way in your career. We live in a world where all things are possible. Be bold. If these professionals can think outside of the box to land their dream jobs, so can you.

 

Job News December

 News summary, from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (12/13)

The national unemployment rate decreased significantly from 7.3% to 7.0% with 10.9 million unemployed.  The number of persons experiencing long spells of unemployment (over a year) increased slightly by 9,000 people to 2.8 million. 4.1 million individuals had been unemployed for 6 months or more in November, a slight increase of 3,000 over the month, and a huge decrease of 718,000 over the past 12 months. That means about 35% of those who became unemployed 6 months ago are still unemployed today. They are, however, competing with 400,000 fewer job seekers than they were in July when the unemployment rate was 7.6% and 11.8 million were unemployed.

 

The average number of weeks that job seekers are staying unemployed has increased over the month to 37.2, which is still about a week and half shorter than last year, while the median increased to 17 weeks. Such a difference may reflect that for most industries and geographies, job seekers may be able to transition within five to six months. However, about 23% of job seekers may not be able to effectively execute a transition campaign or may be in adversely impacted geographies or shrinking markets, creating challenges to transitioning that lead to extremely long spells of unemployment.