The Illusion of The Perfect Job

In our eight-week program, the first step of the journey to find a job is to take literally any job. The reason for this is that any job will give you some income, help you learn the language and also help you make friends. In response to this, I have heard several people say that they want something related to their degree and don’t just want to take any job.

If you feel this way, I understand you. You have been putting a long time into working for a degree and developing a certain skill set. I want you to succeed with finding a job where you can apply your skills.

Not Finding a Job After Graduation

However, I also want to tell you a personal story. After graduating University, I was doing entrepreneurial experiments that, how should I say this nicely, didn’t go so well. More about that another time. But, in the Winter of 2012, I needed any job. So, I took any job. I just needed the cash.

With 3 years of education at University, I started to work as a bartender. I was basically back to the step I was before University, where I also was working as a bartender. This was a big turn on my ego, not being able to support myself with the skills that I developed at University. I felt bad about that.

So, here I was. Student debt, education and a job that I could have gotten three years ago. I felt like I hadn’t made any progress. Yes, I can be a bit hard on myself.

I got the chance to try out the bartending job for some nights. They told me that they wanted to have me on the team and it was time to talk about salary expectations. I talked with the owner of the place that was suggesting a salary way lower than I expected. Lower than the agreements made with the unions. I didn’t want to put up with that salary, so I tried negotiating but I got nothing in response.

So, I told them how they could afford my pay and make their staff happier without decreasing cost. In this place, a beer was 50 kr. This is a problem in a bar, because if a person pays with a 100 kr note then they will not give any tips. That was a problem because one thing that makes bartending a well-paid job is getting tips and we were not getting any tips at all. The second problem was, if they would increase the price by just a little, people would probably buy equally as much beer. What about doing a 55 kr beer? With a quantity of 1 000 beers per night, that would be 5 000 kr extra per night. More than enough to cover the market salary that I was asking for and make some extra profits. In fact, increasing the revenue every Friday and Saturday would bring in an additional revenue of 40 000 kr.

Finding a Way To Apply Your Skills

The point is, you decide when you want to apply your skill set or not. Going to business school made me think about things like revenue, costs, and profits. But also, how to keep the staff happy. To me, the true benefit of an education is not being able to fill a specific role at a company. The benefit on an education is the same as getting a new pair of glasses. Having an education in a specific area combined with your unique life story makes you see the world differently from everyone else. That unique view that you have, that is so what you want to share with the world.

So, when I saw this bar I was looking at it from my business school worldview. I thought about how increasing the prices would increase the revenue, because the demand for beer in a bar don’t really change that much with a 5 kr increase. At the same time, bartenders has expectations that they will be paid according to union agreements and get tips. I don’t think I would have seen it in the same way 10 years before.

The Illusion of the Perfect Job

I had this illusion that there was a perfect job. An illusion I created for myself. I told myself that I needed some specific job or position in order to apply my skills and grow. That wasn’t true. I realized that I could apply my skills in pretty much any setting. Even ones that I thought I couldn’t.

For instance, I talked to an owner of a pizzeria for some months ago. He told me that he had paid hundreds of thousands Swedish kr in order to have a customized system for ordering pizza online. Any person that is working there could probably have saved that pizza guy a large part of that cash. If you are technologically savvy, building a pizza ordering site shouldn’t be hundreds of thousands today. Similar problems and solutions can be found literally anywhere.

What to do?

My advice is this:

If you are an engineer, find an engineering problem to solve.

If you are a marketer, find a marketing problem to solve.

If you are an architect, find an architect problem to solve.

Whatever your skills are, find a way to apply them.

Don’t go around waiting for someone to give you a position in which you can apply your skills. Apply your skills in whatever setting you are currently in. Whether that is being unemployed, being a part of a nonprofit organization, being in SFI, or in a job where you think your skills doesn’t apply.

One thing that really surprised me is this person that with no help from other people built a self-driving car all by himself in his garage. It goes to show that literally, anything is possible. We don’t need a job to apply our skills.

We just need the right mindset.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *