I’d like to pick up where Bijan left off yesterday in his “Looking for a job? Be helpful" post. Bijan’s recommendations are spot on for anyone out there trying to land a job. But there are unfortunately more qualified people looking for jobs today than there are opportunities available.
So what to do if you can’t get the gig you want?
My first piece of advice is practical. Focus on the company more than the job. Try and find a job at a great company even if it is beneath your skill and experience level. And when you get there, as GaryVee would say, crush it! Your performance will stand for itself, and if it’s truly a great company you’ll be rewarded with more work and responsibility than you can handle.
My second and more important piece of advice is largely impractical and especially relevant for those that can’t get into the companies they want. Disappear. Go to Europe, Asia or Africa, somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, take a menial job to pay for room and board and just get out there. Learn about other parts of the world, other people and most importantly yourself. You may never have another opportunity to do so.
This is especially true for students with limited work experience just coming out of school. I took a year off in between high school and college and moved out to Israel. It is to this day one of the best things I have ever done. I learned more about myself that year than I ever have. I would encourage anyone who can to do the same. It’ll make you more well rounded, thoughtful and interesting.
Another thing worth thinking about is public service. There are some very unique opportunities to get involved today with the new administration and the herculean challenges ahead. I met some Harvard students traveling from Boston to NYC the other day and asked them what had changed in terms of career paths for graduating seniors given the current economic crisis. They almost in unison told me that more students were pursuing public service opportunities. This is fantastic. Our country needs bright, young, energetic folks to get involved. And this is a great opportunity for graduates to get their careers going, meet incredible people and give back.
Not having the gig you want is a great opportunity to do what you never thought you would. So get out there and seize the moment. It will reward you in spades in the long run.
Carol Bartz, Carol Bartz’s F-Bomb (YHOO) - SAI, 4/22/09
I really like Carol Bartz. Smart, results-oriented and an open communicator – to the troops, the press and the Street. I’m rooting for her.
In the current New York Magazine, there’s great feature called “My First New York,” which took familiar faces from the city and asked them to write about their first experiences after moving here. So, for my own record, and anybody else who’d be interested, I’m going to type out mine. Reblog and do the same!
After graduating college, I moved to San Diego, along with my friends Josh and Jake, to work on our business. We lived in a bro-filled beach town called Pacific Beach. Though it was nice to ride my bike along the water every night at sunset, the environment wasn’t one conducive to being a driven entrepreneur. Josh used to sum up San Diego by saying that a twenty-something who was super motived there would tend bar three nights a week instead of two. As the year-long lease on our apartment came to a close, we all had a similar “maybe this place isn’t for us” feeling. One night Josh and I went on Craigslist to see if it was possible to live in New York. When Jake returned home that night we told him “Guess where we’re moving next month.”
External imageJosh was dispatched to NYC to look for apartments for us and our partner Zach, who had just graduated and would move in with us. Josh called back with two housing options. The funny thing about looking for apartments in New York when you know nothing about the city is that all the neighborhoods sound pretty much the same. The two choices were either a mediocre apartment at 32nd and Madison (right near Penn Station!) or a loft in Tribeca. We chose the Tribeca loft not because of its location, but because the photos of a similar apartment on another floor featured a billiards table. Because we were a bunch of kids, the landlord made us pay the entire year up front in cash.
In August 2004, we arrived in New York. Only there was one catch — our new loft wouldn’t be fully constructed until October, so we had to find a sublet in the meantime. We rented a beautiful apartment around Hudson and Canal for $3500/month from a French family who was abroad (here’s the apartment, though now pricier). The space was great, but the bed situation wasn’t ideal — one air mattress, one child-size top-bunk-only bunk bed, and a California King in the master bedroom. Jake and Zach argued over who had to sleep in the child-size top bunk (I think they ended up alternating) while Josh and I shared the king bed. Yep, that’s right, Josh and I slept in the same bed for three months.
A few weeks into our stay at the sublet, we found out that Jay-Z had purchased the Penthouse of the building and was currently renovating it. We made friends with the doorman and got a key to that floor. I’ve probably listened to Jay-Z more than any other artist in my life, so this was a huge thrill for me. At night, we would go up to “Shawn’s Place” as we called it, to talk about our business plans. It was the ideal venue for dreaming big.
Like any fresh NYC transplant, we went to the worst possible places to socialize. The four of us would either walk out of our apartment and into some generic bar on Houston Street or join other recent college grads at Upper East Side hellholes like Dorian’s or McFadden’s. But of course we didn’t think they were awful at the time. Everything was still new and exciting to us. Your first year in New York is great because there’s so much you think you and your friends discovered, like “a great little burger place called Corner Bistro” or “the best corn in the world at this place Cafe Habana.”
When our live/work loft was ready to be moved into, Josh and Zach went out and got furniture. We didn’t really know how to fill a 5000 sq. ft. loft, but we . There were some funny things about that apartment, one being the that Josh’s mom had given us and we didn’t know what else to do with. Everyone who came over would ask why we had it and nobody really had a good reason. And because of that, it kinda grew on us.
We would throw one party every season in the apartment, and some were among the best parties I’ve ever been to. For our first shindig we didn’t realize that putting an open invitation on the internet for a New York apartment party wasn’t a good idea and the next morning we woke up to find our place a disaster. I recall wondering how Cocoa Puffs could do so much damage to a wall. For the next party, we got our muscular super to be our bouncer and everything worked out.
One day we got an email from Nick Denton, who wondered how we had sent so much traffic to his then relatively new site called Gawker. We decided to meet him in Soho for drinks — our first New York business drinks! We waited around for a half hour and he didn’t show. When we got home, it turned out Josh had messed up the daylight savings in his Outlook and we were there an hour later than we should have been. Our first socialization outside of our existing friend group and we blew it. We felt like such amateurs. Luckily, Nick was understanding and we later met up. I remember he told us that we were a media company (we always thought we were an internet company) and he’d introduce us to other “media” people.
One person Nick introduced us to was Rebecca Mead, a New Yorker writer, who found us peculiar enough to make the subject of a profile piece. To give you a sense of how little I knew about The New Yorker, or journalism in general, I remember giving Rebecca a piece of paper with “fun facts” about us to help out with her story (of which she used zero). When that article was published, it served as our “coming out” to the city. When we’d meet people at parties, we would no longer have to explain what we did because they had read about us. I think it was at that point that the four of us felt comfortable leaving the security of the quartet and creating our own individual New York experiences.
A great New York story. Even better parties.
Facebook’s capital situation is again the topic du jour. Techcrunch is reporting that the company received term sheets at a $2B valuation, SAI has it at $4B and the blogs are of course having a field day. My take:
Notwithstanding their race to cash flow positive, Facebook will need more capital to build it’s business. The key choice for them is whether they raise private capital now, figure out monetization and then go public or prepare earlier for a public offering.
Monetization is of course the fundamental issue, and I suspect Facebook is working on grand plans for a digital economy of sorts. Which makes complete sense to me…at least in theory. If you support a ‘people economy’ the size of Facebook (on and now offsite with Connect), payment infrastructure is a very natural evolution of the platform. More so than advertising given the utilitarian nature of the service.
As for the terms of the deal if FB does raise now, valuation will certainly be closer to $5B than $2B. And investors will swallow an expensive equity conversion in exchange for a piece of paper that sits at the top of the capital stack (first money out) and carries a preferred rate of return likely in the 14% - 16% range. This gives them little downside risk, a decent return in that instance and a chance for a big win should Facebook fulfill it’s promise. See the recent HomeAway financing as an example.
While I’m not sure that a deal gets done – FB may just swing for the IPO – I for one think it would be smart if they took the time to figure out the monetization path before exposing themselves to the brutal scrutiny of the quarter-to-quarter public markets.
You go boy.
Courtney Holt, CEO MySpace Music
Great quote from Courtney on the possibility of interactive albums and liner notes (echoing Shelby Lynne’s notorious sentiment). Check out the full Wired piece on MySpace Music – worth a read. I sure hope the music industry gives Courtney the time and latitude to figure this thing out. If anyone can do it though, he can.