I find myself repeating certain advice to different people, so I'm creating a summary post here for anyone who needs it.
What do you want out of work?
Depending on your goals, you may not need a "job" to reach them.
- To earn money?
- To learn something?
- To not be bored?
- To make an impact?
There are plenty of ways to reach the above goals without a job. Though of course, jobs are the most convenient way to do so. If you know what you want out of work, you'll find it easy to narrow down and focus on the things you truly want. Also give a think about which of your goals should be the priority so that you can shortlist them later on.
The job hunting process is a bit like a sales pipeline/other pipelines, where you have several options all progressing at different stages.
Where to find jobs
There are many job boards out there. You can try the usual suspects, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or JobStreet, etc. a quick search for job boards will give you all the details you need.
Some people have had luck with the "Spray and Pray" method, which is to just apply to as many jobs as possible. This could be useful especially if you have already narrowed down to jobs that are well-suited for your skills.
To improve your resume, here are some quick tips:
- Have a master resume copy with all of your experiences, then delete as necessary for the role
- For each point on what you've done, focus on the action taken plus the result, with as many numbers as possible. Eg organised a conference for 400 people, rated best conference of the year
I've gotten some side gigs from people by simply asking for them. I asked another friend who was self-employed if he had any spare work I could take on, and he gave me a few projects which were fun.
- Don't be scared!
- Figure out what the process is like, and practice it. This could mean going to many different interviews until they feel like just another day for you, or practicing with a friend.
- Treat it as a two-way street. Your employer should be honoured to have you work for them.
Always negotiate your job terms and conditions. This doesn't have to be only pay, but other perks like working from home, having a home office setup bonus, or extra vacation days. In the resources section below, Ask A Manager has articles on how to negotiate well.
The first 90 days
On the first day of the job, make a plan for what you want to achieve in the first 90 days on the job (which is usually the trial or probation period). This can help you set the tone for the rest of the work and create a good impression on your colleagues. Ideally, your manager will do this with you, but if not, you can do it yourself. Some examples:
- Get to know X number of colleagues, or have 1-on-1s with a few people you will be working with
- Deliver Y result
- Learn all of the processes and read all the documentation available
Ditch the job
Because who says you need a job when there are other options out there? These days, I'm increasingly thinking that traditional jobs limit your options compared to starting your own business. Especially if nothing out there feels like a good fit for what you want to achieve in life.
Start something yourself
This is a little bit different from getting a job, because you have way more control - but also responsibility - over every aspect of your organisation. There seems like two main routes you could go down.
Run a small business
I'd say this is less risky. Find something easy to start without a lot of capital, such as dropshipping, a cleaning service, house-sitting service, running a website, creating media and so on. Gig economy type work (uber, deliveroo etc) falls in this category as well, though the company you're working with always takes a cut. If you do open your own company however, with good word of mouth, it could be a great way to achieve the goals you want with work.
Create a startup
Get funding from an investor or some sort of fund, and then take off. It doesn't have to be a for-profit startup; it can also be a charity. Anything is possible once you have the financials down. This could be a good route if you have an excellent idea that requires a lot of funding to start, because it is resource heavy.
Generate passive income
I've written extensively about ways to generate passive income here:
I've also listed some work-related sites that I find myself recommending a lot. What's conspicuously missing is how to polish a resume; these days, I think an AI tool can help you, but I've never needed to use one of those.
Work norms and work situations, resume and interview advice:
Tech jobs in selected countries:
Using networking to get a job:
EA-focused/impact-aligned job boards: