Joel Bein is a Writer and Head of Growth at The Daily Job Hunt(Careerhackers.com), an email to over 200,000 subscribers with daily tips on how to supercharge your job search!
His experience in pitching companies directly allows him to land interviews 80% of the time. Joel has written 500+ blog posts and as a classically trained musician and conductor, is also the Founder of New Orleans Chamber Players.
He's also the author of Do It Now: a finished book.
We talked about a variety of topics: his experience in conducting an orchestra and how it helped in his day-to-day life, how you can stand out in your job search by using video pitches, and more!
Please enjoy this fun conversation with Joel Bein!
Enjoy the episode!
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Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free. I'm your host, Ryan Maruyama and before we get into today's podcast, I do have one ask of you. If you want to get more degree free. If you'd like to learn about different degree free jobs that are open, how to get the work that you want different learn about different companies that are down credentialing or how to upskill yourself.
Definitely subscribe to our newsletter. Just go to degreefree.co/newsletter and sign up. You won't regret it. One to two emails a week right into your inbox on how to do everything degree free.
Now today, our guest is Joel by Head of Growth for careerhackers.com. Very excited to talk to him. We have a wide ranging conversation from music to careers.
If you like what we do at Degree Free. You're also gonna like what they do over at Career Hackers. Definitely check them out careerhackers.com and without any further ado, enjoy this week's episode.
Joel, thank you so much for coming on the Degree Free podcast. We are super excited to have you. I wanted to start some place that I have zero background in, and that is music.
I noticed when I was doing some research for this podcast that you are a conductor for, and I'm not sure what it is, the NOCP New Orleans
Joel: chamber players.
Ryan: Do you mind talking a little bit about it?
Ryan: Do you mind talk, talking a little about that?
Joel: Yeah, totally. Yeah, it's funny. Come on at Degree Free podcast, but I have two degrees in, in music but that's sort of, yeah, it's an interesting element of my story where I've always been a passion driven person and so I fell in love with classical music and then eventually conducting, as a 17, 18 year old and, I been, most of my adult life was centered around music and following that passion and, specifically conducting.
At one point, I had ambitions to become a full on orchestral conductor. Connecting symphonies, but I continued to refine and dial in what the path that was most true to me would look like as I kind of went throughout my twenties.
And, that's why I kind of sculpted this lifestyle that I set up a few years ago where I'm, I'm now working in the private sector, working at the startup company and pursuing this, other passion to create new paradigms and education for one, but this music, passion now, is still alive, you know, and I've made that as a side passion project.
And so I started this nonprofit in 2018 as just a small organization where I put on two, three concerts a year and it's chamber music specifically, I've conducted large groups before I've conducted band I've conducted wind ensemble orchestra. I've sort of paired down this musical passion into this organization as a chamber music organization, which means small groups and chamber refers to, you know, back in the 18th century, whatnot, you would have a lot of intimate gatherings and in people's living rooms in their chamber and you'd hear small groups of musicians perform.
So chamber music refers to that intimacy and that, that size. The concerts we usually put on are some of the music's solos, duos, trios, quartets, and then some of the music that I conduct, which is in a little bit larger, usually on octet of eight musicians or a dectet of 10 musicians. And yeah, it's really joyous.
It's a professional organization. Should I some working the administrative side and doing fundraising and, get to work with these really talented musicians and create this beautiful, intimate chamber music.
Ryan: That's amazing as, I am music illiterate, basically and so I'm gonna ask a really dumb question.
I think to really begin, but what does a conductor do?
Right before this, I was watching a YouTube video where you were conducting and, obviously you're conducting, I mean, you're setting the tempo like what do conductors do?
Joel: Yeah, it's a fun question because especially as I've ventured out and I've met more and more people who are not musicians, and I get this question more often and so it's a fun, it's a fun opportunity for me to figure out the most effective way to communicate that answer. I would say that my role as a conductor is to become a musical leader, and to first and foremost, prepare through study the musical score so that I know it in my head through and through, in my heart, through and through my body can aesthetically where it's, if you take a metaphor analogy of acting, people can relate to the idea that the actor must know his lines, right.
And then not just know your lines, but to be able to put the character into those lines. So it's the same concept of conducting where you wanna know your lines. You wanna know what the composer wrote down and understand the score, be able to sing all the parts and to be able to understand the harmonies and then create an interpretation based on your own musical soul.
Create a subjective interpretation of that objective notation and so that's really 90% plus of the work is spending time on your own. Learning the music and bringing artistic interpretation. So then when you go to that first rehearsal with the musicians, it's about how can you convey. Preparation and lead the musicians towards that interpretation, that ideal, you have a very vivid conviction, very vivid image of what you want the music to sound like.
And so then it becomes a process of integrating that with your body, your physical training, and understanding how to communicate that. If you're a lay person, even when I was first starting to learn to conduct, I was like, wait, what does a conductor actually affect?
Once you realize, once you start seeing a master conductor, Conduct versus a student conductor. For example, if you go to a workshop and you see a master conductor here, let me do, let show you how to do it like this. And you realize, oh, the entire sound of the ensemble just changed because the conductor changed.
So there's a lot of actual nuance and, and nonverbal communication. That's happening through the body of the conductor that can affect the quality of the sound the can affect the shape of the sound. There there's a lot of, there's a lot of depth and nuance there
Ryan: that, yeah.
That's incredible to, as you said, as a lay person, I'm just thinking that. It's kind of naive, but I just think everybody has their sheet music in front of them. Like, you know, you just play, everybody knows the song everybody's professionals, right? I mean, you just play along with the music and you don't even think that there could be a, like, as you said, a subjective role that anybody can play in the music for me.
Yeah. As a music illiterate person, it's almost as if the, because you're playing sheet music, the music is objective, but that's so interesting.
Joel: Yeah. I mean, , one conductor Bakk he said conducting is eliminating multiplicities. So professional musicians, especially they can typically play music, the music without the conductor.
They don't need you to be there for the tempo. Maybe only the most complex modern. music but generally, I mean, Mozart, for example, everyone kind of knows Mozart and he was writing his symphonies and the conductor. There was no conductor back then the conductor didn't come along until 50 to a hundred years later, really in that classical era.
So the musicians don't need you in order to execute the music, but the role becomes, can you present an interpretation where you're eliminating the multiplicities all the different musicians they have might have their own interpretation. You're gonna come in and be a leader and say, I have this, I have studied this and I have this convict.
and I'm I have this and the conviction and this will for the sound through my own emotion and passion interpretation, et cetera, I'm gonna through physical communication, gel all of those professional musicians into one unified interpretation.
Ryan: That is amazing. And that makes a lot, a lot of sense when you break it down like that everybody has their own bias of whatever, how the music, should sound and it's your job to get everybody on the same page and conduct.
Joel: Yeah. And hopefully elevate them to a place where they wouldn't be able to achieve that level of artistry without that unified leader. Now that's tall work. You know. There's plenty of conducting. that happens. We'll say that's not necessarily elevating musicians higher than they could, but that's like the holy grail is to be able to have that much of a, basically ideal is to be able to seduce the musicians to play at a higher level of expression.
Ryan: How do you, do that is, that's just like, as you said, kinesthetically through your body as your, or is that something that you guys practice in the rehearsal room, that you work with them individually?
Joel: That's the ongoing, the rehearsal process is a conversation essentially. I mean there is verbal commentary in the rehearsal from the conductor and then, but there's so much nonverbal. So it's like a dialogue, like musicians are at a certain place and you have a certain interpretation and every time you conduct you're communicating, you're adjusting your gesture based on what you're hearing.
And so that you can start to guide them towards where you want them. And it's a continual game of adjustment. And then yeah, I mean the seduction part, that's really where it becomes more about the intangible emotional element where we're here to create something that's beyond the mundane, something that's inevitable beauty, right?
That's beyond just, we're doing it correctly. Let's to create something that moves people to create something that has an impact. It creates goosebumps and , all those in beautiful experiences. That's where it's about the intangible and tapping into your soul, your life experience, pouring that in, in the moment as a conductor so that you inspire the musicians.
Ryan: And so one of the things that we talk about a lot is, taking experience from one sector of your life and then kind of applying that in different areas. And so with conducting, like how have you, are there any ways that you've applied that in, in different ways of your life, like professionally or even in personal relationships?
Joel: Yeah, I mean, it's, my number one answer would be the sense of passion. So as I said, that's my first passion is music and I've transferred that into this second career path that I've forged out of that same, not the same passion, but the same, the level of passion for education, evolution and personal empowerment, curiosity, creativity.
And so, that's where I lead that's my strength is to hopefully be someone who's inspiring. It's like what I'm doing right now. I'm writing the daily job hunt newsletter to people in their, job hunt, people who are looking to, up level their careers and. I come from that same place of how can I, through my words, through my writing, through that creative pursuit, how can I hook people in, how can I inspire people to tap into their inner power so they can go forge their career path and come alive because that's the mission of our, of my company is to help people discover and do it makes 'em come alive. Like that's a passion driven energy. So it's the same concept there where I'm gonna lead with that. And then everything else falls into place where you can't just have passion.
You need to be able to create tangible value, with hard skills, but if you lead with that, then that's the fuel, like the, why is the fuel for the how and the what? So those are definitely parallel and then otherwise I would say the consistency muscle, you learn as a musician, the value and the importance of consistent commitment to your instrument.
Practicing on a daily basis. And I'm really grateful to have developed that consistency muscle and level of it. It's sort of like, it's almost a ritual, it's almost a sacred practice. It's where you integrate it into your being sense of identity to do it every day, no matter what your mood is. Right. So I applied that to now my craft of writing, creating content, et cetera, creating value in the marketplace in general, but just be able to say, how can I show up every single day.
And, and even if it's, I'm going through, even if I didn't sleep well that night, or if I'm feeling demotivated in some way, or it's about consistently showing up and having creativity as a habit.
Ryan: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that and this is the Degree Free podcast. And I know that you mentioned that you had, you have two musical degrees.
Where did you go to school?
Joel: My undergrad was up in the great north of New York state, the Korean school of music at SUNY Potsdam. About 30 minutes from Canada, eight hours from New York city, and then I have a master's that I got a few years later from the university of Michigan.
Ryan: And so, can you just give us a little brief background on like you went, so you got your bachelor's and then you got your master's.
What did you do professionally before you started Career Hackers?
Joel: Yeah, so it was sort of in that music domain, and this is where the, sort of the education piece of my story comes in where my first degree is in music education, and so I found myself on this path of becoming certified to become a K to 12 music educator in New York state.
And, then, it got to my senior year and I really mean, I found this podcast called School Sucks podcast. And my curiosity had led me to that point and I basically had, I'd been starting to question my philosophy of education and it just happened that the timing worked out where School Sucks podcast started in August, 2009.
And I found it in September. And at the same time I was starting to do my student teaching experience. So I was literally working with elementary school students and I was working with high school students and then working to these systems and learning about. through the podcast. It's very like radical podcast talking about like the hidden root problems of school, of the compulsion of the obedience and the conformity.
That's kind of baked into these systems. And it was a big light bulb and like, holy, holy crap type moment. So this sort of became this. Am I gonna, am I gonna keep following this or am I gonna ignore this truth that I'm coming across? But really I knew that was the direction I ultimately wanted to go was to, it was sort of a seed that was planted to like to do something about education in this culture.
At the same time I had all this momentum in my career. I was like, I'm about to finish this college degree to get certified, to go into these schools. And at the time I didn't have no, I didn't have the mindsets that I have now about career. And I was. And I, I didn't know what else to do essentially besides go and get a job teaching as becoming a band director.
And of course, part of me did want to do it because I had a passion for music and I had a passion for working with young people. And so it was like this passion for music and education was already there. But then there was a passion against the system. But anyway, I went into that system.
I started teaching and try to keep this story more succinct, but I taught for four years, elementary, middle school and some high school. And then, but I was also following that conducting passion at a more like professional level and creating projects on the side that led to my master's degree.
In conducting, and finished that out. But then I was really starting to gain a lot of self knowledge about, cause I kept listening to school. Sucks. Like School sucks podcast, highly recommend it. Been the anchor.
We'll pull links to everything in the show notes for sure.
Joel: I was, that's been my number one podcast throughout my life.
I've become close friends with the creator of Brett. I listen to that podcast consistently. For 12 years. And so it was this, like, it was this anchor in my life as I'm going through these systems and I'm teaching and I'm like listening to podcasts on the side and it's this interesting parallel. So that sounds, that's my master.
I'm like, okay, well, I'm studying conducting. I love that, but I really need to figure out after this master's, it's really gonna be the time for me to forge my own path and write my own script, cuz I'm not gonna conform to these systems. I want to do something entrepreneurial. I wanna do something, tailored to my true self, and to basically wrap my own, write my own script, blaze my own trail, and to somehow integrate these two passions, as I mentioned of music and doing something to impact education.
And so that's when I got on a high school charter school job after that. And I kept, so I kept that kind of going, but then I was really focused in, on making a career change. There 2016 to 2020, I was kind of starting to follow Isaac Morehouse, who was who's the founder of the company I work for now.
And, that I soaked up all his podcasts about career and that, and I, and about self-directed learning and about building your portfolio and about building your skills and being able to prove them and pitching companies and all these things we can talk about. But all with that underlying vision of empowering people to come alive in their own paths and not relying on these institutions, in order to create your career.
So I was sort of learning that mindset. While I was in that last high school job and eventually made that pivot back in 2020 to, and I pitched Isaac to work for the company that I work for now.
Ryan: Yeah. Thank you for, sharing that story. You mentioned in that you were started questioning the philosophy of education, and I guess my question would be is what exactly were you questioning?
Joel: Yeah, I love that question. I was questioning what is the nature of learning, right? How is it that a child can learn optimally or what is natural? What is beyond natural? Just what is optimal and how does it work? So I was tapping into my own curiosity asking how does one learn? How does one acquire integrate new concepts and really pretty quickly became evident that, oh, well, learning is the activity of the learner.
You can't learn something truly, unless you understand it for yourself and you have level of independence, and if someone's, teacher or whatnot is sort of. Installing it into your brain, right? It's not true education. It's not true learning because you're not coming to the conclusions independently. If you're just regurgitating or saying something is true because you heard it, then you're not, you're just appealing to the authority of that person rather than you understand it logically, etc. Like as Socrates said, education is not the feeling of a vessel, but the kindling of a flame. So I really thought about that pretty, pretty actively and realized that it's key to have independences and as well as choice, the learner needs to have choice about what he or she's learning. And that starts with curiosity.
And I realized, oh, none of these things are happening in these systems.
Ryan: I completely agree with that. I mean, that's how I learn at least. I mean, I think most people are like this, but I can't learn anything that I'm not passionate about. I feel like many people are like this most people, but you can learn anything as long as you have going back to what you said earlier, as long as you have the why. Maybe not rocket science, but if you studied it for a decade, if you had a strong enough why you probably could, you know, and I guess like, how do you,
as the teacher, how do you kindle that flame? Like how do you get that curiosity? How do you stoke the fire?
Joel: Yeah, the role of the, the teacher in an education is still valuable. The question is the element of choice and is the learner coming to that teacher voluntarily to ask particular questions to receive guidance?
Is there a contract? Is there agreement, is there an, is there a context where the teacher becomes someone, the learner is actively pursuing to acquire the knowledge or is the teacher mandating that you learn X, Y, and Z? In terms of sparking curiosity. I don't actually believe the teacher does that.
I think we're humans are born with a natural curiosity and you just look at little kids and they're curious, they're wonder if they're asking why all the time. And then my question becomes why once they start age five, do they stop asking why. Right. If you look at three year olds, four year olds, they're asking why start going to school.
I've taught every, and I've worked in the system every single grade level, K through graduate school. And I've seen the literally every single year, the level of apathy increases those kindergartners. They're really in enthusiastic unin, uninhibited. and curious, but then the system squelches it out.
So the curiosity is naturally inside of us. And then the teacher can be there. If the learner's curiosity brings him to the teacher to ask certain questions and maybe you receive certain wisdom guidance. You know, someone who's been at a particular let's talk about careers for a second. You know, someone who's, who's a seasoned marketing professional and someone who's coming up.
Maybe they want apprentice with that marketing professional. They just want, they want to interview one podcast. They wanna learn. Well, the learners coming to them saying, I'm really curious about marketing and then asks questions based on the curiosity. And then the teacher would be based on his experience, sharing that, but ultimately it's the curiosity comes from within.
I kind of wanted to switch gears here and I know that you talked about, getting together with Isaac and pitching him to work for Career Hackers, I guess, real quick.
I have never met Isaac. But I met. Cameron Sorsby that, yeah. Who heads up practice? Actually a couple of weeks ago or a couple of months ago, I was in Austin and we met up and met in person too. So I've never met Isaac, but I'm aware of his work, huge fan of what you guys are doing. At career hackers, but what's interesting about what you said is you pitched Isaac to get your job now.
And was there a job listing? This is one of the things that we talk about a lot is about like, not waiting for opportunities and just getting out there. So I'd like, if you could talk a little bit about how that happened.
Joel: Yeah, in a sense,
I mean, my story is, it's unique in the sense that I've found Isaac's work and sort of went a hundred percent in towards a purpose to work for him.
Cause I was so lit up about his mission, and that's what I recommend to people is if you can find that one opportunity that's so your head over heels for, then that's the way to go. Put all your eggs in that basket and rather than trying to play a numbers game with your career, just focus on that one opportunity that's super exciting to you.
So yeah, I mean, I got in contact with him. Five, six years ago. And I had, I pitched him a couple times and failed. I wanted to work for him for practice as an intern. I, had some good conversations came in the running for those opportunities, but, what was not, ripe and ready, I suppose, to, for that fit to happen yet.
But I just kept going, like my undercurrent, my why was so strong that it was basically no one was gonna stop me. Eventually in 2020, when I'd Isaac, a second company was just Crash, which grew out of practice, and now career hackers is the rebrand of Crash. So Crash, a software tool where you can use a video pitch platform to pitch your way into job opportunities.
So when that was coming up, I became a customer of that. I was like, oh, this is perfect timing. Cuz I was like really looking to make my pivot out of the high school job. And I was also determined to work for him. And it was sort of like I was trying to figure out the best, next best move for me. You know, it was like, oh, let me, me become a customer of this platform.
And let me build my portfolio further. And let me just get, let me just first start at first. I wasn't necessarily gonna go pitch him again. I was, I'm gonna just go pitch some companies and in the startup world and start moving that direction, get myself into the private sector and get some more experience creating value in the marketplace.
And so I went all in with this pitch approach, the pitch mindset. And in 2020 I was pitching, I think I pitched like 16 plus opportunities, through video. And this was 2020. I literally just started doing it right when the world imploded in spring 2020. And so there were these companies that were freaking their hiring and I was like, great, great.
Just when I want to do this, it's like the economies , on pause but, I was like, nothing's gonna stop me. I just kept going. Like, I landed interviews 80% of the time, these video pitches, even though I had no experience.
Ryan: Oh, that's amazing.
Joel: Yeah, something like that. 60, 80%. And then I had interviews and I just kept coming up short, but it was all just like a blessing in disguise.
I think. Ultimately, I just, I wanted to work for Isaac's mission, which is to help people discover and do it, makes them come alive. Like it was sort of this meta thing where like I'm pursuing my next career move and that's, it became this thing where, oh, I wanna help people with their careers cuz I wanna see the world become alive and I wanna see people become independent of these institutions.
Right. If we can, if we can get rid of the need for a degree or credential in order to have a good job, then that makes these K12 systems a lot less relevant. Like, oh, we can just follow our self-directed learning and that's going to have so many. So anyway, there was no job posting eventually.
I just decided to pitch him directly, even though he didn't have any official opening and we had been in contact and he had given me some part-time, because doing some customer service work. And I kind of gotten to know the team more and I got more behind the scenes. And then I was like, okay, this is the, this, I need to create a value proposition and offer to work for free and just go all in with this.
So I did that. And I pitched him to work for free for seven days and I kind of proved myself and then he offered me the job.
Ryan: Wow. That's that is amazing. And there's a lot to unpack there.
Like, that's amazing.
Thank you for sharing that.
I guess a couple of questions. The video pitch, I love it. I think it's great.
What makes a successful video pitch? And, and I guess for that, a lot of people, a lot of people that listen to this podcast, they think that they have no skills. They have no experience in their jobs that they're applying to. Like. A lot of people are, they have some work experience, but they're say we have a lot of teachers that listen to this podcast and they're trying to make a transition just like how you did.
Or we have a lot of nurses that listen to this podcast and they're kind of done with nursing and they wanna make good transition, but they don't know how to pitch their relevant skills that they have now. They view them as not useful. And so what makes a successful pitch and then like, how did you get in front of people in order to even get these pitches done?
Like if there was no job posting I'm assuming.
Joel: Well,the other jobs that I pitched were through job postings, Oh, okay. So you can kind of go both paths. The advantage of, going for an opportunity with no job posting is that there's not really competition. Of course you need to prove that you can actually create value for them.
But I would actually encourage people to do that. Maybe even as a first option to say, let me find the companies that are really exciting. 1, 2, 3 companies that are most exciting and go create my own role. And especially if it's a small company, there's a lot of companies that are gonna love that.
They're gonna feel so excited that someone thought of them, but the previous jobs, I actually wasn't, before I pitched Isaac, I didn't, hadn't taken that approach. I was actually feeling a little bit insecure about doing that. I was like, oh, I'm not sure it's gonna be worth it. I think I'll just stick to the knowing that there's a job posting available.
So either way though, you can stand out. If you send a video pitch. you can cut through the noise. If you have hundreds of applications, no experience to compete against. If you have no experience and there's hundreds of applications, you can still stand out. That's what I did. I pitched this one company and this was March, 2020.
So again, it happened right when the world blew up, but, I put a lot of hours into this pitch and I made custom projects for them. This was a company I was really excited about their value system and they were looking for a BDR person and they were specifically asking for someone with multiple years experience, and I still was able to cut through the noise. I made a three minute video for them addressing you know, their team and their CEO by name and telling them why I love their values. And then I created projects for them, and that cut, there was like 1400 applications for that. And I got an interview, and it might have gone further, but they weren't, they were freezing their hiring.
And the point is that you can cut through the noise. If you send this video pitch, I'm telling you. And the way to do that is just if the, you can skip the job application, you can find the hiring manager's email address, use websites like hunter.io. snov.io, neverbounce.com.
These are sites where you can check and verify email addresses, and you just find that person, or you can send it to more than one person. You find the decision maker that makes the most sense to email it to maybe we're going for a marketing role, send it to the head of marketing. It's a small company, send it right to the CEO and you can just email them and say, Hey, I made this for you. and in the video itself, you wanna. It, first of all, lemme take a step back and that people hearing this, they might think this is this huge undertaking and it's this huge effortful hours, long project to do something in, in this creative customized way. And that's at first what I thought when I first started.
But actually if you can just take a deep breath and realize that you don't need to put as much effort in, as you realize, you're just like, to a 32nd video. Like you wanna do, you want to do quality work, but if you shoot a 32nd 62nd video and you email it to the hiring manager, it's very likely you're gonna get a response back at the very least.
And you don't wanna get stuck in perfectionism. You don't wanna get stuck in analysis paralysis and all this resistance. This is the biggest, this is the biggest thing. And that's why we started this. This newsletter that I'm running now is helping people with a mindset, because the mindset is the biggest thing.
Mindset of creativity, doing something bold, different, to cut through the noise that can feel a little bit vulnerable, but the more you can just kinda let go and lean into that, then the better chance you're gonna stand out. So you just, you look into the camera and say, Hey, Acme incorporated. I love your mission.
To blah, blah, blah. Like, what is it that you love about them? Just talk, start talking about them, why you love them. And all of a sudden they're gonna be like, whoa, this person loves us. You know, it's like they get all these boring resumes and it's like, if you send an email to this person's inbox and it's like, Hey, I made this for you.
And it's in a video and it's humanized because you smile and you show them that's huge, and in terms of the soft skill thing and not having enough confidence in your skills, if you're making a career. First of all, if you're a teacher, like I would love to talk to you. That's like you're in my wheelhouse.
Like I get that. If, especially if you're looking to make a change outta that system, I empathize with that a lot. And you have a lot of soft skills. You have, you are some of the most organized people on the planet. If you're working in that system and you have planning skills, you have communication skills, you have empathy skills.
The key no matter what industry you're in though, and matter what industry you're pivoting out of just takes a little bit of, just takes a couple minutes and just reflect on what skills you, you built up and now realizing you can transfer those skills and you can pitch yourself. Based on those skills, if you've been bagging groceries, well, you're consistent 'cause you show up.
There's a long line of people coming in and they want someone to bag their groceries and you show up every single time and you bag those groceries and you have a sense of work ethic and consistency. And you could literally tell that story and pitch yourself for a sales role. Say, I'm gonna make that.
I'm gonna take that same consistency. I'm gonna, I'm gonna make awesome cold calls cuz I have that endurance in consistency. Boom. That you just connected the dots for them. That's showing that you're you have thinking skills by the way. Like there's so much that you can there's so you don't need a whole, you don't need like all this experience, you just need to be bold really.
I mean, yeah. There's some hard skills you can develop and we can talk about, we can talk about building hard skills building portfolio, but the bar is low. Most people aren't doing this. So if you do it, you're probably gonna get an interview.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And that's one of the, one of the questions that we get asked a lot is like, how do I stand out?
Like, how do I make my resume stand out? And you're like, honestly, there's not really a good way to make your resume stand out.There are things that you could do, you know? Sure. But While everybody's focused on paper. Why don't you go off paper? Like, why don't you do exactly what you said, do a video pitch or put together a pitch deck and send it and three slides, here you go.
Here's what I can do for your department, and I think exactly what you said is hugely valuable. In that, thinking about your experience creatively and like the bagging groceries is a perfect example of that, you are detail oriented. You're consistent, you show up, those are all things that exactly, as you said, if you can just tell a hiring manager and connect the dots for them, if you just say, oh man, I'm just a grocery bagger, that's all I do. But if you say I'm a go-getter, I can absolutely learn how to do this. This is how, if you wanna say how efficient you are at bagging groceries or what, whatever story you wanna weave for them, make it easy for them and then make it so that they can't possibly say no to you.
Like just connect those dots as you said.
Joel: Yeah, totally. And with, yeah, just real quick, yeah, go. It's about telling the story. Like Isaac has a video you can find on career hacker's video page. It's about tell me your story, not your status, humans, connect with stories. Can you share your story? Can you share how you've overcome adversity?
That's what companies want. They want someone who's growth minded and who has grit? The soft skills are as important. If I'm more important than the hard skills. And especially if you're going for entry level, an entry level job, they're looking for someone who's willing to learn. So if you can tell a story about how you've to prove that you've, that you have a growth mindset, etc.
Then people connect with that.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. Kind of switching gears here. I wanted to talk about Career Hackers for a little bit. You guys, as I wrote to you in your email, you guys pump out a lot of content and it's really awesome. You guys do, a great job and one of the things, and I just wanna give you a con, I don't know if I have a question really, but it's kind of just a compliment.
One of the things that I feel like as a consumer of your guys' content, it's very genuine, and I really, I really get. what you were talking about with education, like you guys are just here to, give the information out, and your daily, the daily job hunt, the newsletter is fantastic.
Everybody should subscribe. Definitely.
Joel: Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate that.
Ryan: I said, yeah, sorry. That's not a question.
Joel: I'll take the compliments brother. I actually really really appreciate that because a big part of my journey has been finding that authenticity, finding that true self, figuring out how to align my, align, my truth, my values with what I'm actually doing on a daily basis to be real.
And, a lot of my twenties were like kind of hiding that. And then in this past few years, part of my story's been to, to actualize that. So to hear that it's, it sounds genuine to you. That really means a lot. And yeah, we just love creating the content. and sharing this mindset and sharing, sharing tools and resources to, to empower people and realize, yeah, I think we said earlier before we started recording that there's no rules to this thing.
There's no, you don't have to follow what the, basically the conveyor belt has told you the conveyor belt of school and institutions and resume building and all that stuff is like, this is what you're supposed to do. In order to have a job, it's that's just this 20th century thing that's that we needed.
It's already on its way out. It's already dissolving. And the more you can just recognize that the better equipped you're gonna be in these coming decades, especially in these economic times, like. This is the time to realize that the system is not serving you and that you don't need to follow those supposed rules.
There's no rules. What matters is your ability to create value and your ability to prove that you can create value. And if you can present that to a and create projects, create tangible value, and that's all that matters. .
Ryan: Yeah. The one thing that I did want to talk about was the hard skills versus soft skills that we were kind of talking about earlier. With the soft skills. I guess a lot of people really undervalue them. And do you have any tips of like, I guess how to communicate that, like, whether through a video pitch and how, what people can say to, highlight that they have those soft skills or what they can do, or whether it's on a resume or something like that.
Joel: Yeah. I got no resume tips, but, I literally have no tips.
I mean, economic.
Ryan: Yeah. And for people. Just so to jump in real fast for people that, don't know why we're laughing. If you go to careerhackers.com you'll you'll understand why we're laughing, it's burn your resume.
It's all. It's, plastered all over there. And I agree. I agree with it.
Sorry, go ahead.
Joel: Soft skills. I just had a thought like soft skills are sort of like emotions in terms of your ability to recognize them. Like it's, there's emotional intelligence and there's like soft skill intelligence in a sense like emotional intelligence takes practice to recognize.
Okay. , this feeling is the sadness in my body right now. Okay. This feeling is despondent. This feeling is elation, right? And the more you vocabulary you can develop the better served. You can be emotional intelligence now. By the way emotional intelligence is a soft skill. But with, just to, to finish the metaphor here, the, the analogy here, , the soft skills, there's so many soft skills.
And if you, the more you can become cognizant of what they are and recognize them in yourself and others, the more versatile you can be with that vocabulary. And the more you can connect those dots. Right. So, I mean, one of the first things you knew is just Google a list of soft skills that are out there.
Ook up the top soft skills, that companies value, adaptability, growth, mindset, curiosity, communication skills, empathy, listening, consistency, work ethic. There's a lot there. And in terms of your ability to communicate those,obviously we've talked about the video pitch and that can communicate your creativity, your initiative, it can communicate your enthusiasm, your speaking skills are communicated on the video pitch.
All these things are lost in the, in, if you just send a resume. Beyond that, we talked about reflecting on your past experience and connecting the dots. Right. Just taking those moments, maybe you've, all your work experiences watching dogs.
Well, what are some skills that you've built watching dogs, right? Consistency, being able to show up on time, being able to deescalate, maybe the dog is barking at other dogs, and then you can tell a story about that and how your ability to work with the dog.There's, that's just I'm just kind of riffing on that on the moment, but always reflecting on your past experience, beyond that, creating a signal with a portfolio, a website with a brand. So one of the things we love to talk about is do a 30 day blogging challenge. And that's one of the first things I did when I started my career change and moving steering my ship in a new way and that transformed my life.
I'm now I'm writing the daily job on newsletter. I write everyday for my profession, and that started from because I did a 30 day blogging challenge. And there's so many soft skills that you can signal and develop both through the blogging challenge. You're developing consistency, you're developing creativity, you're developing communication, written communication skills.
You're signaling, right. Cuz all it matters here is you're ready to prove your value. So you're signaling through building a brand of who you are. So if you create a blog and you blog every day for 30 days, you just signal these soft skills and you signal that you take initiative and you can also showcase your other projects and interests.
You can showcase. If you have an interest in financial intelligence, financial literacy. Well, if no one knows about that, then they're not gonna know about that. If you don't show it. So why don't create a blog just about financial literacy. Talk about your reading, rich data port ad.
Here are the top five lessons I'm reading. I'm gaining from this book. And can you show that you're you have this other interest, then you're showing that you're an interesting person. You're certain you're showing that you're curious, which I personally think is the number one soft scale is curiosity.
So there's a lot you can do with building a brand. And the last thing I'll say is you can learn out loud, the learning new hard skills. So if you're interested in coding, then you could take a coding course, coding bootcamp, and don't just do that, but showcase and document what you're learning. So you're going through the course and write a blog post about, oh, I learned this concept in the course and here's the three bullet points of what I learned.
Here's a screenshot of what I, of where I'm at. Boom, boom, boom, real quick. It's just, you just documented your learning and now you're showcasing the skills that you're learning. And then at the end of that course, you could do a full screencast showing, you could show I'm not a coding expert, but you could literally do a screencast watching of yourself coding.
You could document the end result, and then you can have that in your portfolio. This is me proving to you that I can do this skill, right? So there's a lot you can do by documenting and building the portfolio. And you'll see, on the Career Hacker's website, one of the first posts is a web, a post called a Hundred Ways to Work Out Loud.
And those are giving you creative ways to showcase your process. .
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And I, I know that, we have a time here. I wanna be respectful of your time. I just have a couple more questions, before we go. One of the problems that we find with, that we get from our audience and from our community is a lot of people don't know what jobs are out there.
And so one of the questions that I wanted to ask you is if you could just explain your role and, um, like your official title and just a brief overview of what it is you do for your company, just to give everybody like, this is a job.
Joel: Yeah. I mean, in my case, it's, I've worn many hats and it's a startup company over the past two years, I've been working here and I've had, I don't know, four or five, six job titles, the job titles, we deemphasize on purpose.
What we don't really care about job titles. We care about what you're doing and the job titles, the way to maybe signal to the rest of the world. Kind of an approximation of what you're doing. So I would start by saying focus less on job titles, and this is I'm gonna pursue this job title for my career.
We really just start with, from the bottom up approach of what are you curious about and what can you create, what value, and then let the job title come as a result of that, but to more answer your question directly, my, my job title at the moment is head of growth and I'm basically taking the lead in both the growth department to build partnerships and relationships with other content creators, for example, or to find channels, to create more traffic and create more subscribers to our, to our newsletter and grow the number of people that are in our orbit, and then that's one channel. And then I'm sort of doing this partnership sales type of side and integrated into that and building these content partnerships to, to bring in revenue for the business and then, to create content for these other partners.
So I'm reaching out and I'm doing cold emailing and setting up discovery calls and, creating propositions for potential content campaigns. And I'm writing, obviously that's the core of what I'm doing is the writing piece and creating the content. So I'm writing the daily job on newsletter every single day.
And then I'm writing. I'm recording our I'm writing the content for our partners. I'm writing posts on careerhackers.com. I'm working with my colleague wars in and adding resources to the website. and beyond that, it's like interacting with job seekers, interacting, engaging with people who are in our slack group who are replying to my emails, and so at the end of the day, though, it's just like creating value in any way possible. Right? If you can take that mindset to any company, you become a linchpin, you become indispensable. And that's a great book by Seth Godin Linchpin. And it's not just about fulfilling your responsibilities.
It's fulfilling those responsibilities. And then that's just the beginning. And how do you go the extra mile and become an artist and just create value. above and beyond. Not because you have to, but because it's more fulfilling and rewarding.
Ryan: It's so funny that you bring that book up, actually, I'm literally in the middle of repeating it right now.
Joel: it's so powerful.
Ryan: It's funny. And then I have it, it really is even for, even for me, I'm, full-time entrepreneur now, like even for me, and as not working in a company, it's still super useful. there's still so much in there. I first read it out as an employee and then I'm now reading it again.
And it's still super relevant to everything that I do. Like even in my own, like to be a Linchpin, maybe in my own company, but also in, in personal relationships. It's, there's a lot of crossover and then that actually perfect segue. I always ask people, do you have any like, other than career hackers, which we're definitely gonna tell people to go to?
Do you have any like books or resources that helped you? I think, especially in your, when you were making your first transition into the private sector, was there any like, things that really helped you during those times?
Joel: Yeah. Linchpin was one of those books to be honest. And I'll add The Last Safe Investment by Michael Ellsberg and Brian Franklin.
That literally . If you invest the 12 bucks, whatever to, to purchase that book, that might be the best investment you've ever made in your life is investing in the book, the last safe investment, which is about seeing your totality of life as opportunity to invest in yourself in order to pay dividends over time, to create a life of true wealth.
They say true wealth meanings, we think of investing as just financial and like it's just a late gratification to age 65 and then just save our money and like be frugal. And then, well, how about investing resources into your skills, investing into therapy to improve your emotional intelligence and your sense of agency, et cetera, investing in, your skills.
I said, learning in your network. Creating value in relationships. How can you create amazing relationships where instead of trying to save up all your money in order to buy a yacht? Well, you just end up having friends. You have yachts because you have created so much value by investing in relationships that now you get invited to hang out on the yacht and you basically have a yacht anyway.
So it's like taking this holistic approach to life and recognizing that you can systematically spend, they say systematically, spend your money towards investing in yourself and that's the ultimate superpower. So if you do that, then it all, it's like all gonna work out.
Ryan: Yeah, perfect. I have never read that book, so I right after this, I'm definitely, I'm gonna go pick that book up for sure. Yeah. And, last Joel, uhow can people contact you find more about what you're doing and career hackers. Where's the best place that we can send
Joel: people? Yeah, thanks so much, Ryan.
It's really been a blast to be on the show. I love what you're doing. And, in terms of finding me, you go careerhackers.com. You can sign up for the daily job hunt newsletter. Check out all the resources we have. You can find me at joelbein.com to, to see my projects. See my blogs. You can find me on Twitter @joel_bein. I'm on there.
Sometimes find me on LinkedIn. Just, yeah, feel free to, to look me up on the interwebs and connect and, reach out and more. Yeah. Just like a LinkedIn message or an email away. So my email's on my website, so I always love to hear from people who listen to these podcasts that I go on sometimes. And if you email me, you'll actually be the exception, cuz most people wouldn't do that.
But if you do that, you're practicing that skill of going and taking initiative. So I would love to connect with you and feel free to reach out.
Ryan: Perfect right on, and we'll have links to everything, in our show notes for everybody. Joel, thank you so much for taking the time and, coming on the podcast, hopefully sometime, we'll be able to do it.
Joel: Absolutely my pleasure. Thanks for having me and, yeah. Keep up all the great work and, really, hopefully everyone listening has received some value today.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely.
Thank you so much. All right, bye bye.
Thank you so much for listening to degree free. I hope that you guys learned and enjoyed this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.
If you guys need any of the show notes, any of the links to all, everything that we talk about, it's gonna be at degreefree.co/podcast, and you'll be able to look it up. Joel B E I N or Career Hackers. You can just search it. And last thing before you go. If you guys like to get more degree free, you guys wanna learn about jobs, different companies that are going degree free, how you can get the work that you want.
Make more money. Definitely subscribe to our newsletter degreefree.co/newsletter, and that's pretty much it until next time guys. Aloha.
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