I have transposed Derick David’s The Ultimate Startup Beginner Guide into a careers context. I have never seen careers guidance use the strategies of Uber, Tesla and Airbnb to achieve success. It is worth thinking about.
1. Imagine your future while staying in the moment
Business guru, Tom Peters created the concept Brand You. Now every person has phenomenal power to create their own Brand by going online.
Your current moment is reflected in your Brand. The seeds of your future are embedded in your Brand.
If you are not conscious of a vision for your future, find someone who does have a vision for their future and try working with them as your personal awareness grows.
Do what you like.
You can start to unearth your where you are now and what you like try by following the steps recommended HERE.
2. Find What’s Missing in the World
Look around you. What do you think the world needs?
Is it better educators? Become a teacher.
Is it beautiful gardens? Study horticulture.
Is it better alternative energy? Become an electronics engineer.
3. Play with different ideas
Imagine and write down ideas about your future.
When an idea pops up in your mind, write it down.
Compare your ideas. Check to see which ones you care about.
4. Think the guiding questions
Would this be a valuable way to spend your life? Are you going to be satisfied being a …hairdresser….builder…. accountant? Are you making a difference?
Having the answers to these questions puts you ahead of the game.
5. Create a Prototype
When you have an idea check it out. Do work experience. Volunteer. Check videos of people doing the job. Meet people who do that work.
Don’t jump directly into a career. You can waste time and money going down the wrong path.
6. Show it to 100 people
Talk to everyone about your idea. Explain it in detail. It doesn’t have to be EXACTLY 100 people but the more people you talk to about it the more you will learn about your subject. They may even offer to help you.
Be prepared to accept suggestions
Keep talking and discussing and work on keeping an open mind as you do your research.
7. Iterate Fast.
Chunk the ideas into groups:
Those that will help you to have a remarkable future/Those that will not.
Those that make sense/Those that do not.
Those in the bin/Those to follow up
If you get stuck, ask from help, either from a friend or from an expert.
You will probably change your path a million times through your life. Your values will anchor you to your best path.
8. Find Co-founders
When you decide on a career path, find 3-4 people going in the same direction. If you are lucky, you can work as a team to inspire, support and motivate each other.
If you are SUPER lucky you will find a mentor to guide you.
9. Seek Funding
You can work as you study or you can get a scholarship or a grant or government support.
The earlier you explore funding options the better.
Many scholarships don’t go to the brightest student on the block. Some industries, like agriculture, give significant industry support to those who choose to go into it.
Exploring funding opportunities needs to be part of your research.
10. Launch the product (You)
You have been launching your product your whole life. Sometimes Brand You goes into a new phase. Have a great launch.
Get the best possible referees through volunteering or work experience or even by doing assignments that solve a problem for a company. They will help you with your launch.
Go for scholarships and grants as you study. Mention them on your CV.
Go for awards. Even ones that don’t relate to your Brand.
If you get the opportunity to study overseas, take it. There are scholarships that will help you to study overseas.
Find out about cadetships in your industry.
All this will help you to create a great launch into your next phase.
11. Be Patient
Love the process. Love what you are doing as you create your ideal future.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
12. Check if your “customers” come back
You are your #1 customer. Spoil yourself. Spend time to reflect how happy you are with your product.
Are things turning out as expected? Are you still following what you value?
You will probably adjust your course often. Your Ideal Future may change as you learn more and discover new opportunities.
Keep growing. Your next move will bring you even closer to what you value.
Doing this transposition from business startup to career development has been fun. I have written a million business plans in my life and followed various business development systems but I have never thought of applying any of those systems to careers.
Now that I have done it I don’t know why I didn’t see how we can learn from Uber, Airbnb and Tesla as we design careers.
What we usually lack is a mental framework like this that helps us to stay on track. Most career failures come from the inside. This framework will help you to build your amazing life.
I wish to acknowledge the source of the original document again:
On the 5 June Medium published a great article called The Ultimate Startup Beginner Guide by Derick David (@zealous) which he draws from 5 years researching Tesla, Uber, Airbnb and distilling a 12 step process that can be replicated.
Contact me to engage the insanely great online career counselling services of In Focus Careers:
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Their kids are in year 12. They haven’t decided what to do next year.
Parents don’t want their kids to leave school and fall into a hole. The kids don’t want to talk about it.
Parents can suggest these steps as a path forward
STEP 1: Explore
Check out some aptitude tests to see what tends to come up. Find a range of different tests HERE.
Get a piece of paper or a notebook.
Pick 4 different tests to do.
After each one write down three most important things the test indicated. For example….
I want to work outdoors
I am creative
I am a natural leader
When you have done a few tests you should start to see some common themes. These will help you as you explore your career options.
Some of the tests, like Job Outlook suggest career matches to match your aptitudes.
Step 2: The Shoulders of Giants
I once counselled a student whose mum and dad, brother and uncle were mechanics yet she hadn’t thought of being a mechanic. She ended up doing a Defence Force Gap Year where she started a mechanic apprenticeship.
It is easiest to build from what you know, yet we are often not aware of what we know.
If you are an Eskimo you might think building igloos is for you. If everyone in your family plays an instrument, being a musician could be for you.
What careers you know from your life experience? Check out your family, your family friends, school friends’ parents, sport coaches.
What work do they do?
It is easier when you build from what you know.
Step 3: What is Important?
Whether it’s diamonds, world peace or having fun, your values will remain fairly stable and they will ground you throughout your life.
This game helps you to clarify your values.
1. In a list, write the names of 8 people you like.
They can be family or friends, famous people or fictional people like superman.
Don’t go on until you have your list.
2. Now next to each name write three or four things you like about that person.
3.Group similar values with different colour highlighters. You might group together smart,wise, clever, leader. (CLEVER)
Try to group all of the values into three or four groups. Give each group one name.
Now you have key values that are important to you.
These values guide who you are, how you act and what you do.
They anchor your decisions.
When you are in doubt, make decisions that are consistent with your values.
Well, that’s not a bad start. From the work you have done you now know:
1. What natural abilities you have.
2. What natural careers environment you live in.
3. What values drive your decisions.
Awareness of your natural abilities, your natural careers environment and your values can drive your decisions.
If you are associated with a high school in Western Australia it probably subscribes to my In Focus Careers Newsletter. Career information you receive about new courses, career events and scholarships are delivered to the school each month through the newsletter.
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If you apply for a job with a mining company, or think you may want to work overseas, you will find yourself writing job applications that go through application tracking systems designed to weed out poor applications before a human sets eyes on it.
You need to know how to get your job application past the application tracking systems.
Nothing Beats a Good Job Application
Don’t turn yourself inside out trying to beat the algorithm. Your application can end up sounding phoney.
Just write a good application. Seek.com provides great advice on writing a good resume, or if you are still at school go to Youth Central for tips.
The application tracking system will scan your application for keywords that are in the job advertisement.
If they are looking for a professional tap dancer you need to use the words “professional” and “tap dancer” in your application.
If you do tap dancing but have never worked professionally put in a Career Goal at the start of your document that says that your dream is to work as a full time, “professional tap dancer“.
Then you can talk about your tap dancing qualifications and experience that lead to this dream under traditional headings like:
Just list your qualifications, where you got them and when. A table of qualifications may take on a life of its own in cyberspace and end up a jumble when it is downloaded.
You can put in headings like:
Stick to what is important. If the professional tap dancer is required to work in a team you can talk about your experience working in a team at the local coffee shop where you were required to work under pressure and support other team members. Mention “team” in your answer.
If you can’t make your coffee shop experience add to your story, leave it out.
It will be best if you have a referee who is a professional tap dancer.
The Prime Minister may be your first best friend but he is not going to have any credibility with employers looking for a professional tap dancer.
Don’t Get Fancy
Pictures of your latest tap dancing performance won’t be picked up by the application tracking system. Leave them out.
Just save your application in Word or as a PDF, attach it and send. Don’t get fancy with Google Docs or Dropbox etc unless they say that is what they want.
Use Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar before you send off your application.
I don’t like pictures of applicants. It is an equity issue AND the application tracking system may not be able to read the picture.
It’s an Online Social World
If your application gets to a human, they will check you out on social media to save time BEFORE you get called in to an interview.
Start building an online profile that makes you look like the sort of person who would succeed as a professional tap dancer.
Set up your LinkedIn profile and start building your reputation as a committed tap dancer.
Join local and world online tap dancing groups. Build your reputation.
The Future of Job Applications
Don’t panic if you can’t get your head around algorithms and key words. Just write your best application. Remember:
In Western Australia most employers own small businesses so they won’t be using application tracking systems, and even some IGA stores just have a form that you have to fill in.
There are some seriously cool job application apps coming through which will make it easy for employers to find out about you… but probably harder for you to make your application shine. There may be a future in writing seriously cool job applications for these apps.
If you are in Western Australia and want to know about career opportunities subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter.
I work constantly to maintain my knowledge of career opportunities and my careers newsletter is a conduit for information and advice to schools and organisations across Western Australia.
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Media companies are no longer subscribing to high quality news sources when there is so much free material available. I heard Hugh Rimmington say that there were more podcasters in Melbourne than baristas!!
Anyone can write a blog, film TikTok posts and YouTube videos.
It may not be fancy, but it’s cheap.
Before you decide to spend your next 3 years on an exciting journalism/communications/ media course, check JobOutlook to assess how long it will take to get a job and earn enough to pay back your course fees.
When you have done that, start your blog, start taking photos, start writing scripts and do free online courses to teach yourself about the industry.
….talk to your career advisor before you decide to compete for jobs with the 180 outstanding, experienced AAP journalists who are about to start looking for jobs in a diminishing job market.
For outstanding careers information subscribe to In Focus Careers newsletter. Our network of West Australian careers experts is working to support great career outcomes for all school leavers.
You don’t want to impose. You don’t want to be any trouble. They will think you are stupid.
There are 1000 reasons NOT to get in touch with a mentor.
There are a 1000 mentors out there aching to help young people to succeed.
The kids who put themselves forward are the ones who get the help. It takes guts to ask for help. It takes guts to want to succeed.
There is nothing more frustrating than having knowledge and networks developed over a lifetime of work and study that is no longer being used or valued.
You can tap into this pot of wisdom and network to support your giant leap into a fantastic future.
Be prepared to share your knowledge of apps and technology.
Be prepared to listen.
The Australian Business and Community Network
The Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) is a not-for-profit organisation that connects business with students through mentoring and partnership programs. It aims to provide students with the skills and work experience they require to make sound personal, educational and vocational choices.
Together we work with a network of public schools across Australia to deliver a range of critical skills, employability and leadership programs that involve business professionals mentoring students. All programs are provided at no cost to the schools or the students.
The Beacon Foundation is another not-for- profit organisation that provides mentoring services. It works with schools, businesses and communities to inspire students to think about their future long before they leave school.
YMentoring is a community-based not-for-profit mentoring program operated by YMCA WA for youth living in the Perth Metropolitan area. It matches youth with a caring adult who can offer support, guidance and friendship for a minimum of 12 months. The service is offered to young people aged between 7 and 20 years. To find out more go HERE.
The Pinnacle Foundation provides scholarships & mentorships to young LGBTIQ+ students to give them the chance to achieve their full potential, and Light The Spark within.
Search Mentor Programs Western Australia for more services that you can tap into.
Find your ideal career path and tap into all the support you need.
Get your professional career plan from Bev Johnson at In Focus Careers.
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(South Metropolitan Government High School.)
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No school can educate a child for the 21st Century by acting as an island. It must build bridges that support engagement with the community and industry.
By establishing a framework you will be able to gradually grow the school as a hub of the community, engaging an eclectic range of stakeholders, all supporting the education of your students.
There are just 5 pillars required to build a framework that supports engagement and collaboration between school and the wider community.
Once this framework has been created it can be used often to build your school as a hub of community engagement.
The first thing to do when you start working with a potential partner is to determine the fundamental values that will underpin your work together.
This will seem strange but you need to establish your relationship with your potential partner and a slow engagement, achieved by discussing these values will help you to get to know each other, and it is a lot better than the “test and fail till you get it right” method.
Think of it as a prenuptial agreement!!
You don’t HAVE to agree on each of these principles. Pick the ones that suit your project. For small projects you may not need #5 but your school will gradually build a bank of standards that will underpin each following project.
These principles are suggested for consideration by schools and their partners when deciding how you are going to work together:
The school and partners will share a common vision of the project and understanding of the scope.
The project strategy will be customer centric, with the views of customers being represented in the project design.
Participants will demonstrate through action, a willingness to make the project succeed.
The project must be flexible enough to enable participation of all parties, regardless of power and status.
Where standards are available they will guide the operation of the project.
An analysis of all costs and benefits must underpin the project plan and sustain the ongoing case to work in partnership.
Governance arrangements will explicitly identify who is available for what aspect of the project and to what standard.
Security and privacy issues will underpin management.
An express agreement between parties will support the project.
If you would like to discuss how to establish your school framework for engaging a village to raise your students email me: Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
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……(your career is like) hacking through virgin rain forest – a completely blind journey where you never know where you’re going to end up. It’s only by looking back at the forest that it seemed to be some sort of logical progression. (Eddie Perfect)
….how does one even define ‘success’?
This answer will (and should be) different for every person. So it’s good to take a minute and think about how you personally define success, and what kind of person you’d like to be if and when it happens.
The clue to having a successful career in the 21st century workplace is to see opportunities and solutions in today’s challenges and then use your creativity, intelligence and enthusiasm to create brighter futures.
When robots and computers can do so much, being human will be your winning edge.
I love it when people value me and make me feel as if I belong. Not just family. I love it when the local barista asks about my holiday. I love it when my boss remembers my birthday. I love it when the occupational therapist listens to my Mum’s stories.
Ability to listen deeply and respond with humanity will become more important to the success of humans in the 21st century workplace.
Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Land
We are making such a mess of the planet that there will be a MULTITUDE of jobs needed to address the wreckage we are creating.
Watch out for emerging trends to be ahead of the game.
The media makes the world seem like such a dangerous place.
The media itself is a dangerous place. Are people really watching us through our phones?
Whether it is the fight against hackers or terrorists there is money to be made in protecting people and big business from unwanted intrusion.
It’s time to invent a new security door or become an ICT security ninja.
When the high speed internet eventually arrives across Australia there will be lots of jobs connecting some things to other things to make new things.
In the meantime, the current NBN seems to be taking forever so there could be a long term job working on that.
When it is finished the Australian internet speed will be slower than the speed South Korea has already left behind, so you could continue upgrading and improving on the internet speed throughout your career.
Whether you are digging an NBN trench or creating a smart fridge that connects to a smart cow, there will be a lot of connecting going on.
Go crazy. Think of what could be connected? Connecting things is already big business.
Our world is changing faster than at any time in history. We need new approaches and many people to address the problems of today and tomorrow.