This guest post has been originally published on the blog of Quimojo and written by its co-founder, Dean Owen. It is an honour for our team to host his work here and to share Quimojo’s original insights with you. Have a good read.
Degree in hand, you might be forgiven for thinking you were now armed with what was needed to land a great job straight out of college. With the slowly improving global economy, we are seeing a slight tapering off of youth unemployment, but the situation for the greatest is still dire.
1) Here is one idea that may change your life
You have by now all heard of the term Crowdfunding. Basically, it is an alternative form of fundraising that start-ups, or any person with an idea, can turn to, in order to raise seed money to start a project. It is a concept that has only really taken off in the last decade with websites like GoFundMe, INDIEGOGO and KickStarter offering a platform for wannabe entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to the public.
Dig deeper and you’ll find such platforms offer a wealth of opportunities for a job seeker. Every budding entrepreneur that initiates a project on an INDIEGOGO or KickStarter platform will be a mixed bag of emotions ranging from confident, to extremely anxious about whether their idea will be warmly received. In a way, it is not only a method of raising seed money but also of seeking validation directly from the marketplace. During the tense period between launching a project on a crowdfunding platform and the deadline for reaching the funding goal, there is nothing more welcoming to the anxious entrepreneur than an email from a complete stranger saying they saw the project and think it is a brilliant idea. And here presents the opportunity for you, the job seeker.
Take your time to look through some of the projects. Most crowdfunding sites categorize projects nicely so you can easily find projects that you might be passionate about, be it design, fashion, technology etc. If you do come across a project that, if you had the money, you would love to make a “pledge”, then there might be an opportunity for you. Research the project thoroughly, and jot down what you think will be the major challenges to bringing the project to market, the unique differentiating factors, and the potential for business development.
It is usually very easy to reach out directly to the entrepreneur behind the project – Their contact details can easily be found either through the crowdfunding site, their website or via social media channels such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Many of these projects are start-ups being hatched, so, provided they successfully got funding, they will have hiring requirements.
2) Send them an email, which might read something like this:
“Dear Mr. Hyungsoo,
When I learnt about your project to build a tactile timepiece through Kickstarter, I immediately pledged to receive the All-Titanium Edition, which I was delighted to have delivered through the post just last week. I bought it, not for myself, but for my visually impaired roommate who works as a massage therapist. Needless to say, he was thrilled with his new Bradley watch and uses it to time his sessions.
Forgive me for being assumptive, but I recently graduated from University of New South Wales with a major in Advertising and Marketing. I am currently based in Queensland Australia and am seeking opportunities with a company like Eone Timepieces. I would be more than willing to make the move to the U.S. to be part of your team, or could develop a marketing strategy for the APAC region.
Please let me know if any opportunity exists, or point me to the right person to whom I can send my resume and certification.
I wish you and your team all the success in a project that clearly changes lives for the better.
It is important to keep the email short, clear, and authentic. Every entrepreneur starting out loves to hear words of encouragement and shared passion.
Please note that going this route is not for everybody. If monetary considerations are your primary goal, then perhaps yes, you may want to continue your search for a stable job with an established company. It is unlikely, if your application is successful, that a budding start-up will be able to pay a handsome salary. But if you want to do something you feel a genuine passion for, this might be a good solution. And even if the start-up fails to gain traction, being part of an early phase start-up is useful and is a sought after credential for your resume. If it is successful, then you benefit from being one of the first hires and you have the opportunity to be part of the growth story.
Thank you so much for reading!
Please share your experience on this topic in the comments section. More insights from both recruiters and job seekers would be highly appreciated.
We are collecting data and insights for an educational project about recruiters’ use of Social Media. If you are a recruiter/headhunter, you can support our work by completing this online form: http://bit.ly/21fTUuQ
Best regards from the team.
Pictures from: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Owen D. 2016, One Slightly Unorthodox Way to Kickstart your Career, Quimojo, Available from: http://bit.ly/1WQ8t4o. (Last accessed 02/2016).