Create Your Own Job, Don’t Send a Resume
By James Orsini, COO, VaynerMedia
I am saddened by the fact that Travis Kalanick had to step down from his role as CEO of Uber. While I agree with the decision, I wish more time could be spent on celebrating the brilliant visionary and disruptor he is and not the operational CEO he is not.
In a world where investors’ voices (publicly traded or otherwise) are getting louder and CEOs find themselves under siege in their own boardrooms, tech leaders can still be disruptors without being obnoxious. You can still be an “Emperor for Life” like Jack Ma or Mark Zuckerberg if you are smart enough to have a Sheryl Sandberg and supporting team behind you. For every Larry Page at Alphabet (Google), there is an Eric Schmidt and team and for every Steve Jobs, a Tim Cook. These visionary CEOs need strong operational counterparts and a team of skilled executives in their respective areas. Neither could do it alone. The visionary leader will stray (Travis) or the operational leader will lack the vision to innovate on their own, but together the yoked success of the team that supports cannot be denied (Mark and Sheryl).
So today there is a vortex at Uber. Several leadership positions are currently open. A small village/committee is currently running a true disruptor business. This cannot last. Talented and proven business leaders should be raising their hands with a “put me in coach” mentality. My last two COO roles were created for me. They did not exist, nor was anyone replaced by me in those roles. In fact, my very first role here at VaynerMedia — Chief Integration Officer — was created for me. As I reflect on this notion, it is that very premise which should be used even for entry level positions in corporate America today.
Sure, there is no shortage of younger folks creating their own jobs through entrepreneurship. That however, is not what I am referencing here. I don’t believe we’ll find “create your own job” being preached in our college career development centers any time soon. They remain fixated on resume-building and LinkedIn profile updates; if you are lucky, you’ll get a few interview pointers as well. I hope they realize most initial interviews are no longer face to face. In fact, some begin with a text dialogue…. Good luck with that!
I am baffled by how disconnected most folks are from the reality of securing employment in today’s warp speed business environment. Folks allow clerical, established filters set up in web portals to preclude them from their dream job. “We only hire_____”; you fill in the blank. Perhaps a university name, a skillset, or a required experience? This is simply not the case any longer. Today, we see liberal arts students penetrating territories previously held exclusively by business school graduates. A Wall Street analyst skillset translates into media display side platform needs. Prior experience in psychology finds its way into marketing. And the list goes on…
Let’s not underestimate the value of free work leading to a created job opportunity. Here’s a great piece written by one of our employees, David Rock: “How I Got My Job for Gary Vaynerchuk.” sometimes you just have to work for free.
In the spirit of job creation in America, let’s not simply look to our government, but also to ourselves to be a catalyst in creating our own employment opportunities