Ramit Sethi (@ramit) is the bestselling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works, and now he’s applied the same no-nonsense approach to his latest program, Find Your Dream Job.
What We Discuss with Ramit Sethi:
- Many people are underpaid, often by $10,000 per year. How can you make sure you’re not one of them?
- What hiring managers are really looking for in job candidates, and how to refrain from disqualifying yourself before you’ve even applied simply because you lack a prerequisite mentioned in the listing.
- Throwing your resume on a stack with the rest of the candidates and hoping for the best is probably a wasted effort — because most of the best jobs are filled through backdoor introductions, often before they’re ever made public.
- By the time you’ve been granted an interview, the hiring manager doesn’t want a generic rehash of your credentials — they’re more interested in knowing how well you’ll fit in with the team and if you can be counted on under pressure.
- The three parts of the negotiation power dynamics framework that will help you maximize the outcome of your negotiations by understanding your leverage.
- And much more…
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The last time Ramit Sethi was on the show, he showed us how to critically think about money and use it to live our idea of a rich life instead of regarding it as an unconquerable enemy as laid out in his wildly popular bestseller, I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works. This time around, he joins us to help maximize that thing we do to make the money: find a fulfilling and rewarding job (or upgrade the one we already have), even when there’s a global pandemic afoot.
Find Your Dream Job is Ramit’s program that teaches people how to find and land the job of their dreams — as well as negotiate for more pay and great perks like remote work. Proven over 10 years with thousands of students, Find Your Dream Job is a comprehensive system that works no matter what your career goals are. Want to make more money, change industries, work from home, get a promotion, or improve your work/life balance? Find Your Dream Job will show you exactly how to do it. Sign up for more information here. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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THANKS, RAMIT SETHI!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Find Your Dream Job | IWT
- Ramit Sethi | Website
- Ramit Sethi | Instagram
- Ramit Sethi | Twitter
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works by Ramit Sethi
- Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Be Rich | Jordan Harbinger
- The Airport Test: The Interview Assessment You Didn’t Know You Were Getting | The Muse
- Jordan Harbinger: Creating and Maintaining Connections Effectively | Talks at Google
- Chris Voss | Negotiate as If Your Life Depended On It | Jordan Harbinger
- The 5 Whys | Lean Problem Solving
- Six-Minute Networking
- The ‘Sunday Scaries’ and the Anxiety of Modern Work | The Atlantic
Transcript for Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Find Your Dream Job (Episode 464)
Jordan Harbinger: Coming up on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Ramit Sethi: When you speak up, does the rest of the meeting stop talking and turn and listen to you? Or are you talked over? I find that this is one of the most poignant, pointed moments for people because it very clearly tells you if you are respected at work. There's things like your paycheck, but actually that is less relevant on a day-to-day basis than do I have a friend at work who I can go to lunch with, or that I enjoy talking to. And finally, in the last four weeks, have you learned something new, right? That tells you if you are at a job that is challenging, that is compensating you, that's respecting. If those are great, perfect. Not everyone has to switch jobs tomorrow. But if not, can really start to incur an invisible cost over days and weeks and months and even years that can be incalculable.
[00:01:01] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game — astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, psychologists, even the occasional four-star general, Russian spy, or arms dealer. Each episode turns our guest’s wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:27] If you're new to the show or looking for a handy way to tell your friends about it, we now have episodes starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topics to help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started. And of course, we always appreciate that as well.
[00:01:48] Today, my friend Ramit Sethi is back on the show. We're talking about careers, namely, how to get your so-called dream job and make yourself more competitive so that you can negotiate higher salaries and better, more satisfying. The job market has changed. Lots more jobs are going remote. This gives you more options, but it also means that you now have to compete with a lot more people. If you're not just competing with people in your city, right? Most of the best jobs are filled through backdoor introductions. I've talked about this on the show before something like 80 percent of jobs are filled through network. That's even more so for the higher level positions that you know, you probably want, at some point in your career.
[00:02:22] These jobs are often filled before they're ever even made public. So knowing how to tap into this shadow market of opportunities gives you that top talent and advantage over the average applicant. We're going to show you how to do that today. And some things haven't changed. It's hard to find out how the most successful careers are actually built unless you have an inside scoop. And that's what we want to give you here today, of course.
[00:02:44] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every single week, it's because of that network. That same network, that's going to get you that dream job. I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribed to the course. They subscribe to the newsletter. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong. All right, here's Ramit Sethi.
[00:03:09] You're opening up this course, which is kind of cool. That's got to be kind of exciting. It's got to be fun to run these things.
[00:03:14] Ramit Sethi: Oh man, well, you know, this thing originally came out in 2012, Dream Job.
[00:03:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:20] Ramit Sethi: It's funny because whenever we do an event in person, this is probably one of the most common things people come up to me. They're like, "Oh my God, I got a $26,000 raise because of Dream Job. And it makes sense. You know, most people have a job, I think 97 percent of our audience does. And most people don't know how to go about the job hunt and negotiation process. And so when they learn how top-tier candidates do it, they become really good at it. You know, it's been out since 2012, but we decided to completely redo it from ground zero.
[00:03:54] There's a lot of things that changed and, you know, people want remote work. There's new techniques out there. And honestly, when we built it, it was 220-something guys. And now we have a much more diverse team. We have people on our own team who have taken part-time roles because they want to take care of family. So it gave us an opportunity to rebuild it and to be a lot more forward-thinking, diverse, include different types of dream jobs, not just the $300,000 a year Google job, but all kinds.
[00:04:28] We saw that when we started to share it with people and they came in and the first thing they said is, "You know, I want balance in my life." We're like, "Yes. Perfect. We can help you do that."
[00:04:37] Jordan Harbinger: I've got to ask though, this is probably the most important question of the interview. So it's all downhill from here. Is that tan cardigan that you're always wearing and videos, is that your favorite piece of clothing?
[00:04:48] Ramit Sethi: First of all, I appreciate that you notice my different clothing.
[00:04:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:04:52] Ramit Sethi: That means a lot, Jordan
[00:04:54] Jordan Harbinger: Well, Cass is doing her job, getting you dressed.
[00:04:56] Ramit Sethi: I know, my wife is amazing. She's a personal stylist. So nowadays when I show up on set, everything is cataloged. It's steamed. It's broken apart into different looks for different videos. And that's when I'm feeling good going out there knowing that someone has thought about this.
[00:05:16] Jordan Harbinger: You mean me, right?
[00:05:19] Ramit Sethi: Exactly.
[00:05:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I mean, it does look good. Look, it's worth the price, just go buy the Dream Job course, so you can see the cardigan. That seems like a fair trade to me.
[00:05:28] Ramit Sethi: That's probably the best value you can get out of it is, to be able to analyze and critique the different looks, for sure.
[00:05:34] Jordan Harbinger: Now, one thing that was surprising me about this since I've had probably only a handful of real jobs in my entire life, as you might imagine, because this one doesn't count. That job requirements are flexible. So even if you're not the perfect on-paper match, a lot of people will still give you the job. And that used to freak me out when I was applying for jobs. I was like, "Oh, I don't have this particular type of certification or this degree." And it's different in law. But I think a lot of people get kind of scared off. They go, "Yeah, I've got three years of experience, not four. And you know, I have a degree in Microsoft security analytics or something, but I don't have the CSS," but whatever sort of other computer certification and they go, "I'm just not even going to apply. They're never going to hire me. They're asking for different stuff," but these aren't necessarily written in stone.
[00:06:23] Ramit Sethi: One of the biggest mistakes people make in life is to disqualify themselves. In careers, this is especially true. You see people who will see this job requirement. And like you said, they might have three years, but not five years. And they do the recruiter's job for them. Guys, don't do someone else's job for them. Your job is to apply and create the best application you possibly can. Your job is not to reject yourself.
[00:06:50] And so I actually brought in actual hiring managers for this program, because if you think about it, when was the last time you got to sit around a table with real hiring managers, with real budgets who actually openly shared what they look for when they hire candidates? Never.
[00:07:08] Jordan Harbinger: Never, yeah.
[00:07:09] Ramit Sethi: Nobody has access to these people. But in our network, we do. So we brought them in and one of the questions I asked him was when you write a job description, how serious are you about it? And I put all their answers in the program. And one of the managers said, "Look, it's a wishlist. I wish that someone had all 15 of these criteria, but if they can do the main part of the role, we can waive all the other stuff."
[00:07:33] So as an example, if you're a performance marketer, let's just say, or marketing manager, and you can demonstrate that you acquired 50,000 leads last year or 500,000. But maybe you don't have the perfect certification or maybe you only have four years of experience instead of six, you should apply. And in your cover letter and in your resume and in your interview, you should tell them point blank: "I'm a fantastic performance marketer. Last year, this is what I did. This is what I acquired. This is the cost of the ROI." They will not care about a wishlist item. That's bullet point number 14, if you can do the most important part of the role.
[00:08:10] Jordan Harbinger: How do you, which requirements are, I don't know, core job requirements where they are kind of written in stone where it's like, "No, we really actually do need someone with a law degree to work at our law firms. Sorry. And we're glad that you feel qualified, but that's not really it." Because if you've got 14 bullet points and four of them are important and it doesn't say, "Hey, this one's important." They're just all mixed in there. How do we know which ones are actually flexible in which ones are a must?
[00:08:36] Ramit Sethi: Well, this goes to the crux of the difference between top talent and average applicants. So average applicants would ask exactly that question. Like, "How do I know?" Because the way that they approach the job search process is completely average. This is what they do. One day at work, they realize, "I'm not really happy here." And again, let's pretend they're a marketing manager. So they go to some job search website and they literally type in marketing manager, the same role that makes them unhappy, they type it in.
[00:09:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:07] Ramit Sethi: And they find like 50,000 jobs. They have no idea which one's good. So they pick randomly, they upload their resume, and then they sit back, cross their arms, and wait. "Ooh. I wonder when the job search genie is going to come and give me a job." And when that doesn't work after two weeks, they try again. Then two weeks pass, they get discouraged and then they say, "It's the economy. This sucks." Okay, that is a completely average, passive approach to finding any job much less a dream job.
[00:09:38] What top talent does is completely different. So instead of saying things like, "I want to help people. I want to do challenging work." They get extremely specific about what their dream job is. And we can talk about that process and how you find that they will be able to say something like this, "Ramit, I'm looking for a B-to-C technology company that's in the marketing analytics space, and I'm looking for a marketing manager or marketing coordinator role." Now that is specific.
[00:10:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:10:08] Ramit Sethi: And because they've narrowed it down, they can narrow it down to five, 10, 15 companies. They can start looking at their job offers, their job descriptions. They can start networking with people who actually work at the company or used to work there. They can take them out to coffee, do Zoom informational interviews, et cetera. And they really start to dig in. They will quickly learn what matters in the role and what doesn't. And if you're listening to this and you're saying, "Well, hey, that must be nice maybe if I went to Harvard," or, "That must be nice if you have the time to do it." What is your other option? To sit there and put your resume into the black hole of doom and just wait? That's a loser's game.
[00:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:48] Ramit Sethi: Instead, narrow it down, find five or 10 companies you want, and then surgically go after them. That's how you learn what they really want.
[00:10:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's interesting. By the way, I'll ignore the fact that you alluded to the idea that I'm an average performer and we'll just let that slide.
[00:11:02] Ramit Sethi: Not you, but you're doing it for your listeners.
[00:11:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course.
[00:11:04] Ramit Sethi: I know that. I appreciate that.
[00:11:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course. I have to ask the question then where someone goes, "Ah, you know, I'm not even going to do this because I can't even tell which requirements are a-must or which aren't," or, "I'm just going to ignore job postings that have too many requirements," or I'm going to ignore all the requirements because they're all flexible." It seems kind of tough.
[00:11:21] Ramit Sethi: That's what a lot of people do.
[00:11:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:23] Ramit Sethi: And I know that because I've hired many, many people, and I can tell you that when you post a job listing, you will often get dozens, if not hundreds of applications. And here's one of the uncomfortable truths about a job search, you get approximately 10 seconds of a hiring manager's attention. So they don't get to look in your soul. And they're not going to learn about your love of knitting and how you're having an encyclopedic knowledge of Netflix document. They don't care. You get 10 seconds. And that's why your resume needs to be completely dialed in. Nobody cares about the margins or the colors. That stuff is irrelevant. You have 10 seconds to get their attention. And if you pass that 10-second test, maybe, just maybe, they will look at your cover letter. "I'll give you another 20 seconds there." And then they make a decision. Is it out or is it advancing them to the next round?
[00:12:13] So it's really important to be honest about how this process looks and works. And if you say, "Hey, I'm just going to ignore what that guy just said because it sounds hard." You can do that. It's your career, it's your choice how you want to run it. But if you apply to a role after having looked at the job description and you do not personalize your resume and your cover letter for exactly those bullet points, you do so at your own peril and you've got 10 seconds and it's probably unlikely that you're going to get advanced to the next round.
[00:12:46] Jordan Harbinger: That totally drives it with the only real job experience that I actually have. I mean, I remember, and I've told this story on the show before, the way I got my first law firm job, or one of my first law firm jobs was a friend of a friend told me that this guy that we used to know in college was helping out in one of the interview rooms, because basically the firms would fly into our campus to interview us. We didn't have to go to them. So they had like this hotel full of rooms where people were interviewing. And the guy's like, "Hey, look, we don't have you on our list of scheduled interviews, but if you want to talk to me while I eat lunch, no problem."
[00:13:19] So I just jumped in the room and he's eating a Subway sandwich with like banana peppers, falling onto this stack of resumes that other people had left. And he's asking me mostly irrelevant questions about just personality-based stuff and like what kind of law I want to do. And I'm giving him almost generic answers and he looks at my resume and goes, "Oh, okay." And he looks at my grades and goes, "Oh, okay, cool." He goes, "Yeah. So you're cool working in New York. You like the city?" And I go, "Yeah, it's great." And he goes, "Cool. You're not going to quit after six months because it's too intense?" And I go, "No, I love New York. I've been there a bunch." And he goes, "All right, cool. So we want to fly you out to round two. Can you come out next week?" And I remember, like in slow motion, this drop of sauce from the sandwich, just hitting some innocent person's resume that he was like, probably going to just throw away after that because he'd already scanned it and was now using it as a place mat. And it was probably still warm from the other person holding it. You know, it was just that fast. It's just, you're so expendable when you're in a stack like that.
[00:14:14] Ramit Sethi: Yeah. That's the uncomfortable truth of the hiring process and you kind of saw behind. The curtain as to how it really works. 10 seconds, they're looking for very specific criteria and you as the job candidate can find out what that criteria is, but it takes work. However, if you try to compete in the same way that everyone else competes, let me just toss my resume over there and hope that they see the genius. That is a very, very unlikely thing to occur.
[00:14:48] Jordan Harbinger: I think in a lot of these super competitive jobs, so tech, law, corporate, stuff like that, they know that everyone's intense and an overachiever. So if you're just trying to prove that you're also that, you do all this work to prove that image. And they go, "Great, so table stakes, same as everyone else."
[00:15:04] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:15:04] Jordan Harbinger: And what we were trying to do when we were hiring for law, for example, was, "Can I work with this person for a long period of time? Because we're going to be stuck in this conference room for like 15 hours. And if they're going to keep talking about all the awards they won for rowing and stuff like that, we're going to kill this person. It's going to be horrible."
[00:15:21] Ramit Sethi: Yeah. Management consultants call it the airport test. If we get stuck in an airport, would we want to spend time with this person? And I'll tell you a story from my own college recruiting experience. So back in the day, I loved interviews. Same as you, companies would come to campus and I get to dress up. I'd get to go into a room and talk about myself for 45 minutes and then find out if it worked or not. I loved it. And I got a group of my friends together and we'd compare notes on different interviewing strategies and questions and answers that we'd given. And we started to get very good at this. And I remember my sophomore year, I interviewed at a company called Sun Microsystems.
[00:15:59] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my God.
[00:16:00] Ramit Sethi: Now, for those who know, this was the equivalent of Microsoft back in the day. It was a tech pioneer, a big company in Menlo Park. And I walked in after I did the first interview, I walked into their headquarters in Menlo Park and I was a sophomore. I didn't even have a proper suit. So I don't think I had a coat. I just had a tie and a shirt, whatever. And all these MBA students were in the lobby. And I could tell they were MBA students because they actually looked professional. They knew how to dress correctly. So I'm sitting there, in my little sophomore outfit, waiting, and I go in and interview and I ended up getting the offer and I was a competitive intelligence analyst that summer.
[00:16:41] And after I got the offer, you know, I've made friends with my coworkers. Finally, I got the chance to ask him the question I'd been wanting to ask. "Why did you choose me over all these MBA students who have much more experience than I do?" And one of my closest coworkers, she said, "Look, basically everyone has good experience if they make it to the interview. We wanted someone who actually wanted to work here and someone who we liked." And it was that simple.
[00:17:07] So in an interview, one of the most common mistakes people believe is that they are there to answer questions. That is their worldview, their mental framework. Why are you going to the interview? "Well, I'm going to answer their questions." Wrong. If that is your mental worldview, you've already lost and you don't even know it. The much more sophisticated approach is to know that you are in an interview to share your key messages.
[00:17:34] So for example, if they ask you, "Why do you want to work here?" The most common wrong answer is: "Well, I really like this company and it's doing interesting work and I have some experience." Nobody cares. That's just generic words. It's marketese. Or, "Tell me about yourself." "Well, I was born under a palm tree and then I learned to love how to write about — " Nobody cares. Stop. You need to have your key messages dialed in and no matter what they ask, you're going to find a way to share a great story or a key thing that they should take away. And so when you do this and when you know your key messages down cold, you actually can be free to let your personality shine through. So you're not so rigid like so many of us, when we go into an interview. You can actually tell a joke. You can ask them a question. It becomes a conversation. You can even pull up a computer. Say, "Let me show you how I did this marketing campaign here. Pull your chair up over here. Let me show you what I did here." And suddenly you have a conversation versus just you answering questions.
[00:18:29] Jordan Harbinger: I wish I'd known this stuff when I first started getting jobs. Luckily, I got an awesome job on Wall Street back in the day and I was lucky because I blew several interviews before that. Because I thought, "Okay, whatever you do, don't tell them things that might sound — " In fact, this was advice from our law school, like, "Make sure you come across professional." So I remember going to interview in the offices and they're like, "Okay, he's a little stiff." And I could get that they felt that about me. And then they take you to lunch. That was like the standard thing, junior associates or whatever, take you to lunch. And they'd go, "So what do you like to do?" And I'd be like, "I love reading, and I love travel," and they'd go, "Oh, where do you travel?"
[00:19:05] Ramit Sethi: "I love reading —
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:06] Ramit Sethi: — and volunteering!
[00:19:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:07] Ramit Sethi: I love spending time building libraries!"
[00:19:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It was like a stone's throw from those types of answers and they go, "Oh, where do you travel?" And I was like, oh, I better not say anyplace like where I went and did some crazy shit. "Recently, I've been to Europe and I speak German," and they're like, "Okay." And then I remember the girl goes, "So do you drink or anything?" And I go, "Well, yeah." And she goes, "Great, good. Do you want to drink right now?" And I go, "No, you know, because we're at lunch and it's professional." And she goes, "Okay. Oh, look, I got an email in my BlackBerry. I have to go. Do you have this, Tom?" And Tom's like, "Oh, yeah." And they were just like, "This guy sucks."
[00:19:42] Ramit Sethi: Wow.
[00:19:43] Jordan Harbinger: And they didn't say that, but the idea was so clear that I was not cool and I was boring and they left and I immediately, like, they didn't even get back to the office before they were like, "Not a fit." You know, it was just like instantaneous, "This guy sucks." I ran into one of those associates later at like a mixer or something like that, friend of a friend type thing. And they were like, "I remember you, you're the guy who reads a lot and doesn't ever drink." And I go, "Yeah, none of that was true." And they're like, "Yeah, we kind of wondered because you seemed more normal than you acted in some way and you totally aren't that guy now." And I was like, "Yeah, just tried to get that job." And they're like, "Yeah, we're just kind of heavy partiers over at" whatever firm that was, "and we just didn't want to stick in the mud." And I was like, "Man, that would have been a really good fit for me at that time."
[00:20:25] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:20:26] Jordan Harbinger: If I hadn't bullshit my way through it.
[00:20:27] Ramit Sethi: So for everybody listening, I just want to add some context around what Jordan just said, because it can almost sound alien what Jordan's talking about. You know, so many of us, when we think about finding a job, we think about, "What is my passion?" And then, "What salary am I looking for? Do I put 1.25-inch margins?" And here Jordan's over here talking about, "Should I admit that I drink?" These are totally different languages and yet —
[00:20:53] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:20:54] Ramit Sethi: — likability is a key factor and to be able to get to the point where they actually are testing you for likability. That means you're really close to getting the offer, okay. What that means is you need to have demonstrated that you have the skills just to get in the door and that's table stakes. By the time I talk to someone, when I'm hiring, I already know they have the skills; that's table stakes. They've been vetted already. Now, it's other questions, more intangibles. "Do I like them? Do they have grit? Are they going to quit when things get tough, et cetera?" But if you're listening to this on the surface, it can sound like this is crazy. "You know, maybe it works for Jordan because he went to this school or he was a lawyer."
[00:21:35] But actually if you can infuse your job search with number one, making sure that you represent your skills correctly. In other words, not using pointless jargon on your resume, not submitting your resume through a random job search website and wait. Number two, if when you get into the interview, you recognize you're not there to answer questions, but rather to share your key messages. And number three, when you do all those things, you earned the right to share the more intangibles, the real side of you.
[00:22:03] Well, that's how top candidates get jobs, jobs that pay a ton of money. Our students, for example, we've helped them negotiate salary increases between $10,000 to $80,000. That's how you find jobs that are remote if you decided you don't want to commute anymore. And for some people who decide, you know what, I want to completely change industries, that's how you get jobs like that.
[00:22:27] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Ramit Sethi. We'll be right back.
[00:22:32] This episode is sponsored in part by chili technology. You all have probably heard of the chiliPAD. But did you know that one of the most important parts of staying healthy is the quality of your sleep you should, because I talk about it all the time here on the show. An optimized night's sleep will help you feel more rested when you wake up, it promotes good immune system, health, benefits your mindset, helps with a little bit of those weight loss efforts if you're doing that. But even with these significant benefits, the fact is only about 44 percent of Americans report a restful night's sleep almost every night. That means most of us are not getting restful sleep on most nights, which is pretty horrible. Chilisleep makes customizable climate controlled sleep solutions that have helped me not only get a better night's sleep, but have improved my entire wellbeing. I track my sleep. I track my deep sleep. I track when I go to bed, I track all that stuff. And chilisleep makes both the chiliPAD and the OOler, which fit over the top of your existing mattress. You don't have to replace your mattress, which is kind of a big deal. It's not as expensive. It doesn't waste as much stuff. It uses water to control the temperature of your bed and lowers your core body temperature and triggers deep restorative sleep. I've tracked this stuff, using all the trackers that you could possibly get on one human body. And it does make a difference for me personally. I'll tell you that.
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[00:24:58] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Ramit Sethi on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:25:03] You know, it's funny. I give this talk occasionally and I gave one at Google and the comments on the — you know how Google films your talk, and then it's on YouTube and people make comments and it was about networking and how every important job that I've ever gotten and how most people get jobs like 90-percent-plus of jobs or 80-percent-plus are through people's networks and things like that. And the comments on that video are so salty, man. They're like, "Well, this just means that you took someone's position who was more qualified than you because you're better at schmoozing." And these are people that just don't understand the points that you just made, which is if they're screening for somebody who already has experience, I'm already in the door for that reason, that's where the networking comes in.
[00:25:43] But also what the networking does is say, "Hey, we actually like this person and they're qualified, and so if you're wondering if you're going to hire someone and they're going to be an insufferable a-hole who's underqualified or one or both, then you don't have to worry about that because I know Jordan and he's neither of those." And so you have like an 80-percent chance of getting a fit, as opposed to like flipping a coin.
[00:26:04] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:26:04] Jordan Harbinger: And the people who leave those comments on the Google video, like, "Well, you just took away a qualified person's slot." That's the person who's like, "Hmm, I'm split testing my resumes and I've sent out 701 with Arial font and one with Georgia, one's 14-point and the other one's 13.5, and I'm going to see which ones get a better response rate." And then they complain that someone else got a job, even though they're better qualified because they had 17 more minutes of experience doing a particular task.
[00:26:29] Ramit Sethi: Yeah. Our principle with our Dream Job program is very simple: study winners. If you go and google right now, sample resume, you're going to find thousands of resumes, and you're going to look at them and you're going to start naturally being drawn to their format or how many bullet points they use, or their margins. But you never stop to ask the question, "Are these real resumes that landed top-tier jobs?" And they're not, they're often just made up by a writer.
[00:27:00] So in our program, we said, "You know what, we're only going to study winners." So we brought in actual resumes from people who landed six-figure jobs. You can look at them and you can see how they are different compared to the ones you find for free on Google. Then we brought in hiring managers, "Tell us who you recruit. Tell us, do you expect them to negotiate?" But one of the hiring managers was like, "Yeah, of course. I'm always surprised when people don't negotiate. They should ask for more. I always keep a little in my back pocket for the right candidate." Great. That simple little insight was worth $5,000 to $15,000 to you. Perfect.
[00:27:36] So study the winners with resumes, with cover letters. You want to learn from people who have done it. You do not want to be looking in YouTube comment sections for these folks who are bitter at Jordan for teaching people how it actually works.
[00:27:50] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:27:51] Ramit Sethi: Those are not the people you want to listen to. You want to study winners who have gotten the kind of jobs you want and then reverse engineer everything they have done.
[00:27:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. A lot of these, the comment sections, especially, or just the peanut gallery in general, it doesn't have to be YouTube comment section. It can be like your friend's cousin who thinks they know about how to get a job because they have one or had one. These people don't necessarily know what they're talking about. So you have to be really careful. It's like the negotiating advice where people go, "Hey, never argue over this. You're lucky to be having a job in the first place. Don't rock the boat." And it's like, "There's a guy who's getting paid less than his colleagues, for sure."
[00:28:24] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:28:24] Jordan Harbinger: You know, show me the person who doesn't negotiate and I'll show you somebody who's underpaid by $10,000.
[00:28:28] Ramit Sethi: Completely. We ask our readers a lot to — we show them how to find what they should be paid. And they routinely find that they are underpaid by $5,000 to $15,000. It's very common. We then show them how to get paid more. Whether they stay at their current job, we show them how to get a raise or if they want to switch jobs or even industries. It's kind of humbling to realize that you might have been getting underpaid for years, but when you dig into why and you ask the five whys, a lot of times you discover something quite simple, and that is this worldview people have that the world is fair. And if I just show up and do good work, I will be rewarded.
[00:29:11] Now, that can work. That can be true in certain situations, but you'll also find the flip side of that is, that they believe if somebody uses techniques like networking or salary negotiation that they therefore must be unclean or bad or scammy. And that's exactly what those YouTube commenters were really saying. They were saying, "Jordan, you took a job from someone else because you use this magical networking power that you have. You're unethical." What they really should be saying is, "Jordan, what can I learn from what you did and how can I adapt that to my situation?"
[00:29:52] So for those of you who are afraid of negotiating or who think it's dirty, what you should really learn is how do I master the skills of negotiation. How do I master the skills of finding a job, a dream job, and use that for my career? Because frankly, there is no virtue in sitting there and living a passive life. It doesn't make you any more ethical than anyone else. It doesn't make you any more successful, that's for sure. I would rather you pick up the oars and row your boat of life and decide if you want to get paid more or you want to find a work-life balance job or work remotely, decide it, and then get it. Don't just sit back and wait and leave YouTube comments.
[00:30:32] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned that there's a way that you show people how to see if they're underpaid. I'm curious what that is because I think people should actually go and try and find out if they're underpaid or by how much they're underpaid. You said chances are they are, right?
[00:30:44] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:30:45] Jordan Harbinger: Underpaid compared to their colleagues. Where do people look for that kind of information?
[00:30:48] Ramit Sethi: Okay, so a very simple way to do it is to pull your job description and your offer letter, the one that describes what your role is. Go and plug in your role to the salary websites. There's salary.com, payscale.com, et cetera, and make sure you account for your years of experience, et cetera. And you will quickly find as you triangulate among a few different sites, what your pay should be. Now, there are some variables where you live years of experience and any unique skills that you might bring, but you'll quickly find the range is typically within $5,000 to $7,000. You can find out if you are underpaid or not.
[00:31:32] Now you should also know that there's total compensation. For example, you may have a 401k match as we offer at my company. You might work remotely, et cetera, et cetera. You want to factor that in, but what would it feel like if you're listening to this right now to go and run these numbers, which you can in about 15 minutes and to discover that you're underpaid by $9,000. And what would it feel like if you realize that you haven't gotten a promotion or a raise in four years? And whenever somebody brings it up, your boss says something like, "Times are tough."
[00:32:05] Jordan Harbinger: "HR is working on it. I'll let HR know."
[00:32:07] Ramit Sethi: Exactly.
[00:32:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:08] Ramit Sethi: "It's out of my hands," and "Well, we give you the standard inflation cost of living increase every year. There's not much more I can do." And when I brought these hiring managers in to share their secrets of how they recruit, it's very clear that hiring managers take their budget and routinely give the bulk of it to top performers. Meanwhile, everyone else has left with the scraps. Now, this is not true in every company. Every company has its own compensation policies, but you'll quickly find that managers want to reward their very best. And if someone else simply says, "Ah, do you think maybe I could somehow possibly someday get a little bit more?" They're not very incentivized to give them.
[00:32:52] Jordan Harbinger: It's like, "Well, we might give you a little bit, if you actually threatened to quit and we can't afford to lose you. You might be looking at like a seven percent raise instead of a five percent raise. But otherwise, no, Tom's going to take a $10,000 raise every year because if we lose him, we lose half the revenue that he's generating.
[00:33:07] Ramit Sethi: Yeah, that's right. And so when you're listening to this, the first thing that your mind might trick you into doing is saying, "Well, I don't know if I generate as much as Tom and I don't know what to do." What you're doing there, what that worldview is, is being passive and letting somebody else decide how your career is represented. Why not take a totally different approach and say, "You know what? I'm going to go to my boss and I'm going to ask them, 'Look, I want to be a top performer in this role. It's really important for me to exceed expectations. Step one, let's get clear about what those expectations are. Step two, I'm going to deliver on those. So every week, every Friday, I'm going to send you an update on how I'm doing on hitting those KPIs that we talked about. And then next time, we come in for a compensation discussion, which is six to 12 months from now, I'm going to have the data, I'm going to have it all ready to go. And it's going to be very clear when we discuss my compensation." If you do that at your current company, you give yourself a really good shot at getting a raise. If however, your boss still won't give you a raise, then it could be time to make a move.
[00:34:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You're never getting a raise at that point. Right?
[00:34:10] Ramit Sethi: Exactly. I mean, just think about it. Think about the place that you buy cheap shoes from let's just say. For example, when I was a kid, we used to shop at Payless, okay. The shoes there were like $15. Do you think if they sold a pair of shoes for a thousand dollars, I would ever buy it? No. For two reasons, one, I didn't have a thousand dollars to spend on shoes. And two, if I did have a thousand dollars, I was not going to Payless to spend it there. That's the same for you in your career? If you are thought of as the easy person, "Oh, they're not going to rock the boat and we can pay them the minimum and they deliver fine, but they're not a top performer. They're not the one driving initiatives," it's going to be very hard to get your manager to think differently of you. Now, you can give yourself a shot at it as I discussed, and we show you how in the dream job program. But sometimes if that doesn't work, it's easier to simply make a clean break and go find a company where you can reinvent yourself.
[00:35:06] Jordan Harbinger: What about people who think right now is the worst time to get a raise? It's the worst time to be looking for a job? Look at the economy. It's COVID; we don't do anything now. Wait for three years before doing any of this. Like, "Why are you telling me this, Jordan? It's COVID I'm not going to do any of this crap. It's just going to get me in trouble."
[00:35:24] Ramit Sethi: The funniest, I have been hearing that same thing for the last 12 years. They said it when the economy was terrible, they said it when the economy was good. And if you say it at all different points in the economy, maybe it's actually not the economy. Maybe it's just you. And I always ask myself, "Is this the kind of person I want to be taking advice from?" So for you and me, you were a lawyer, you've gone through the recruiting process. I've landed job offers at Google, Intuit, a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund, and helped thousands of other people get $25,000-plus raises and switch industries. Who do you want to listen to?
[00:35:58] Now I will say there is a framework for knowing how hard you can push on negotiating. Should we talk about that?
[00:36:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, let's talk about that because I think a lot of people see the line of where they can push as like a hundred yards, figurative yards closer than it actually is. They go, "So is there any room, wiggle room on my pay?" And the boss goes, the hiring manager says, "Hmm, I'm not really sure on that." And they go, "Oh, okay, great. Where's the contract? I'll sign it right now." They don't do anything. They're just kind of like, "Is there maybe, I don't know, something else in it?" "Not really." "Okay. All right. Forget I asked. Forget it."
[00:36:32] Ramit Sethi: Yeah, I want to teach a framework. We call it the negotiation power dynamics framework, and there's three parts to this. This framework will help you explain how to know how hard you can push in a negotiation, and then how to maximize your outcome within that domain. Let me break it down.
[00:36:53] Step one is to know your leverage. And the key thing here with leverage is to know the state of the economy. Sometimes it is an employer's market. Sometimes it is an employee's market. And let's just talk about right now. Right now, if you're a software engineer, that's a high demand job. It's an employee's market. That means you can effectively write your ticket. You have high leverage. On the other hand, let's take a waiter for example, or waitstaff at a restaurant. It's an employer's market. It's very difficult. Unfortunately, COVID has disproportionately affected waitstaff and other similar jobs. So if you were to go in, you have low leverage in a negotiation. So it's important to know this because you can't just walk in with a low leverage opportunity and say, "Give me $10,000." That won't work. And that is critical to know.
[00:37:46] The second thing is the demands of the company. This will help you understand your leverage. If a company has decided, for example, to get into streaming TV and you happen to be a director of 10 streaming shows that have done really well, you have really high leverage. If on the other hand, they're hiring and your role is nice, but it's not that important, you might have lower leverage. And then finally, you can increase your leverage by following a structured system. Like the one we teach in dream job, this is different than what most people do. They just like randomly apply to 10 different jobs. And then wait, that provides you lower leverage because you're not maximizing the chance of engineering a bidding war. Okay, so that's the first section. Know your leverage.
[00:38:33] Jordan, should I pause there or should I keep going?
[00:38:35] Jordan Harbinger: No, no. We'll put this in the worksheets. So nobody has to necessarily take notes right now. And if you're jogging or something, you don't have to worry about this. We'll put all of this in a little PDF in the show notes that people can get. And we'll put links to your stuff in there so they can dive deeper into it. You don't have to go slow for that reason.
[00:38:51] Ramit Sethi: Okay. The next section of the framework here, the negotiation power dynamics, is to actually master your psychology. So like you said, a lot of people, they have been told time and time again for the last 30 years, "You should just be lucky to have a job." Wrong. When I walk in to interview at a company, I am excited. I want to contribute, but I also know that they're lucky to be talking to me. Why? Because I know that I'm a top candidate that I can contribute to this company. I've done my research. I've spoken to other people who used to work at the company, or even still work there. I know what the company needs, and I've already prepared a presentation on how I can help them.
[00:39:32] Okay. The next thing on the psychology side is to remember this thing: "I am more desired when I am in demand." So just think about it. How would you behave if you walked in and you have one interview and that's it? Versus if you walk in and you've got four other job offers, and now you're talking to a fifth company. You and I intuitively know you're going to act different. You're going to be more confident if you have more opportunities or certainly more offers. This is where a structured approach --
[00:40:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's like dating, right? Like when people go, "Man, I always meet so many people when I'm already with someone." "Yeah, because you're not being a freaking weirdo who's all needy."
[00:40:09] Ramit Sethi: Exactly. You want to display confidence. It does not mean arrogance, but you want to display confidence and that can manifest in so many different ways. For example, when you go into an interview and they say, "Why are you interested in this role?" And you can say, "Well, there are two things that interest me about this role, A and B." And I have to tell you, you know, when I was looking at opportunities, I'm not interested in Y, but I am interested in X. And I know that Acme Corp does focus on X. Think about what it means for a candidate to be so confident that in an interview, they can actually talk about what they are interested in and also what they are not interested in. That's setting boundaries. That's being confident. That if this doesn't work out, no problem. I've got three other companies. So that's the psychology section.
[00:40:57] And then the final part is the mechanics. Nail the negotiation. So when you walk in and you have a salary negotiation, you better have the perfect answers, first for the common interview questions. Why do you want to work here? Why this company? Why should we hire you? You'd better have those scripted and ready to go. Same thing for when they say, "Here's the offer." Well, you better already know your numbers. You better know your range and know the number that you will not go. This is all stuff we teach in the program. You want to be able to make necessary concessions. People think negotiations are adversarial. That you're kicking down doors and screaming at people.
[00:41:34] That's not the way it works. When you're looking at how a top negotiation works. It feels almost like two people having coffee, but there's $15,000, $20,000, sometimes more than that in the balance. So it's a very sophisticated social dance.
[00:41:48] Jordan Harbinger: It's funny. You mentioned people think it's adversarial because you know, Chris Voss, right? The hostage negotiator.
[00:41:53] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:41:53] Jordan Harbinger: So he was on the show and he's a friend of mine. So we've done a couple of interviews. Even when you are literally negotiating with terrorists who are about to kill a bunch of innocent people who are hostages, you're still not aggressive and adversarial. Right?
[00:42:05] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:42:05] Jordan Harbinger: So why would your career negotiation be more adversarial than someone who's negotiating with like Hezbollah, right? And you would not do that.
[00:42:13] Ramit Sethi: Exactly. I'm glad you brought that up. That really shows the context of where does this fall and how serious this is. And that actually is why my third and final point on nailing the negotiation here is a simple, single word, which is smile. I used to fill myself as I was preparing for interviews. And I only started doing this because I kept losing interviews. And this is for college scholarships, way back in the day. I watched these videos and I was horrified because in my head I was Mr. Friendly Ramit, "Oh, it's so cool. Let's talk about stuff [enthused]."
[00:42:45] But the way I was presenting myself was, "Yes, I am very interested in this college scholarship." Robotic, not smiling at all. So when Jordan and I talked a few minutes ago about being able to be friendly, be someone that they want to spend time with. This is where things like smiles or a little laughter or a small PG rated joke can come and really set you apart from other people. By the time you make it to this level, you should be so good with the basic skills and basic answers that you can actually let your personality shine through. And remember, you're not trying to extract every last dollar. You're trying to find a fair resolution because you're going to be working with these people presumably for the next few years. That's how you do it.
[00:43:31] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Ramit Sethi. We'll be right back.
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[00:46:38] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much for listening to this show. I hope this episode is helpful. I hope it helps you get your dream job. I hope you support our sponsors if you so choose. I really do appreciate that. All the codes, everything that you hear, all those little slash Jordan's, whatever, and that sometimes they're different, they change. Jordanharbinger.com/deals has all that in the same place. As you all know, we do have worksheets for today's episode as well. So if you want the drills, the exercises, all the little scripts, all the stuff we talked about in the show in one easy place. That link to the worksheets is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Please do consider supporting those who support us. That always makes a big difference. Now, for the conclusion of our episode with Ramit Sethi.
[00:47:20] You mentioned the five whys earlier. I'm curious what that is. What does that relate it to? And is that something you can share that we can go over relatively quickly?
[00:47:27] Ramit Sethi: Well, the five whys, this classic principle that often companies like Toyota have used when something's stopped — the factory stopped and they said, "Well, why did that happen?" "Well, the belt broke." "Well, why did the belt break?" "Well, you know, we ran out of this part." "Well, why did we run out of this part?" And they reverse it asking why five or more times until they realize something that seems totally disconnected, but it actually affected the factory floor stopping.
[00:47:55] So we want to do the same thing in our careers. We want to ask, "Why do I go into interviews and believe that I'm there to answer questions." "Well, I thought that's what you do." "Why?" "Well, that's what my mom told me." "Why?" "Well, that's the job she had." "Why?" "Well, I don't know. She just, she's just got the advice from her mom." And then I would stop and say, "Are those the roles that you are looking for?" And it becomes very clear. People are almost dumbstruck. They go, "No. Why have I been following a script that someone 40 years ago wrote? I don't even realize what it was written for."
[00:48:30] Jordan Harbinger: Right, like your grandmother in the Czech Republic got her first job this way, or didn't have a job ever and heard that from someone else. And that's the script that you — that's the program you're running to negotiate or to get your career in an investment bank in Manhattan.
[00:48:43] Ramit Sethi: Totally. And so many of these things are so omnipresent. That's why we call them invisible scripts. The things that tell us, "We should just be lucky to have a job," or, "Oh, it must be nice. I can't get a job like that. I didn't go to this college." or even deep down, "I don't deserve to get paid more. I'm scared that if I actually follow this dream job program and got a $15,000 raise, that I wouldn't be able to live up to it." This is really deep stuff. And to be able to unpack that is uncomfortable. So most of us resort to surface level Band-Aid solutions. They come to me, they say, "Ramit, what margin should I put on my resume?" Nobody gives a shit. "Ramit, which website do you use?" Nobody cares. In fact, that's irrelevant. The deeper stuff is really examining and rewriting your invisible scripts.
[00:49:34] For example, the idea, "I don't have a network." Oh, you definitely have a network. You have five people right now around you who would be happy to help you get a job. They would be happy to take your resume and pass it directly along to a hiring manager. You have five people right now in your life. In fact, I'm going to tell you right now. You think, "Oh, I don't have any network." Let's break it down. Do you have anybody who you went to college with? You don't even have to have talked to them in the last 10 years who has worked or currently works at a company you're interested in. Oh, you don't know the answer. Go on LinkedIn and find out. Go on your alumni website if you've got one and find out.
[00:50:11] "Well, I don't have that, Ramit. I didn't even go to college." Okay. Do you have five people you follow on Twitter? Who you've added value to in exactly the way Jordan has told you so many times by sending them valuable material, by commenting on their stuff and adding value? Have you done that? And if so, could you build a relationship through email and maybe even a Zoom call? Yes, absolutely, you can. So you definitely have five people in your network, but it's uncomfortable.
[00:50:40] Jordan Harbinger: It is.
[00:50:40] Ramit Sethi: Think about that. It's much more comfortable to go and fiddle with your resume.
[00:50:43] Jordan Harbinger: That's a technique that's in my Six-Minute Networking, the free course that we have at jordanharbinger.com/course, by the way, for those of you who procrastinate nonstop on that one. Go do it now. It's called layoff lifelines because people go, "Oh, I don't have anyone. I don't know anyone." I go, okay. Think about a dozen people that you would call or email right now, if you got laid off or your business imploded. Who would you call right now? Now make that list probably takes like 20, 30 minutes to think of, and then reach out to those people now, while you don't have an agenda, because it is easier to reach out and go, "Hey, I've done a crappy job of keeping in touch. How are you? I just had my first kid. Things are crazy. You know, it's all locked down, blah, blah, blah. Let's catch up." It's easier to do that than to go, "Hey, I know it's been eight years, so I need a job." And you popped into my head, even though I only call you when I need shit, you know, like it's just better to do now. And people spend no time thinking about their weak or dormant network ties because they don't need anything. And then they go, "Oh, I can't just reach out to them now. I haven't talked to them since high school." So do it now. And then if you do run into an issue, then you're just reaching out to an old friend who you talked to six months, 12 months ago, or even three months ago, instead of somebody who hasn't talked to you since you got married and divorced three times and they moved to Arkansas, right? Like you have, it's so much warmer of a connection.
[00:52:01] Ramit Sethi: So valuable for everyone listening to do. And in fact, it just seems so weird for people. People find it so weird to be reaching out. And what happens is their mind fills up with these questions designed to discourage them from doing. So they'll say things like, "Well, what would I even say? Why would they take time to talk to me? What am I supposed to talk about with them? I don't understand. What's an informational interview." And look, we have answers to all that stuff and Jordan, so do you, it's not that hard to build a relationship. And actually, people want to hear from you deep down what their mind is really telling them is. I don't think I'm valuable enough for someone to want to spend 10 minutes with.
[00:52:39] But once they get over that, once they're stopped looking backwards, they can actually focus on looking forward. So we tell Dream Job's students, you need to be reaching out to at least five people per week. So most people they're fixated on one. "Whoa, how do I find one?" That's like people looking for college scholarships. "How do I find a scholarship?" I'm like, "No, you need to be applying to 10 per week." So it really expands their mind when their jaw drops and makes them realize how small they've been thinking and how big you should actually be thinking to be equivalent to what other top performers are doing.
[00:53:16] Jordan Harbinger: How do people know if they're in the right job right now? You know, I get a lot of email for the Feedback Friday inbox, and some people are like, "I'm really happy where I'm at." And other people, "Go, I hate where I'm at." But most people honestly are not writing into me because they're somewhere in the middle. They're like, "Yeah, I like working for this healthcare conglomerate. I mean, my coworkers are cool. It's not what I imagined doing as a kid, but you know, it's fine." And so they don't have any kind of crisis. But how do we know if we're either in the right career or at the right company based on — well, based on what? Right? Because a lot of people aren't even thinking about their own goals of their own needs. They're just thinking, they're glad they have health insurance.
[00:53:53] Ramit Sethi: Yes. And that is fine if that is your primary focus in life. For example, if you've got a large family and you absolutely need health insurance, number one. Let's leave room for that because not everyone at every part of their life can afford to seek out a dream job. However, I find that most people sell and you can find these clues in your own life. You can find these clues on Sunday evening. There's a phrase called the Sunday Scaries.
[00:54:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:54:24] Ramit Sethi: What are you feeling Sunday evening? When you think of about what you have to wake up to Monday morning and what you have to do for the next five days. For some people, it's, "Yeah, I can't wait to go. In fact, I already saved some of my ideas over the weekend. I put it in a Google Doc. I'm ready to go." And then for a lot of people, they're like, "I haven't ever felt that. I feel dread. I feel anxiety. I feel nervous over what I'm going to have to confront at tomorrow's 9:00 a.m. meeting. I know I'm not going to be listened to when I walk into work and on and on and on." So your body already knows the clues if you listen to it. Then there's little clues, like when you walk into a meeting. When you speak up, does the rest of the meeting stop talking and turn and listen to you? Or are you talked over? I find that this is one of the most poignant, pointed moments for people because it very clearly tells you if you are respected at work. There's things like your paycheck, but actually that is less relevant on a day-to-day basis than do I have a friend at work who I can go to lunch with, or that I enjoy talking to.
[00:55:32] And finally, in the last four weeks, have you learned something new? That tells you if you are at a job that is challenging, that is compensating. You that's respecting. If those are great, perfect. Not everyone has to switch jobs tomorrow. But if not, it can really start to incur an invisible cost over days and weeks and months and even years, that can be incalculable.
[00:55:57] Jordan Harbinger: Do you recommend that people sit down and write this down?
[00:56:00] Ramit Sethi: Yeah, write down. What do I feel Sunday evenings? When I speak in a meeting at work... When I get paid, I feel... And the last time I learned something new and interesting at work was... That'll tell you right there, how you feel about your job.
[00:56:20] Jordan Harbinger: So that's an interesting exercise to sit down and do. Because I think — and for good reason, you know, because it's sort of outside people's awareness — most people never bothered doing this also that can be scarier than just sucking it up and dealing with work because you don't necessarily know what you would do. Let's say we come to the conclusion that we aren't in the right place. Most people don't even want to reach that conclusion because they don't have any options about what to do when they come to that. It's scarier to come to that conclusion, realize you have no other way out anyway.
[00:56:48] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[00:56:48] Jordan Harbinger: So most people are happy to bury their head in the sand. So that leads to the obvious follow-up, which is how do we then find what might be the right job, the right company, based on our career goals, life needs, things like that.
[00:56:59] Ramit Sethi: When I ask people, what is your dream job? I get back the most fascinating responses. So recently I asked people on Twitter. And one of the most common responses was there is no such thing as a dream job. "Working for the man, sucks." And I asked them one simple reply, I said, "Do you know anyone who has a dream job?" And they basically said, no, because it doesn't exist because we're in for the man, sucks." And that really is quite illuminating.
[00:57:32] Again, question number one is. Why would I take advice from somebody who doesn't know anyone with a dream job? So you can imagine that the type of person who says this has a mediocre job and is surrounded by people in their network, also with mediocre jobs. And these are the kinds of people where when they go to work, they say things like, "Well, it's just a job, right?" Or, "You know, living for the weekend." Hey, if that is your goal. Okay. But I happened to know that dream jobs do exist because I have a lot of people who have found them. They are happy to work at a company as opposed to running their own business because they can have more impact together, than they can have alone. They can prioritize healthcare, they can stop thinking about work at five or six and that's important to them. So number one is just to really acknowledge where you're getting your advice from.
[00:58:26] And then second thing is I ask them, "Okay, What is your dream job?" And after we've gotten past the first question, they typically say something like, "I want to work at a place where I'm passionate and I make contributions, et cetera." Those are all vague jargon that means nothing. So I want to teach a quick framework on what your dream job is, and it's different for each person. So there's three parts to this framework and these are what we call career seasons. All right. So just like on our planet, there are different seasons. There are different seasons in your career.
[00:59:00] When I was in my 20s — Jordan, I bet you and I were both the same. We were in our growth season. We were willing to work 60, 70 hours a week.
[00:59:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:59:08] Ramit Sethi: We wanted to make more, learn more, scrape, more meat off the bone. Would you say that's accurate?
[00:59:13] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, I think about that all the time when I think, God, if I had to restart this company right now, it would be kind of a nightmare, which — you can dig deep and do it. I had to do it three years ago as everyone listening knows. But dude, when I was 27, 33, it was like, if you told me I had to work till eight in the morning, fueled purely by Red Bull or other illicit substances, I would have been like, "Great. When do we — let's do it." You know, now I'm like, I'm in bed by 9:30, you know?
[00:59:38] Ramit Sethi: Okay, perfect. So for a lot of people listening, you are in growth season. You want more, more responsibility, more compensation. You want to learn more. That's where a lot of people tend to be early on in their careers. Typically, later on in life, 30s or 40s, a lot of people switched to another season called lifestyle. Lifestyle, like you said, at 9:30, maybe you have a family. This happens a lot to parents who have children or you're taking care of an elderly parent, or you just decided, you know what, I want to prioritize a hobby. I want to surf three times a week. Fine. You can still perform well at your job and you can still be paid well, but you're not putting 60 to 70 hours a week or going for the necessarily top-paying job every single time. That's lifestyle.
[01:00:25] And then finally, There's people who want to completely reinvent themselves. The third season is called re-invention. And Jordan, as a former lawyer, you can imagine the lawyer who decides, "I'm done with this, I want to completely switch, become a podcaster or become a beekeeper. I want to reinvent myself." And that requires all different kinds of skills. People are going to say, "Hey, I used to make X dollars. Can I even make close to that in this new industry? How do my skills transfer?" So it's really important for people to know what season you're in.
[01:00:55] And I already know what you're thinking if you're listening here, "Hey, Ramit, I'm in growth, but I'm also in lifestyle." No, you're not pick one. You need to pick one because if you want to truly be in growth, if you want to get that top-tier top paying job, you can't also be doing lifestyle. And so what that means is by choosing which career season you are in — of course, we show you how to do this in our Dream Job program — you suddenly narrow the universe of options down to a few key roles, and it suddenly allows you to decide which companies are right and not right for you. And it gives you total clarity on what steps to do next.
[01:01:34] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's interesting that people say, "I'm in growth and also lifestyle." And you know what that is? To me, that's the cult of entrepreneur on Instagram talking where people are like, "Yeah, crushed it. I made 10-mil last month. I surfed every single day."
[01:01:46] Ramit Sethi: Yeah.
[01:01:46] Jordan Harbinger: "I'm living in Barbados on a boat." And it's like, no, this is your marketing. You didn't make nearly that much in profit. You made maybe negative profit. We don't even know. And this is all a bunch of lies. And people also want to say things like, "Oh, well I do like learning, but I also like not going completely insane." So they think they're in the lifestyle mode when really, they just mean that they're in growth mode, but they don't like fall asleep under their desk every day, and there's a difference.
[01:02:11] Ramit Sethi: And we should remember that this career season's framework that we created for Dream Job. This is actually very empowering because it means you don't need to do all of it at once. So just like you, I was in growth season. I worked really hard, particularly my early 20s. I built up an engine, I built up something that would sustain me and then I got married and I decided, "You know what? I want to shift into lifestyle." So now my wife and I, we traveled six weeks at a time. Last time, I only took my iPad. And I told my company, I'm only going to check email for one hour per week. That was my rich life to be able to go to all these different exotic places with my wife, take my family with us and to say one hour per week. And to know that my company would continue growing. That's lifestyle.
[01:02:57] So the beautiful part about these seasons is you don't have to do it all at once. Our career is long, so just like the seasons are going to naturally come. You can choose which season you're in. And if at a certain point you decide, Hey, and that's a lifestyle.
[01:03:11] I want to go back into growth. You can absolutely do that. How you do that means you're going to start looking for companies that are growth oriented. You're going to look at the people who work there. They should be getting promoted every one to two years. You're going to seek out those. You're not going to look for companies where people don't get promotions or raises at all, or maybe once every seven years. Those companies are out because it doesn't fit your career seasons.
[01:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: Perfect. This has been extremely useful. I do have one follow up here to close it down though. Are there red flags on job descriptions where you know the job is going to be horrible because of the way the job description is written? Like, are there key words to watch out for, or overly generic language that show the employer has no idea what they want. You're just going to be set up for failure from the jump. Is there anything like that that comes to mind?
[01:03:57] Ramit Sethi: Yes. And I'm glad you asked this because as a top talent or top candidate, you are evaluating the companies just as much as they are evaluating you. So this is a completely different worldview than average applicants. If the job description is totally generic, if the job description is not crystal clear and shows that someone hasn't put a lot of time into it, that's probably not the kind of company you're going to want to work for, especially if you are in growth seasons. Why? Because they're putting their best foot forward with their job description. And if the hiring manager has not really done a thoughtful job, then you can tell that they may not be taking this role very seriously. That's going to affect the way that you're trained onboarded and compensated.
[01:04:42] One of the hiring managers that I brought into Dream Job. I asked her, "How do candidates evaluate you?" And she said, "They need to look at the job description. The right candidates are going to look and see the immense amount of thought that we put into these job descriptions. And they're going to immediately see this role is taken seriously."
[01:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you very much, man. This is super interesting. Obviously we'll link to everything that you talk about in the course in the show notes. Always good to talk to you, man. I'm looking forward to hanging out next and I'm glad that you're doing this now. I think it's an interesting time to teach people how to find new jobs, because some people don't have a choice, but to find a new job right now, and other people have been kind of afraid to even think about it because it's too much of a black hole or a black box, I should say.
[01:05:23] Ramit Sethi: Yeah, I appreciate it, jordan. Always a pleasure looking forward to hanging soon.
[01:05:29] Jordan Harbinger: Now, I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before we get into that, here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:05:35] Jon Taffer: If you're not honest with yourself, then how do you ever move your life in a positive direction? Because you're starting from a point the fantasy. Nobody can succeed if you're not honest with himself. Revenue cures, all you. You know when I talk to people in business seminars, and they're saying, "Jon, my labor cost is high. My marketing costs is high. My promotional cost is high. My tech cost is high." But if I could raise your revenue by 30 percent, you wouldn't have cut clause problems anymore.
[01:06:04] So it's the ultimate pacifier of every problem that exists in our lives. If we focus on top line, which means I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is how do I monetize myself right now? How do I drive revenue? That is the first thing I have to do today. Then I can deal with all of the other things that I have to do. There's nothing more important to an entrepreneur than revenue. And if they don't wake up every morning and think about revenue, first thing. They probably shouldn't be an entrepreneur.
[01:06:33] And I'm going to say something that's going to upset some people. Sometimes when I go to these businesses and I see a bartender and people say, "He's been a bartender for 10 years, he should be the manager." No, if he's been a bartender for 10 years and he hasn't bubbled up that he's the last guy who should be manager. Some people are comfortable where they are and you promote them right out of the company. That guy it's been a bartender for 10 years, leave him alone. The person who's not comfortable, who's bubbling up on their own, that's the one who should be promoted, even if they're only been with you for a couple of months.
[01:07:05] I don't believe that you can make a leader. I don't believe you can train a leader. I don't believe you can make a leader. The pied piper, you would've followed him off a cliff. Leadership is born. It's not given.
[01:07:15] Jordan Harbinger: For more, no nonsense business advice with Bar Rescue star, Jon Taffer, check out episode 142 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:07:25] Great episode with Ramit, always is. By the way, I know I said Hezbollah. I know how to pronounce Hezbollah. I just started laughing in the middle of it. So I'll use CIA guys to delete the draft email you were just typing to me about how to pronounce Hezbollah. Also, I want to make it really clear here that it's expensive for firms to hire the wrong person. Most employees, they don't have a return on investment until four to five months into a job. So it's tens of thousands of dollars lost for a wrong hire.
[01:07:50] For me, I've hired the wrong person, a handful of times. It's called running a business. It happens. I remember one copywriter who was kind of a scammer, but whatever, what else is new? That dude cost us like $18,000. We hired a media manager, which was some BS position that a consultant, who also was a waste of money, told us to hire. That was $30,000. And by the way, this lost revenue, this doesn't count opportunity costs, delaying projects, not making sales during that time. This is just the lost wages we have from that person. It doesn't include all of our wasted time, training them and communicating and all the things we didn't do because we had them there instead of the right person. So employers really are looking for the right person to hire. So you do have a lot of value if you are competitive for a position.
[01:08:31] And by the way, another thing that's very important here. Managers can tell when you just want to get your foot in the door. In other words, if you only have experience in marketing, but you're applying for a job in HR or something else. They know, "Okay. He's trying to pretend like he wants to work in HR and that he's going to jump ship and go into marketing." They will often not hire you because of this. It doesn't mean you can't transfer inside the company at a good time, but nobody wants to hire somebody for a position they need when that person is actually gunning for a different job.
[01:09:02] Now, if you find yourself wanting to transfer inside the company that you're already in, you first have to crush the role that you are in. Then apply to transfer. Don't get distracted by trying to get another job inside your current company, because now you're just marking yourself as a low performer. In other words, let's say you are working in HR and you do want to transfer to marketing and you maybe got in either because you sneakily applied and got in, or you've just been an HR and you think marketing is more exciting. You have to crush that HR role and become a star.
[01:09:31] The danger is, of course, then they might say, "Well, we can't let go of one of our stars. You're really good. We don't want to lose you to marketing." But then you say, you kind of frame it as they're going to lose you from the company entirely. So then they will transfer you inside the company. That's a whole different, probably, show in itself. But what I want to highlight here is you should not then say, "Well, you know what? I'm just going to drag ass in the HR department and not do what I need to do so that they don't like me so that I can transfer to marketing." What's going to happen is you're going to end up getting canned and rightfully so.
[01:10:02] So you have to crush the world that you're in and then apply to transfer. Don't worry about making yourself quote-unquote too valuable. Companies don't want to lose valuable people. Yes, departments don't want to lose them either, but a hiring manager will know that if you're really unhappy in one department, that they need to move you to another one. And if they don't, you know what fine, then you leave, then it's their loss.
[01:10:22] Big thanks to Ramit. We'll link to that course and everything else that he's got for you here in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Please do use our website links if you buy anything from the guests, such as their book. It does help support the show. The worksheets for this episode, in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes, I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:10:41] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships, using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you get thirsty. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course in the newsletter. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:10:59] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know someone who's on the job hunt or wants to upgrade their career, this is a great episode to share with them. I hope you find something great in every episode of this show because we work our butts off to make it. Please do share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on this show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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