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ToadMan

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Evan: You "give them a job" or "show them the money" based on passion, interest, and drive. But I feel like you and Toady are using different words for the same thing. If you're incredibly passionate about something, wouldn't you be educated and knowledgeable about it?

 

I can be "passionate" about architectural engineering, but if I've never taken a course or read a book on eng, design, or math in my life, I think it's foolish for an employer in that field to hire me. The opportunity cost is too high. But those people who are passionate about something are rarely uneducated about it, no? How do you quantify passion, interest, and drive?

 

A question: Instead of finance, you work in software. Your company is looking for an Objective-C Developer. I LOVE MOBILE DEVICES OMG AND I OWN LIKE 927902 APPS AND WANT THIS JOB MORE THAN I WANT FOOD OR TRUE LOVE. I live and breathe them. But I've never programmed a thing in my life and don't even know how to use HTML tags to make shit bold or italic. I am EXTREMELY eager and willing to learn.

 

What do you do?

 

What if it was a medical job and not a computing one?

 

(I guess what I'm trying to say is that people are passionate and interested in a lot of shit that they have no business doing.)

 

Edit: I agree with everyone here 100% about traditional interviewing being deeply flawed. It's quite flawed, but I'm glad that some companies are finally getting more creative.

Edited by Prometheon

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desire, passion and genuine interest will get you a job in your field of choice, not necessarily the one at the top. in my sector, one needs accreditations to be legally employable in an actual advisory position. if you don't have that education, but possess desire passion and genuine interest, i will hire you, give you on the job experience and put you MILES ahead of the competition when/if you become chartered/certified. even if you don't, you'll still make $65-$90k a year.

 

You know, I'm not sure if anyone else is interested, or if Evan is even willing to share, but I'm extremely interested in hearing how he gained all his wealth at such a young age. You make it sound so easy. You seem to have led such an amazing life thus far, and you're so intriguing...

 

I know that sounds like a come on, but it's not, I assure you lol

i've always known what i wanted and what i was good at. i just found a career that could harness those skills and get me the things i wanted in life. money is weird in that if you make enough of it in one place, it gives you the confidence to invest in other places, and most people with money feel something similar: power. they just mistake it for confidence. the difference between confidence and a perception of power is amazing success and total failure. i've known extremely successful people that thought since they'd accomplished so much in one aspect of business, they were experts on business as a whole, and could do no wrong. so i've tried my hardest to find opportunities that could be considered outside the box, or lucrative, or niche or all three, and put hundreds of hours of thought and research and analysis into it before i commit. so far it's worked.

Edited by RicardoObviouso

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I surely hope your business proposals aren't as limp as that reply. There again, with some of the venture capitalists I've met that would probably be sufficient.

 

Just so I don't feel like I'm being just as vague, I'll clarify what I am, exactly what I do and exactly where I am positioned in the hiring mechanism. That might give a little more context to my difference of opinions.

 

I'm an electrical engineer + computer science grad (if any of you care that is B.E. + B.Sc). I am currently a Firmware Engineer at Apple (for those of you that didn't get my hint previously) in the iPod/iPhone/iPad devision (no I can't get you free stuff).

My job in hiring is technical screening. When we interview a candidate we schedule them for a day long interview 9am to 5pm (5 blocks of 45 + lunch + some breaks). The first 3 or 4 interview sessions are done by pairs (usually) of people like me. Our goal is to assess a candidate for technical competence. This means that we are asking technical questions related to the field. These range in difficulty, usually we start with easy stuff and work into more complex or nuanced areas. Questions often involve writing source code on the white board. Even none coding questions will usually require some kind of visual depiction to get full credit (by that I mean, it's usually the only way to completely show that you know what you are talking about). I am not a final decision maker. My feedback is weighed with other engineers. Largely negative feedback from all of the first 2-3 groups results in the remainder of the schedule being cancelled. Managers and directors usually interview in the last slots.

 

The fact that our interview process is very strongly oriented towards technical assessment, and that I strongly believe that my coworkers MUST be technically competent makes me weight these things as highly valuable. As you can see from the process I outlined, being able to answer the more nebulous HR questions, and being able to impress managers and directors with your interest and desire isn't going to help you if you don't make it through the gauntlet.

 

Unlike smaller businesses, or an environment where interviews are conducted by people with much more divisional spread, we can only hire for our organization. This means that we do not have the capacity to place people in positions that would require a lower technical ability because they currently lack it, nor do we have the ability to place them in an organization more suited to their taste. I have interviewed people whom would make great application layer programmers, but have too limited an understanding to be firmware programmers. In these cases those people are assessed poorly, and there is little we can do to find them a place.

 

I agree with Owen to an extent. People can be extremely passionate about things they know nothing about. This isn't uncommon in a technical industry. There are literally millions of people passionate about the products I work on, only some of them have the technical expertise required to do my job. In the same vein, I am passionate about saving peoples lives, but I lack the training and skills to be a doctor (I am trained to the highest level of CPR and First Aid I can maintain, and that's about as good as I can get).

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I don't think that reply was limp. I understand that Evan's a generally private person, and he wanted to answer my question within of the perimeters of keeping his personal life private.

 

Thanks for sharing, Evan. I don't want to say "You're so lucky to be so successful", because in the end, your wealth and success wasn't about luck. But I really admire how much drive, ambition and intelligence you have. You're inspiring, but at the same time, I know that I won't ever be as successful or wealthy as you (through my own means anyway), because I think I lack the drive.

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Yes, he is such a private person that he talks all about how much more successful than the rest of us he is. In an industry he won't identify... I drive a top of the line car, but I won't tell you what companies line it is from...

 

I'm just getting at that it's complete nonsense to come storming in here saying you are such an expert, but you have no basis you are willing to share.

 

I suppose you can defend it if you like, but the response adds nothing to the discussion.

Edited by ToadMan

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I don't mean to brag. I don't mean to boast. But I'm intercontinental when I eat french toast.

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Yes, he is such a private person that he talks all about how much more successful than the rest of us he is. In an industry he won't identify... I drive a top of the line car, but I won't tell you what companies line it is from...

 

I'm just getting at that it's complete nonsense to come storming in here saying you are such an expert, but you have no basis you are willing to share.

 

I suppose you can defend it if you like, but the response adds nothing to the discussion.

 

I think you're being way too harsh on the guy. Everyone needs to just chillax a bit. This is supposed to be a friendly forum discussing jobs/interviews etc., not who is more successful vs whom or an ego-masturbation session.

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I don't think he's ever really said he's *more successful* than the rest of us. Perhaps he's got an air about him, but anything he's ever said has generally had good intentions. I've never smelled bullshit on him.

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I don't think he's ever really said he's *more successful* than the rest of us. Perhaps he's got an air about him, but anything he's ever said has generally had good intentions. I've never smelled bullshit on him.

 

Linky linky:

 

i'm an employer and i'm likely the most financially successful person here.

 

I think you're being way too harsh on the guy. Everyone needs to just chillax a bit. This is supposed to be a friendly forum discussing jobs/interviews etc., not who is more successful vs whom or an ego-masturbation session.

 

You're probably right. I was a little worked up about something yesterday. I did, however, feel like I had tried very hard to pull in some positive insight, and was just getting walled. Anyway, as the quote above indicates, it's really not worth having a debate about who is more successful, we have a self proclaimed winner.

 

So yeah, lets get back on topic with a little more structure. As I said, it's probably best if we give an idea of industry and role in our comments and replies. It has a huge effect. Admittedly I don't interview well against managers and HR people.

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My mistake, my apologies. That being said, I guess I'm just a big "fan" of Evan.

 

I, unfortunately, am not sure how to participate in this thread. I've always worked so-called "entry-level" positions. I'm pretty much a career receptionist/Office Administrator.

 

I've had Kevin tell me on several occasions (when I'm bitching about his job) that my job is nothing I could call a career, but I absolutely love my job.

 

In my experience, when employers are looking for administrative help, especially someone who's going to be reception, they're often looking at someone who can maintain composure while multitasking in a busy office environment, with a lot of customer service skills and common sense. Seems like an extremely easy thing, but I get pretty bitter at the other "higher up" people who don't seem to understand that without us "lower level" people, nothing ever get done.

 

I may not be an expert on anything, but I can tell you that I have often been lauded for my exceptional customer service skills and perfect disposition for reception. Having worked at a Legal Aid Criminal Defence law firm, you learn a lot of humility, working with all walks of life.

 

So, I guess what I'm getting at, is, if you're just starting out, the best thing to do is to build a good foundation of customer service skills. Even if you don't think the industry you're going to eventually make your career in, will require customer service, it's still very good experience to have.

 

I've met a lot of students at our school (I work at a private career college) who just SUCK at customer service. Which is hilarious because we have a mandatory basic course (regardless what program you're taking) called "Customer Service Essentials", that they all need to take. And then these students wonder why they're having such a hard time finding practicums and jobs >.< In some way, I think every career, will, at some point, require some level of customer service.

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Too true. There are always customers... some of them aren't outside customers. I don't deal directly with people who buy our products on an official level, but I still have customers of my work internally. It can be really helpful to strive for great customer service.

 

Though I agree with you that administrative roles are critically important, I hope you are not a snob about it. In my office we have a team of admins and 3 of them act as if the world revolves strictly around them. To the extent that they think it is ok to ask us to move out of our offices so they can have the carpet redone, when we are weeks from an important product deadline and all the engineers are working 20 hour days to get things finished. They also insisted on throwing away some of the critically important diagrams we had printed and hung on the walls for one reason or another. Though I should say that we have 2 admins who are completely rock solid, they are pretty much rock stars.

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No, quite the opposite. I believe that in any work place, as cliched as it sounds, everyone's part of a team. As an administrator, I know I'm a team member that needs to make sure the needs of my other team members are being met. My job is to be helpful. I actually hate that there are two "administrative assistants" at my work, who are snobs about whatever the fuck it is they do. Whenever I need them to help me with something, it's "oh, I'm too busy" or "That's not part of my job". It kills me, because technically, I'm of a higher position than they are, but I don't rub their nose in it. I make more money than they do, yet they still feel entitled to treat me like I'm *their* helper, simply because I often drop what I'm doing to help them with something. >.<

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WHO IS JOHN GALT????????

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"That's not part of my job".

 

this attitude drives me crazy. just fucking do it! putting through a fax for someone in the 'wrong' department is not like asking a barista to do open heart surgery. this happens to me every now and then at work and it makes me want to scream. i do things all the time that aren't in my job description, but i know i'm helping someone out and i doubt that goes unnoticed.

 

i want to find and take a class on being more ambitious/aggressive at work. i have a co-worker that has 1 month seniority on me and the managers love her. everyone else finds her two-faced and anal. she's been at her second job for 4 or 5 months and has been promoted to key holder/schedule maker. how do i do this?! the only things she has over me from what i can see are negative things, like when she forces her way into managers personal conversations, minor bullying and back stabbing. i get complimented almost daily about my customer service skills and/or my multi-tasking skills. i'm already at the top rung, as far as my ladder is concerned and i won't be doing the grocery store thing for too much longer but i feel like this is something that will always be a problem unless i fix it now. i have been asking for more supervisor shifts and other forms of responsibility, but i feel like she gives me what i get only because i'm what is available. advice? can i be a mover and shaker without compromising my values?

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It's probably what you already mentioned. Her forcing into manager conversations, backstabbing, one month of seniority, and they probably know that since you're a university student that you're not going to be there forever.

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I agree with everything Ryan said. I bet they see her, and see "lifer", you know? Have you made any mention to your superiors that you would be interested in more challenging work? Sometimes, just having an honest chat with your boss could do wonders.

 

I almost got a promotion today. Our Student Services head is leaving our campus and I asked for her position. My campus director told me she had thought of me for the position, but her director wanted someone more mature (age-wise). He said that, while I was a good candidate, Student Services required a person who has had a lot more life experience, so that the students feel comfortable sharing their problems with them.

 

It kind of smells like bullshit, but it kind of doesn't as well. *shrug* Everyone else on staff said I'd be great at the job, so who knows. Another time, perhaps another place. I just appreciate that I was thought of.

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