A job application filled out by Steve Jobs back in 1973 has sold at auction for more than £125,000. The winner of the said auction is reported by The Telegraph to be a London based online bidder. What do we know about the man who wore black polo-neck tops, jeans, and trainers? Aside from inventing the iPhone (as if that isn’t big enough), he dropped out of college, studied calligraphy, was a fruitarian (perhaps that’s why he named his company Apple) and had over 300 patents under his belt. Inspired by ‘one of the greats’ got us thinking about job applications and what one really needs to know if they’re to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Jobs himself.
We all want to be successful but how does that actually translate? We’re told; be a team player, be agile in the workplace, be organised & self-motivated and ooze skills aplenty but what if that’s not you? What if like Mr. Jobs you too dropped out of college, maybe you’re a loner, rather disheveled and disorganised and aren’t that super sleekly motivated person who’s ‘always on time’. Let’s be honest, you’re not Fireman Sam, you’re not going to be ‘always on the scene.’
The most single difficult start-point for all of us. No matter who you are, the idea, the decision to take action and the action all require effort. No one wakes up every day feeling motivated. We wouldn’t be human if we did. So how is it then that some make things happen and for others, ideas remain just that and never amount to anything? One of my favourite scriptures for assisting with this is The Secret. It’s, in fact, no secret that The Secret really does work. Otherwise known as The Law of Attraction. It can be found in DVD form or as a book and I would recommend anyone to watch it. When The Law of Attraction fails you must then apply The Law of Attraction. That’s not to say that work won’t be required. We can all manifest what we want but we also have to be willing to do the work. Lists are a good one. Making them seems easy enough and then doing the things on the list seems like a mountain to climb but remember: doing one thing on a list is better than none. Dare to begin. Without starting, you will never know. It could be a new CV, it could be going for a run, it could be writing a book. The right time will never be more right than it is right now.
In applications, it’s inevitable for the words “team player” to crop up. What if you’re really not one? Not everyone excels within a team. Many achieve greatness in a more solo setting. What is vital to remember however is that as humans we are social creatures and we do need one another. Whether your circle is small or big, there will be others that you rely on, perhaps even without realising it. If you feel that the reluctance to join a team is holding you back try to think about the idea. It’s likey you relate to someone, even if it’s one person on the planet. A pair can be a team too. You may have the alliance that you subconsciously fear. The key to all of this is to focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. Self-esteem is a huge one. Not all of us feel or are naturally confident and when told “be confident” we may not be filled with confidence! My advice here would be to tell yourself: Be brave. We can give that a go. And if all else fails, we have that to be proud of. We were brave. Brave enough to do something that was scary and yet we embraced the act of giving it a go.
It’s common knowledge that Steve Jobs dropped out of college as did Bill Gates and we all know it hasn’t held either of those chaps back. What we would point out here is that further education isn’t everything. That said, I remember an old grammar school motto from one of the many educational institutions I attended to be: Wisdom Giveth Life. It’s true. Knowledge is power. What we mustn’t lose sight of though, whether we’re 14 or 40, starting out in the world of work or starting over in a new sector or on a new career path; there are online courses available to create the skill set required. Courses in just about anything, many of which can be undertaken from your own home even, are widely available. It may even be the case, if you’re feeling uncertain about the future and your work history has no correlation, that a skill learned in one area of your life ends up being incredibly useful in another. We all have Skills To Pay The Bills. As Steve Jobs himself knew well from the calligraphy course he was involved in. Often reported is the fact that the very calligraphy class attended by Jobs hugely influenced the design of Apple products. As Jobs once said:
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
If you’re feeling underwhelmed, list your achievements in life. Every last one of them. You can tap these and they will be transferable. Communicate them to a potential employer and to yourself. All anyone really sees is what you project. If you show up and say nothing or present as scruffy and unenthused in a CV for example, why would anyone else be motivated, even motivated to hire you? This leads me on to my next point…
There’s a clear difference between being organised and looking organised. While we wouldn’t want to encourage you to be inauthentic, what I’m saying here is if you’re not organised but don’t want to appear as such, then you don’t have to. Rather than becoming despondent and forlorn, thinking you’re not organised, your’re not a team player, you’re not (insert whatever pertains to you here), evaluate where the lack is and circumvent it. How? Here’s how; if you’re unorganised and know this then present yourself to be as organised as you can. No one is coming to your house to investigate when you last cleared out your loft space or mowed the lawn. What will be noticed however is how you ‘turn out’. Are you organised with your appearance? We talk more about this here for younger readers and here for the gents, even here for those traveling for work. I know of professionals in their late 40’s and even 60’s who personally are all over the place but professionally, you would never guess it. Simple things like having your nails looking on point. Preparing an outfit to wear for work or an interview the night before. Pre-planning presentations, pitches or even interview responses. This could apply to practically anything. Polishing shoes the day before. Having a pen on hand to make notes. Looking ‘on the ball’, because when it comes to work, you’re an ardent professional and as far as the eye can see: you’re organised.
We know the people. The late people. We all know one. Someone who agrees to meet at 6pm and arrives after 7. If you know that you are this person then prevent yourself from being tardy by rewarding yourself for doing whatever It is that makes you late to overcome the issue. I know of someone who almost always never wore makeup to work, not because they didn’t want to look their best but because they couldn’t justify the effort required to get ready prior to work. The remedy they found was coupling what they didn’t like with what they did. They knew that they liked to sit with a coffee and listen to the news for the day each morning, so they allotted time for this and in doing so found they had half an hour with the coffee and the news and could apply makeup at the same time. It’s really all about priorities. We know we don’t make time for the things we find a bind, so couple them with the more bearable tasks and come to look forward to that time. It only takes 21 days to form a habit, usually after which, it will become less of a chore and part of your daily routine.