What is Job Hacking?

You won’t find it in the dictionary, which is a relief because I was looking for a catchy title for this blog. The name is derived from the term growth hacking, which Wikipedia helpfully defines as;

“a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.

First, some back story. Back in September 2014 I was laid off from my job at an organization in Toronto. After the initial shock had worn off, I quickly set about applying to as many similar positions I could find, only to run into the same problem that everyone else under the age of 35 (and even some who are older) is having: our hyper-competitive job market post-2008.

gob-letter-throw

The traditional job hunt: throwing resumes into the sea

After many dozens of carefully tailored resumes and cover letters disappeared into the void of HR email addresses and Taleo URLs, it quickly became clear that the traditional method of sending applications to job postings wasn’t going to cut it. At the same time, I’d been using my suddenly decongested schedule to jump head first into the deep end of web design, data analytics and marketing techniques like growth hacking. It’s still an on-going process, but the more I read the more it made sense to use the techniques that many online marketing teams are creating to get their content seen on the internet to… you know, actually find a job.

So with that in mind, lets kick-start this blog project with the first, formalized and semi-official definition of the term “job hacking” (Merriam-Webster, eat your heart out):

Job Hacking

noun

1. a job search technique influenced by the practices of technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to showcase an individual’s talents and gain exposure.

2. a career mindset and methodology for the 21st century

verb

1. the process of creating, sharing or analyzing original content in order to showcase talent or expertise


Age-old advice, wrapped in a nice <div> with some meta tags and tweets with embedded URL trackers for conversion data. For various reasons, we may be in one of the worst job markets for young people since the Second World War. The well meaning advice from older generations is largely obsolete, as evidenced by high youth unemployment, a sagging economy, and technological advances that have changed our society for better and for worse.

A new economy calls for a new approach to finding a job. I propose that job hacking is the best way to develop your career and showcase yours skills that companies value. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to find out…

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