Tag Archives: Career

Move to New York If…

New York is not for the faint of heart. I mean, I sometimes I stop and think, why exactly am I making all these sacrifices to live in this city? Sure there’s great people, great food, amazing culture unrivaled by any other US city, and  fantastic scenery. In other words, there’s just so much to do in New York. It’s hard to get bored and it’s hard to get lonely. If you’re lonely in New York city, that just tells me you’re living under a rock. But really though, why move to New York? Is it really worth making all these sacrifices just so you can say you live in New York? What trade offs are we talking here?

I moved to New York because of a couple of reasons. And it’s more likely than not that you’re considering moving to New York or are in New York for the same reasons. 

  • I wanted to work in either tech, fashion, or finance. Seriously, what other city can boast that they are a hub for all these major industries? Oh yeah, that’s right. Nothing. 
  • I wanted to be in a truly diverse culture. New York, in my opinion, is the most melted social environment that I’ve ever experienced. Black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese… The list keeps going on. They’re all here.
  • I want to succeed among the bests. I want to challenge myself and compete with the best. 

You should move to New York if…

You’re willing make your career a priority

This sounds bad and might be construed as something not good, but when you move to New York, realize that the competition just tripled. The talent that the city attracts is amazing. And if you think that you’re just a number in the city, you’re probably right. Unless you’re already the CEO of a midwest oil company expanding operations to the east coast to take advantage of European business opportunities, then you’re not yet really a significant contributor to the city. Sucks, but that’s the reality. I’ve met Merrill Lynch employees who are working entry level, graduates of top schools like University of Virginia, George Washington University, and University of Michigan, who are working menial, low-paying jobs that don’t really need a college degree either as a way to supplement their pay or because they just can’t get any work. Tough is an understatement. You will get kicked in the gut left and right, but you’ve got to keep pushing. Eventually, though, as I’ve learned, you’ll start picking things up and life will slowly get better. It’s a learning curve, so pick it up fast. 

You want to be the best

When you’re bruised and battered from all hardships, just remember that it’s all part of the ride. Because when you’ve reached your destination, you’ll smile and realizing that the past was the best thing you never want to do again. I think I’ve emphasized enough how competitive New York city is. That 3.8 GPA that you have from Yale? Impressive but there’s 100 others like you. It’s always good to keep aiming to be the best and I think New York is the best of the best. Chances are, you won’t be the best in your field. But at least that way, when you fall short of your goal, you’re still able to achieve something remarkable. That’s what I like about New York – the best are the Michael Bloombergs, the Justin Timberlakes, and the Stephen Schwarzmans but those who fall short of being the best are still managing partners at Goldman, or founded some small tech company that raised a $4 million round of funding. 

You value having a social life

I just realized, when I moved to New York, that the 40-hour workweek is almost non-existent. Most, if not all of my peers are working anywhere from 50 hours – 100 hours a week. The average being around 60 hours a week. Despite such long hours, people here are still able to have time to hang out with friends and socialize. Working 60 hours/week is going to burn you out pretty quick. And thus, you’ll need time to let loose and enjoy a bit. Especially if you’re like me, 22, single, male. Guy like myself have party as our middle name. You’ll never be lonely in New York. You will easily find people you’re can relate with and find friends pretty easily. It’s expensive though and you’re going to learn that the moment you step foot here. Pre-gaming will be a common term in your vocabulary. 

If you can’t make sacrifices, you won’t make it in New York. Heck, you won’t even be able to get here. Sacrifices are tough but it’s also a way to weed out all the incompetent people. Case in point – I lived out of an air mattress for the first 5 weeks when I got here and I’m still trying to find a place to live. Like I said, it’s really tough, but when you see value and progression in what you’re doing, then it’s worth it. If you’re 22, young, single, with no kids – take the leap. This is the only time in your life where you can take risks and get away with it. 

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The 80-20 Principle Applied in Job Searching

One of the most important principles that I, along with many others, adhere to is the 80-20 principle. I can’t emphasize enough how magical and powerful this principle is. I think that understanding it further will allow you to not only enhance your work but be as efficient as possible as well.

For those who have read my story, many of you know that I moved to New York City not too long ago with virtually nothing but a backpack and 2 suitcases. I moved here with a handful of contacts and nothing more. It sucks but it’s also an adventure. Since moving here, I’ve constantly been looking for work. In the 4 weeks of my job search I’ve been somewhat successful. Let me explain. When I came to NY, I had 1 interview lined up. That interview was for an internet start-up and it was for an inside sales position. I was attracted to the company because of its youth, vibrancy and enthusiasm. Nonetheless, that interview was unsuccessful. I guess the people there just didn’t see me as a good fit. Fast forward 3 weeks later and I’ve gone to about 10 interviews. Numerous applications were sent, hours were spent talking on the phone, and endless resumé, cover letters, and emails were revised.

Out of all the interviews that I went to, 1 company offered me a position. The company was an internet start-up as well and it was for a business development position. I realized it wasn’t the best fit for me because it was a really small start-up and the environment was more senior for someone like myself. I wrestled with the idea of working there and thought that if I was compensated a decent amount, then I would consider it, but the compensation was sub-par at best.

Beware of Craigslist Jobs

I decided to just take a random sales job on Craigslist (really bad idea) to make money while I continued my job search. That was an absolute train wreck, to say the least. I ended up working for a MLM a.k.a Pyramid Scheme company. I stayed there for 2 weeks and realized it was time to go. The position was completely commission based, and we had to sell products door-to-door. I was told by someone that if I was ever offered to work for a company that was purely commission based, stay away.  It is not in their best interest for you to succeed. All they want is for you to work like an animal so they can make more money. It’s a win-win for them and a lose-lose for you. We had to work 11 hours/day, 6 times a week for a measly $400-$600/week. Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly work hard, long hours if I have to, but I would have to really believe in what I was doing. It took me 2 weeks to get out because I made really good friends with the people I was working with. We were all in the same boat – new to the city, looking for a job, and very eager to just get out and work.

What I’ve Learned

Out of all the applications that I’ve sent, the most important lesson that I’ve learned is this – Shock and Awe.

The only time I was successful in my job search was when I did things that were out of this world, borderline crazy if you will, and something that jumped out of the page. And mind you, I did them well.

 Contact The Right People

The right people can be anyone from the recruiter, the  CEO, managing partner, director of sales etc. It just has to be directly related with the position you’re applying for.

Know Exactly What You Want

Know what industry you want to get into and know what position you want to apply for and why. Once that’s narrowed down, look for all the prospective companies that fit your list. Trust me, the last thing recruiters want is a generic applicant who just wants a job.

Make Yourself Dazzle

Why you? What’s so special about you? Remember, you’re competing with people smarter than you, more skilled than you, and probably more experienced as well. In my case, one company was asking for a “creative cover letter”. So I went ahead and made a powerpoint of my experiences and at the end of the letter was a guarantee. I would work for free until I can produce the necessary results. If that wasn’t accomplished, then that means I don’t deserve to be in the company. Shortly after sending this cover letter, I went for an interview and was offered the position in about 1 week.

Be Hungry, Enthusiastic, and Excited

I’ve always really wanted to work for an internet start-up because I’m always excited about technology. The internet is a such a powerful tool and I want to be a part of that. I also enjoy the fact that internet start-ups are breeding grounds for creativity and talent. You get to meet really bright and creative people who think outside the box. People are always on their toes and always finding ways to solve problems. Likewise, I’m just a really big fan of what start-ups have created. Start-ups have created real world applications that are fun, nimble, and ever-changing. Wouldn’t you want to be part of Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter? I sure do.

A Final Note

Realize that if you sincerely show enthusiasm in a company as if it is your own country competing in the olympics, things will slowly fall into place. And if a company is not willing to listen or work with you despite showing ambition, gumption, and hunger, then the company is probably not the best fit for you. It’s a blessing in disguise, I guarantee you.

* I decided not to mention any of the companies I applied for, worked for, or interviewed with in order to avoid stepping on any toes. 

This post will be continued. I’m not entirely where I want to be yet and I want it to be known that I’m still working on it. This post will be updated as soon as desires are accomplished. Also, principles of this post were derived from Tim Ferris’ 4Hour Work Week and Ramit Sethi.


From shayletslovebleedred.tumblr.com

My Immediate Goals and How I Intend to Accomplish Them

As an avid reader of the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, I’ve made the longterm intention of freeing up as much time as possible  to be able to concentrate on things that will better myself and enrich my life. One of the main principles of the book is to optimize and work with absolute efficiency. Trim the fat and operate on a lean budget. The ideas of the book have made a strong impression on me because one, I’ve always loved travel and two, I intend to maximize life to its full potential. The big question is – how?

My Immediate Short-Term Goals (Deadline: October 15, 2012)

1. Make at least $1500 residual income.

2. Save at least $3000 to start my business

3. Blog about life in NY and accomplishments at work.

How I Intend to Do This:

A. To make at least $1500 in residual income, I plan on finding a high-demand, low-competition product with strategic keywords and basically test a couple of products out first I plan to choose 4 products and test them all. The most profitable product among the 4 will be optimized and monetized to its full potential . Check out this amazing interview on Mixergy about Sophie Kovic, the founder of Flockstocks. I’m not going to lie, it’s very daunting writing about this goal because the possibility of it not being accomplished is very probable, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s letting myself down and not reaching my goals.

B. To save $3000 in 2 and 1/2 months will be a bit of a challenge but I know that this is very attainable. My monthly expenses only amount to around $600-$800 because my parents are still covering my rent as I slowly become independent. With that in mind, I can easily save $1500 to $2000 of my income each month, which means I’ll have $3000 by October 15, 2012.

C. The third goal is the simplest. Obviously all I have to do is get in front of my computer and write. The only challenge is being inspired to write something worth reading. In my mind, writing something without substance is just a waste of time.