Good to Gig
Good to Gig™ is my term for being ready to work on contract at a moment’s notice. The term makes specific reference to the Gig Economy. It means never being not ready. Those who have been the most successful in the tech industry have been living by the laws and demands of the Gig Economy since way before the term existed. Daniel Pink should really get all the credit for writing the first book about it, Free Agent Nation.
Overview of What You Need
You’ll need to be at least 16.
You need to know what you want to do with your life so you can write and speak about it when asked.
You need to know what you can contribute and be able to write about it.
You need to have proof of skills, knowledge, and abilities that you can prepare and polish into a portfolio.
You need to have an idea about your professional brand, minimally a name that can be used in your custom domain.
Once these things are well established it is time to follow through.
Ten Things You Need to Do
This is really all you need to be good to gig. Just add the magic filling — your output — and you are all set.
- Create a ProtonMail Account
- Create a Custom Domain Web Site
- Setup Custom Email on ProtonMail
- Setup a Good LinkedIn Profile
- Create a Sustainable Resume
- Design and Order Business Cards
- Consolidate Your Portfolio on Your Web Site
- Connect with the Tech Community
- Find a Good
- Produce and Polish Your Projects
Results Matter More Than Education
Learning is different than education. More than one hiring manager I have read or spoken with directly says they don’t even look at the education section of your resume — at all.
What do they say they always look at?
Those hiring you pay the most attention to the specific, measurable things you have done — especially helping an organization or individual accomplish their goals.
Now that certainly is not everyone and largely depends on the region and company. There is still a very strong stigma against those who do not have college degrees despite the very loud statements from the CEOs of all Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, and IBM stating very specifically that you do not need to go to college. All you need is lots of proof you can do the job.
Importance of Patience for Your First Gig
Getting that first gig is the hardest and also the most important — especially since you may need to be patient and make sure it will look good to the next potential gig.
Desperation and urgency are your mortal enemies at this stage.
If you accept a junior position maintaining ancient technology just “cuz you need a job” you may be making a statement to your next employer about your skill level and confidence that doesn’t represent you at all.
My advice is to keep that job you hate to pay the bills until the truly perfect first internship or opportunity presents itself.
When you truly have a full portfolio showing off your skills recruiters and hiring managers will blow-up your LinkedIn inbox with opportunities.
Remember they are facing serious shortages. It’s a sellers market and you’re selling. Do not accept less then you’re worth. You deserve it. You worked hard to get here.