The Personal Finance Podcast

How to Find Your Dream Job Without Applying Online with Austin Belcak

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re gonna talk to Austin Ack about how you can find your dream job without applying online.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk to Austin Ack about how you can find your dream job without applying online.


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On this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk to Austin Ack about how you can find your dream job without applying online.

What's up everybody, and welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. I'm your host Andrew, founder of Master money.co. And today on the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna be talking to Austin Ack about how you can find your dream job without applying online. If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram, TikTok Twitter at Master Money Co.

And follow us on Spotify Apple Podcast. Or whatever podcast player you love to listen to this podcast on. And if you wanna help out the show, leave a five star rating and review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. Cannot thank you guys enough for leaving those five star ratings and reviews.

They truly mean the world to us. Now, today we're gonna be talking to Austin Bellack, who is a career expert when it comes to building out the career that you love. And I've been reading his blog for a long time and going through some of his Twitter threads, and he has some amazing systems if you wanna build out a dream job.

And Austin is also over@cultivatedculture.com, and we will link everything up down in the show notes below so that you can check his stuff out. But this has been one of my favorite interviews that we have ever done. And the reason for that is there is so much value packed into this episode, and Austin gives you so many actionable tips that you can take today to start networking with people so that you can find your dream job.

How to start searching for your dream job. Some things that you should do with your LinkedIn profile. Austin has over a million followers on LinkedIn. He knows exactly what to do with your LinkedIn profile, uh, and he talks through some of that stuff. Then how you actually prepare for interviews, how you go through the interview process and how to negotiate your salary when you get to that point in time.

And then once you're in the company, how do you actually get promoted at that company? This is so important for so many people who are looking to build wealth because increasing your income is the number one thing that you need to be doing, and when you increase your income, the number one place that I want you to do that at, Is the place you spend most of your time, which is your day job.

And Austin's gonna show you exactly how to do this. This is a multi-million dollar decision that you can make to learn from these systems that Austin teaches today. You can change your financial trajectory just by listening and taking action on these systems. So I'm really, really excited for this episode.

Really excited for you guys to listen in on some of these actionable tactics that you can take. So without further ado, let's welcome Austin to the Personal Finance Podcast. So Austin, welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. Andrew, thank you so much for having me. I've been super excited about this. I know we've been planning it for a little while, and now we're finally here.

So thank you again for having me on. We are so excited to have you here because you are doing some amazing stuff, especially on the building a career side of things, and I think a lot of people need to learn how to do this. I think this is a skill that you really do need to learn how to do and to really truly build wealth, which is what we talk about along this podcast, you have to increase your income and increasing your income over time is a major factor in doing that.

So I'm really excited to have you on here. You are the person I think to talk about this kind of stuff. So really, really excited to do this. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and cultivated culture? Yeah, for sure. So, touching on the point that you just made, I think, you know, I'm obviously an entrepreneur and that's the path that I took, but I don't necessarily believe that going right into entrepreneurship is the best path for most people, right?

In my mind, the best path that you can take is to obviously get educated in the field that you're looking to get into, get a job that allows you to create some stability for yourself and start doing the things that we all should be doing, right? Saving for retirement, putting away, you know, a little bit for a nest egg, saving for the future, and then start to think about where you wanna go from there.

And maybe making the jump into the entrepreneurial space because, The upside is very high with, you know what we do, but there's also a lot of risk. And so if you can mitigate that risk in some way, in this case, having a full-time job that allows you to kind of test ideas, validate them, and then grow them, that just puts you in the best position to maximize your long-term wealth and stability.

Right. And so that's exactly the way that I viewed this setup. So if we rewind back to even before college high school, right? I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And the way that I kind of chose my career path was based on other people's approval. So I would talk to my parents, I would talk to their friends, you know, I.

And if I threw out certain job titles, I could see, you know, what the reaction was. And so Doctor was one that, that really got a lot of smiles and head nods, right? And in school that was actually, you know, biology, science, that was one of the few areas that I felt that I really excelled in. And so I just decided sort of arbitrarily based on other people's approval, that going to become a doctor was my path.

So I get into college and right away, first semester, I realize college is a lot of fun. And doing those fun things is more fun than studying. So I immediately fail chemistry. Uh, next semester I fail French. Needless to say, I get through college with a pretty awful g p A one that many med schools are not too excited to send an application or an acceptance letter to.

Right? So I kind of had to make this decision, you know, do I continue down this path of trying to become a doctor, trying to get into the medical field, or do I do something else? And frankly, I was never really a hard worker in college. I didn't study a lot, I didn't do any of that. And so I had an internship kind of drop in into my lap through a, a friend of mine, and I took that internship.

That company offered me a job at the end of the summer, and I said yes to that job. I didn't think about cost of living. I didn't think about. Uh, how happy I'd be. I didn't, I didn't do any due diligence. I was just happy to have a job, so I didn't have to stress about all of the stuff that my friends were doing, which was applying, you know, going on interviews, going to career fairs and all that.

So I graduate from school. I had not submitted a single application anywhere. I'd only interviewed kind of quote unquote at that one place. I take this job and it turns out to just be a total nightmare. So, on the actual work side, basically I was working in healthcare, I was waking up at. 3 34 in the morning, driving to these different hospitals across North and South Carolina, getting paid next to nothing to do it.

And I start racking up some debt to just try to make ends meet, you know, some credit card debt to pay for groceries, my car payment, all that good stuff. And then on top of that, my boss, he's just not a nice guy, I think is maybe the nicest way to put it. So I realized I needed to make a change and I had my eye on tech because that was the happening space, right?

This is back in 20 13, 20 14, and I wanted to work at a company where I could say the name and people knew what it was. I also wanted to be able to do some of the stuff we just talked about where, you know, I wanted to get some experience that would help me then become an entrepreneur later on. And the type of entrepreneur I wanted to become was, you know, somebody who has an online business, who has some freedom and flexibility.

So that was my goal. But here I am coming from this background of horrible grades, no real experience, a biology degree, nothing related to where I wanna go. So I go to my friends and family and I ask them, how do I do this? What's the game plan here? And they all kind of tell me the same thing, which is, you know, tweak your resume, apply for jobs, and rinse and repeat.

See what happens. So I applied a hundred places and I, I get no results and that feels a little weird, but I'm thinking, you know, these are the people I've always gone to for advice. They've all been successful in their own right. Let me double down on this. So the next month I apply to 200 places and get the same result.

So now I'm in two months, 300 applications. No real interviews, no job offers, obviously. And I realized that, you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. And I really did start to feel like I was going a little crazy at that point. So I had to switch things up and we can dive deeper into the individual strategies.

But essentially there was this inflection point where I met with somebody who went to the same college that I did. He was working at Uber at the time, and he basically said, you know, look, Austin, you wanna make this change, but the people you're going to for advice, they haven't done this, they haven't made this change, they haven't been in your shoes.

And so what you really need to do is go out and find people who have already made this change successfully, who came from a similar background. So I sat down and I made a list of my dream job criteria, right? Making six figures, working at a big tech company. So on and so forth. And then I went and found people who met all those criteria, who also came from a non-traditional background.

And basically I interviewed about 30, 40 of these people. And I looked for common threads. I tried to dissect their strategies and I used that to essentially build a system that focused on my strengths, but also that focused on areas of the job search that provided better bang for your buck than the traditional online process.

And so it took a, a little while of trial and error. I messed up a lot, I made a lot of mistakes. But eventually I kind of created this system that allowed me to get in the door with, I interviewed with Uber, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, eventually accepted the job at Microsoft. And then I worked there for five years, was promoted three times.

I went from partner manager up to director of partnerships and all that good stuff. And then enough people from college came to me after I got that job and they were like, how'd you do this, man? You were the guy who never studied. You were the guy who was, you know, always out part like what happened. And so I explained the system to them and it seemed to really resonate.

So I decided to write this whole. Long form blog posts on my system that got a lot of traction and that was back in 2016. And now the rest is history. I've been teaching people how to basically implement that system and land jobs they love without applying online ever since. That's such an incredible story cuz I think there's so many things that resonate for a lot of people here.

Most people are going out and they're applying online and they have to apply over and over and over again. And a lot of times you just hear crickets back. Like you said, the same thing happened to you and most people just don't know any better. So I wanna kind of talk through some of these systems that you created because you have some really cool stuff here that I think a lot of people can utilize and find much better jobs and dream jobs that they absolutely love.

And the first part of this is building a great career is obviously networking. And networking is a huge factor in all this. So why is it so important for people to start networking now? Yeah, so there's two big reasons why networking is so key and why networking now is so key. So the first is, you know, when we look at the data, the data on both of the areas that I think are most important, kind of point towards networking.

So what I mean by that is when we look at the data around online applications or the traditional process, right, when we see the average number of resumes and applications that a role gets, and then the number of people, the company actually interviews. And then the person, you know, only one person gets the offer, right?

Basically that data backs out to be about 2%. So you have a 2% chance of getting in the door when you apply online on average. And that, that number actually decreases as you go up in company caliber, right? Like Google, a couple years ago was getting 50,000 resumes a week. That's not average, right?

Google's one of the most coveted companies. So your chances of getting in the door at that stage are even lower, right? So most of these companies that people think of as dream companies that they wanna target actually have a lower percentage. And that's why it's so frustrating when people apply and apply and apply and don't get any results.

On the flip side, depending on, you know, company, industry, et cetera, and the source of data that we're looking at, referrals make up anywhere from about 40% of hires to 80% of hires. So pretty big swing there. Pretty big range, but even at the lowest end, 40%, we're doing so much better than we are with the online application process.

So that in and of itself is a, a good reason. But then when we actually look at how people apply, it just makes the decision super clear because. LinkedIn did this survey and they basically found that 75% of people are using online applications as their primary method for applying for jobs, right? So 75% of your competition is all in this one pool competing for that 2% chance of getting in the door for that interview, right?

On the flip side, only 10% of people are using referrals to get in the door. So if you're focused on referrals, you're competing with 10% of the pool for basically a 40 to 80% chance of getting hired. So to me, I saw that data and that became a no-brainer to me to focus my system on generating referrals instead of, you know, submitting all these online applications and playing that game.

For the now piece that you mentioned, why now? So many job seekers come to us. They want coaching, they want help. And they're like, I need a job in two months. I want a job in three months. And networking is about building relationships, right? And great relationships are built on authenticity. They're built on, you know, mutual exchange of value, all this good stuff.

And we can do that in two, three months, don't get me wrong. But there's this added element of pressure. Like every conversation you have is all about like, when am I gonna get the job? When am I gonna get the referral? If you start now, if you start when times are good, or even if you just start early, you increase your runway, right?

Networking is exactly like investing. The longer the time horizon that we have, and the longer that we can wait before we make a withdrawal, the larger our returns are going to be. So it's the exact same premise as investing, right? Same thing that we're doing with these relationships is that we're trying to create a long enough time horizon to build up equity in these relationships, social capital.

And then we wanna wait as long as possible to withdraw from that pool so that when we make the ask. The amount of social capital we have in the relationship is at its maximum level and we can make a much larger ask. So that's the way that we think about networking and why so much of what we talk about is geared towards that.

And there's so much power in what you just said because if you look at those LinkedIn statistics that you just referenced, you can literally 80 20, your likelihood of finding your dream job by just utilizing networking and having references and all these different things just by making sure that you kind of follow some of these systems.

And I do think if you start right now, everything in life compounds and compounding with networking can also start right now as well. And you can have so many more connections if you just start early and just constantly be doing it. And there's systems obviously we can get put in place on how we can do it, you know, daily or weekly or whatever else we wanna do so that we can make sure that we are doing this the right way.

So what are some of your favorite ways to network? Yeah, so there's so many ways to go about this, and I think the first place to start is understanding the right mindset for networking. A lot of folks that we talk about, they hear us talking or they hear somebody else tell 'em they got a network, right?

And then they go and they try to do it, and they kind of get stuck. They don't know how to quote, add value, they don't know what to say. And so they kind of go right for the jugular because this is an uncomfortable thing. But you know, I hear from Andrew and Austin that I have to be doing this. So I kind of force myself to do the most direct option, and that is really reaching out to somebody and saying, you know, Hey Andrew, I saw you worked at this company.

I'm really excited about what you're doing. You know, if there are any open roles available, here's my resume. You know, would love for you to pass me along. And that never works, right? Because essentially what we're asking this stranger to do is go to their manager and say, Hey, this guy Austin emailed me.

I'd never met him before, but you know, I think he's probably worth the six figure salary that we were paying for this position. That's just never gonna happen. So instead, what we need to do is view our relationships like a bank account. This is essentially how we teach our clients to think about it. And it's a simple checking account where if I wanna make a withdrawal from my checking account, I need to have the money already in the account, right?

So if I don't, let's say a referral costs me 20 social dollars. If I try to withdraw that $20 and I have nothing in the account, I'm gonna overdraft, right? I'm gonna get hit with fees. And if I do that too many times, you know the consequences are gonna be larger. But if I take some time to make those deposits before I wanna withdraw, right?

If I deposit $3 here and $5 there and $10 there, eventually I work my way up to $20 and I can safely make this withdrawal. So that's exactly what we're trying to do with relations here. We're trying to add value to the other person in multiple layers multiple times before we make an ask, and that's just gonna increase the likelihood that you get the answer that you want.

So there's a ton of strategies that we can use to do this. My favorite one is something that I call the advice triangle. So the advice triangle basically works to get a quick answer or response from your contact. Then allows you to illustrate the fact that you're a hard worker, that you're somebody who's worth investing in.

And then it creates this virtuous cycle that actually increases the investment from their side. So to break that down a little further, basically our first step is to go find somebody that we wanna connect with and we wanna think about some action that we could take in about a week. And what we wanna do is go to them with two of those actions and basically say something like, you know, Hey Andrew, I'm looking to, you know, improve my skills in this specific space.

I came across your LinkedIn profile, you obviously have such impressive experience here. And I wanted to make sure I was asking somebody who really understood the space and knew what they were doing. If I wanted to become, you know, a better insert job title here, would you recommend that I do thing A or thing B?

So if I wanted to become, you know, a better. I don't know, graphic designer, would you recommend that I take this course or, or read this book? And so the hope is that by making it A or B, it's really easy for them to say, oh, I do A, or I would recommend B. And that's really our goal with that first setup, is just get the response.

That's all we care about. Cuz once we have the response, we can go to work. So I can go read that book, I can take that course, I can start that project or whatever, and then about two weeks later I can follow up with them and say, Hey, thank you so much for this advice. You know, here's what I've done over the last two weeks.

I read the book, here's everything that I learned. Here's how I'm implementing it. What's next? What's the next piece of advice? So that's kind of the second piece of the triangle is taking action and reporting back on it. And what we're doing there is we're showing them, Hey, I actually cared enough about your advice to listen to it and take action.

And I'm somebody who's worth investing in because the things that you tell me, I'm gonna go do. And then the third piece of the cycle is to ask for more advice, right? Because now when I ask for more advice, the person is thinking, whoa, this guy, Austin actually listened to me. He took my advice. This is somebody who's worth investing in.

So like 100%, here's the next step. And so through that, basically what we're doing is creating this cycle where we always have the door open for the next step in the conversation. And every time we go through that cycle, They are increasing their investment in us. And the beautiful part about this is eventually when we get to the point where we wanna ask for the referral, this person isn't just gonna say yes, they're gonna be an advocate for us because they have skin in the game.

It's almost like, the analogy I always use is around crypto, where you know, we have all these alt coins, if we wanna use the nice term for what they are, that people are shilling, right? And we always find out that like so many people are just shilling these coins because they invested in them. It's not because of fundamentals, it's not because they believe in it.

It's because like somebody on Reddit told them that it was a great buy and they went and bought it thinking it's gonna go to the moon and now they're telling all their friends about it, right? It's the same type of thing here with a better foundation where this person has invested in you, they've seen you grow as a direct result of their advice.

They're just gonna be so much more likely now to go to bat for you and to releasing your praises. And the beautiful part about that strategy is anybody can use it, right? You don't need a certain amount of money or connections or access or anything else. Like frankly, the less of that you have, the more effective it's gonna be.

I love that strategy because there is so much involved in there. There's a lot of psychology involved in that as well. But somebody is, you're really deepening a relationship cuz somebody is helping you out and they're really, really helping you along the way. And also you're showing that you can actually perform and kind of do the things that they're talking about there.

And I think there's just so much value in that. So that amazing that you shared that framework. I absolutely love that. I think that most people should be doing that with all sorts of different areas and different careers as well. So one big thing about networking is that a lot of people are networking virtually now, especially on LinkedIn, and you have over a million followers on LinkedIn.

Is LinkedIn still a big factor in terms of networking and how should somebody set up their LinkedIn profile if it is? Yeah, 100%. So LinkedIn is definitely the place to network, right? You can network across any channel. Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, like all these channels are places to do that. But I love LinkedIn because, Everybody's coming to the platform with the mindset of professionalism, right?

I'm here to grow as a professional, to network as a professional, to get a job. It's all like professionally focused, and so I think that you just have a better chance of connecting there, and your profile is definitely a great part of it. I think when it comes to networking, it's not as critical as some of the other things that we can do, right?

We can build relationships with folks and sometimes they may never even look at our profile, or even if they do. If we approach relationship building in the right way, maybe the advice triangle, it doesn't really matter what's on our profile. What matters more is like the content of our conversations and the quality of our interactions.

But your profile is still gonna have a big impact when it comes to people who might be interviewing you or recruiters or employers reaching out to you. And so I always tell people, you know, the biggest thing that you can do with your profile is turn it into a sales page. You know, too many people have their resume just kind of copy and paste it into their LinkedIn profile and it looks and sounds exactly like everybody else.

So the most important step to take here is to think about where you wanna go with your next job. You wanna get really clear on the industry, the types of companies, if you can even get a list of like 10, 15 companies together. That you wanna target, that's just gonna help you tailor your messaging. And then everything you wanna focus on is how you help those types of companies.

So for example, for your headline, if you go run a search on LinkedIn, 90 plus percent of the people have the same headline, which is like their job title at company. So it's like account executive at Microsoft, or graphic designer at, you know, meta. You're only competing on the brand equity of the company you work at, which for most people is not, you know, the two companies I just mentioned, or Google or Microsoft or whatever.

It's some company that most people haven't heard of. So instead we wanna shift that brand equity to our brand. We wanna showcase our value. So we actually have a unique way of writing headlines where we talk about our job title. We have a couple of keywords just for our search optimization, but at the end we have this value pitch, which, uh, is essentially I help you know, companies like you achieve why results.

So for example, I help SaaS companies grow from 50 K to a hundred K users without spending a dime on ads. And so through that, you can see if I'm a SaaS company and I wanna grow to a hundred K users and I wanna do that in a profitable way, well who better to hire than this person who says they do all of those things, right?

So that's exactly what we try to teach people how to do. And we actually have a tool for this. It's called headline analyzer.io. You can actually take your LinkedIn headline, you can put it in there. It'll give you a score, and it'll actually tell you exactly how to improve it so that you boost your searchability, you boost the chances that employers and recruiters find you, but also that you help turn your profile into a sales page.

So I would say the headline is probably one of the biggest pieces. And then if you can optimize your profile picture and cover photo as well. Those go a long way cuz that's all what people see at the very top. And that's gonna set the tone there. So just a couple of things on both of those for your profile picture.

There's a great tool out there called Photofeeler, it's photofeeler.com. So if people go there, you can upload your picture and you can actually get real feedback from people and you can categorize it for business or dating if you wanna do your Tinder profile picture or whatever. But you can actually get real feedback from folks and then you can see, like they may say like, Hey, I love your smile, but that background is really busy and blurry.

You know, we were talking the pre-show, I have like all my son's toys here. So somebody may be like, Hmm, maybe you wanna get that outta your LinkedIn profile picture, then you can go ahead and do that, right? You could Photoshop out the background or you could take a new picture, you know, baking in that feedback and then you can rinse and repeat until your scores are really high and then you upload that picture feeling really, really confident in it.

So just a couple of different ways to optimize there, but um, it's definitely important. I think there are other higher value activities that you can do on LinkedIn that are gonna get you more bang for your buck from a job search perspective though. And we'll linked up headline analyzer and uh, what is it?

Photofeeler? Photofeeler. Yeah, Photofeeler. We'll link them up both down in the show notes as well. And I think the really cool thing about this is that you were almost treating it as like a personal landing page. Like it's a way for you to sell yourself for somebody else. Like actually, it's almost reversing the way that people think about this.

Instead of actually having like a social network profile, you're making it a landing page for yourself and selling yourself there. So I absolutely love that. I think it's an amazing way to actually approach this. What are some things that people should consider when they put together their resumes? What are some things they should consider in terms of standing out with recruiters and other folks at different companies?

Yeah, so I think the first and largest thing that people kind of need to realize is that a resume is just one part of a broader job search, and a great resume can absolutely help you, but it's not going to be this silver bullet that unlocks all of the jobs that you were never getting before. And I think a lot of job seekers think that's the case.

They read these articles on resumes, they hire a resume writer, they do all of that, and then they wonder why nothing is happening. And that's really because at the end of the day, we talked about the stats before, right? Even if you have a great resume, I mean, we're competing for a 2% chance or less. Those odds are still not in your favor, even if you have a great resume.

So that's the first thing to understand. But then if we do wanna optimize our resume, if we wanna make it better, there's a couple of things that we need to think about. So the first is that we should have a personalized resume for each job that we apply to. And most people think that means they have to rewrite their resume from scratch for every job.

And that's not the case. So instead, what we recommend doing is going through and creating basically a master resume that has all of the content in there that you could want for any job that you're gonna apply to. And then we have another tool, it's called rematch.io and I'm only sharing these cuz it, they're free to use.

We have a bunch of credits that people get when they sign up so they can test this stuff out. But I'm sharing it just in case it's helpful. Rematch lets you upload your resume and the target job description and you can actually get a score and feedback on how you can improve your resume to specifically optimize for that one role that you're applying for.

So if you have your master resume, you can run it through rematch and then you can see exactly the updates you need to make. You can go make those updates and then you can apply. And now our updates are taking us 10, 15 minutes instead of like an hour, two hours plus. And the great part about that is not only do you have a more optimized resume, but you also take some time back that you can reallocate to some higher impact activities like we talked about, networking, you know, some of these other things that are gonna generate a better return for you while knowing that you have a really solid foundation in both your LinkedIn profile and your resume.

I think that's really powerful to use some of these tools because I've talked to people in the past and they say, you know, can you look at my resume? Kind of look at some of these different things that we need to adjust. And I'm like, things change every single year. So if you have tools like that, I think it's gonna be really helpful.

So like you said, you can focus on the things that truly, truly matter, like the networking that's gonna move the needle, and that's the most impactful thing that you can do with your time when you go through this process. So I wanna shift gears to searching for the job now, because obviously you have some amazing frameworks on how to search for a job, and one of the biggest ways is obviously searching for a job without having to apply online.

And that is a factor that obviously we were talking about earlier. A lot of people are doing right now, the statistics show that 75%, like you said, are still applying online. That's the primary way that they're looking for a job. So can you talk about some of the different ways that you can kind of search for a job without having to apply online?

Yeah, 100%. So basically the crux of the system boils down to what companies want most, and that's to hire the person that they trust to bring the most value in ROI to the role. So at the end of the day, no matter what company you're applying to or thinking about, no matter where they are in the world, what industry they're in, At the end of the day, that's what they care about.

They wanna bring in the person that they trust to drive the most ROI and value. So once we know that we can kind of free ourself from like the shackles of the traditional job search, right? Because all we really need to do is find a way to show this company that we are that person and then we can start to question, you know, is a resume the best way to do that is a cover letter.

The best way to do that, our online application is the best way to do that. And what we found, you know, what I found personally and what we hear from a lot of job seekers is they don't think that that's the best way. And I totally agree because when we think about sales, right? I think what you'll find with a lot of these tactics that I'm giving, you mentioned the landing page with LinkedIn, A lot of what I'm talking about is just sales and marketing, right?

The job search is a sales process. And basically what we're doing is marketing ourself to these companies. You know, if we view them as our customers, that's kind of how I approach this cuz my background's in sales and marketing. So when we think about that, First, we wanna understand the best way to position ourself as that person.

And I think first, doing things that play to our strengths is the best way to go about that. The second thing is falling back on sales and marketing best practices, which, you know, if we look at a resume, it's only focused on us and not our customer. The company it uses this weird resume language that we never use anywhere else.

And if you're coming from a non-traditional background, you don't have any opportunity to showcase what you can do. It's all focused on what you have done, right? So that's just one example of how the traditional materials aren't necessarily geared towards creating the outcome that we want as job seekers.

So what we recommend doing is actually flipping things on its head. Most people, they spend about 80 to 90% of their time on online applications and about 20%, 10 to 20% on networking, which is basically for most people, what we talked about, right? Reaching out. Asking if there are any opportunities and all that.

So we recommend flipping that on its head. So of course it's important to have a good resume. It's important to have that LinkedIn profile optimized as well. But we recommend using those tools that we talked about to kind of get through that process quickly, spending about, you know, 10% of your time there.

And then with the rest of your time, we can focus on those higher value activities. So to walk through what those are and to walk through the system. And the first thing that we recommend doing is getting clarity on what you're looking for, right? So when we think about this next job that you're gonna get, you're gonna get a new salary, a new manager, a new group of colleagues and peers, a new culture, a new product you're working on.

So you should prioritize those. And then you should think about what does a great version of these look like? So if I think about my manager, I. What are three specific things that a great manager does, and what are three specific things that a bad manager does or a great manager does not do? Right. Just so you have a lot of this clarity going into the job search so that you can look at an opportunity and say, yes, this is for me, or No, this isn't, and that's the starting point.

Then we go find 15 companies. We like to have that number just because. Our whole system is geared towards going really, really deep with a set of companies that align with your values that you're super excited about. So, you know, if you think of the online application processes going kind of a hundred miles wide and one mile deep, we're kind of doing the opposite here.

So you're gonna come up with 15 target companies that meet, meet as much of your criteria that you just came up with as possible, and then we're gonna start to build out a pipeline. So going back to my sales thing here, basically when I was working at Microsoft, Microsoft would come to me and they would say, Hey Austin, you need to sell X amount of product this quarter.

Good luck. And so I would have to come up with a plan to do that. And basically the way that we do that is you'd look at all the steps in the sales funnel, you'd look at your success rates for each, and then you could back into, you know, how many first steps do I need to take for all of the rest of the steps to work out using the the statistics that I have.

So we can actually do the same thing for the job search. You know, if we think about the job offer and we work our way back, basically it's if you want a job offer, you need a final round interview. If you want a final round, you need a first round. You're typically getting into that first round via referral, which means you need to have conversations with people who can refer you in.

And then you need to reach out to a whole bunch of people, cuz not everybody is gonna get back to you. So if we assume a 30% or roughly 33% success rate at each of those steps, if we want about two job offers, we need six final round interviews, which means we need about 18 referrals, which means we need to have between 30 to 50 conversations or touch points.

And then we basically need to reach out to 150 people to start. So that's our starting point that we share with most of our clients is we need about 150 contacts. You have 15 companies. Let's find 10 people at each of these companies who can influence your ability to get hired, right? Who are gonna either be in the room where the hiring decision is made, or can have the ear of somebody who's gonna be in that room.

And then we start with the blank slate, right? We get to pick and choose who we network with, and then we get to tap into some of those networking, you know, strategies that we talked about earlier. Basically what we have our clients do is come up with an engagement plan for each contact. So we go look at the contact, we look at their LinkedIn profile, we Google their name, we look to see what angles that we can come up with, and we create an engagement plan, which is usually three or four different ways that we could potentially get in the door with them.

And then basically what we do is execute on it. And the cool part about having a couple of different ways to try to get in the door with one person is it helps you on both, like the X and Y axis of building relationships where the X axis is kind of getting in the door. Like for you, Andrew, let's say I send you a cold email and I'm like, Hey Andrew, we've never met, but I'd love to be on your podcast.

Can you hook me up? And you're like, mm, no, I get these emails all the time. So that's a rejection for the first one. And if that's my only option, if that's the only idea I had, I'm cooked. Right. I don't have anything else. But if I had a few more ideas in my pocket, maybe I leave a review on the podcast and then send you a screenshot.

Maybe I start engaging with your content that you're putting out there on social media, you know, et cetera, et cetera. Now all of a sudden, I'm giving myself multiple opportunities to kind of get on your radar and get a yes from you. So it works on that axis, but it also works on the Y axis because let's say that you're feeling nice that day, and you look at my email signature and you're like, yeah, Austin seems cool.

I'll reply to him. Let's get him on the podcast. Well, now I have three more ways that I can leverage to deepen my relationship with you. So coming up with those ideas up front just really gives us a lot of options when it comes to not only getting the conversation, but furthering that relationship. And our goal then is to use those relationships to get that referral, but also to acquire more information about the company.

Because at the end of the day, we need to create a value proposition or pitch. So going back to that original mantra of companies wanting to hire the people they trust to bring the most value and roi. The relationships are all about the trust piece. You know, when you get that referral, that trust is kind of established on the value and ROI front.

This is where all of the research that we do on these companies, all the research we gain through networking, we're gonna bake that into our interview preparation, but we also like to find other creative ways to add value. So one of our favorite strategies, I call it a value validation project, which is essentially like a five to seven slide deck that says, you know, Hey, I know that this is your biggest challenge for this role, or This is the biggest goal that you have for this role.

Here's how I found that out. Here's all the research that I did, and here are three ideas that I have to help you overcome that challenge or to meet that goal. And then, oh, by the way, Here's my background and why I'm qualified to do this. And the cool part about that is it's kind of the opposite of a resume in the sense that you own what you focus on, you can deliver it in your own words and in a way that feels authentic to you.

And then also nobody else is doing that. So it's just gonna set you really, really far apart from everybody else who's still relying on those traditional materials. So there are many other strategies, but I wanna make sure that we keep it as concise as we can and actionable. But that's basically the setup there is if you have that funnel going, and that's really the crux of the system is the funnel.

You can always know what your rates are gonna be, and then you can know if, hey, if I want X number of job offers, I just need to put Y number of inputs in the top of the funnel and everything else should flow. And that works in the job search that you're in now, but also every future job search that you go on.

So yeah, it's pretty powerful setup. Gosh, Austin, I'll tell you, this system is actually blowing me away the way that you gotta have this set up. Cause I love how systematic this is. When you go through this process, you have it, you are working, you know, with the end goal in mind, obviously working backwards to figure that out.

And nobody does this. No, I'm sure like you've probably coached a million people who have never thought about this kind of system before. I'm sure nobody does it this way, but you deepen this relationship. You have all these relationships with these people so that people will go up to bat for you. They'd help you out, you know, during the interview process, all these different things.

In addition, then you can kind of work your way down to figure out how many people you need to talk to to get those offers and all these other things. So I absolutely love this system. It's amazing. I think people definitely need to take action and look more into this as they go through this process. So say for example, we go through this and we get some interviews, and we get a couple of interviews.

How do we actually prepare for some of these interviews? Or what are some tips that you have to be able to prepare for an interview? Yeah, for sure. So I mean, most people kind of take a reactive approach, right? They get the interview and then they're like, all right, I gotta start preparing. And that can work.

Don't get me wrong, it's, that's how I honestly approached this when I was going through my search. But what I kind of found through that, and what we've developed since then is if you think about every interview that you go on, you're basically asked the same eight to 10 questions. And those are a mix of, you know, tell me about yourself, why do you wanna work here?

Behavioral questions, like something along the lines of, you know, tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle, or tell me about a time you did X, Y, or Z. And so, What we do is we have our clients prepare for the most common eight to 10 questions that you're gonna get asked. And we have them do that actually before they get their first interview.

So we sit down and we walk 'em through our answer framework, which is basically we wanna tie it back to the company first. We wanna set the stakes of the scenario that we're talking about. We wanna show our work basically what we did to solve, and then we wanna wrap up with a win or multiple wins. So we take that framework and we apply it to drafting answers for all those common questions.

And then we have our clients go basically, rehearse, revise, and refine those answers over a peer period of time. And the great part about that is when they get an interview, 80% of the prep is basically done. 80% of that core prep is done. They could walk into that interview feeling really, really confident about the answers that they're gonna deliver.

So all that extra time that we have now we can spend on personalization. And that's really the key. Most job seekers, they know they need to prepare. They do a little bit of research, but when they show up on interview day, they spend a lot of time talking about themselves. So it's all about, here's what I've done in my past, here are the results that I've achieved.

And then they just kind of cross their fingers and hope that the company sees how that connects to what the company wants. So instead, we like to close that loop. We like to make sure that we leave no stone unturned on that front. And so what we're gonna do is a lot of research around the company. We're gonna go, if they're public, we'll listen to their earnings calls.

We're gonna go look at news articles about them. I'm gonna go find interviews with executives, especially executives that oversee the department that I might be interviewing at. We're gonna go look up product reviews, demos, like we're gonna get as deep into the weeds as we possibly can to uncover. Like we just talked about some of those challenges, some of those goals, et cetera.

And we may already know what some of those are from the conversations we've had, which is great. But then what we're gonna do is build our value proposition around those specific challenges and goals, right? And so instead of coming to the table, you know, if you asked me, Hey Austin, tell me about a time you overcame a challenge, instead of coming to the table and saying, well, you know, at this past company I did blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I might lead off and say, you know, well Andrew, I know that in preparation for this role, I was listening to the earnings call. I. And off the back of that, I talked to three people on your team and through those conversations, you know, I came to realize that the biggest challenge you're trying to solve for in this role is X.

So let me tell you about a time at this past company where I helped them overcome that same challenge, overcome X, and then achieve Y result. And so that's just one really small example, but basically the difference is subtle, but it's huge because now the first thing the interviewer hears is me validating that I know what their challenges are, that I know.

What their goals are and that I've done this before, I have a plan to help them. And so stuff like that really goes a a long way in the interview because again, companies, they don't care so much about your background and you know, where you went to school and how many years of experience you have. They use those things as ways to try to gauge your value.

But if you just make your values super clear on your terms, you don't have to worry about that stuff as much, and you can control more of the narrative. So that's really what we focus on with folks in interviews is how can we have super crisp, confident, and clean answers that also tie directly back to the company's challenges and goals?

Because at the end of the day, we know that's what they care about most. And tying to the company's challenges and goals I think is one of the most powerful things that you can do. Cuz you can either try to talk about yourself and, and try to sell yourself and hope they can connect it. And sometimes they may not even be able to do that and or you could just have that tailored and you kind of show them right off the bat that you don't have to play any guessing games, you know that it's kind of connected to their company.

I absolutely love that. That is an amazing way to kind of think about this too, kind of reverse roles and think through that. So let's say for example, we go through a bunch of round of interviews, we get an offer and an offer comes in. So what are some things that we should, you know, research maybe prior to getting that offer and or, you know, when we get that offer in order to make sure that we are negotiating, you know, an offer that's fair for both sides.

Yeah, for sure. So I think when it comes to your audience, right, obviously getting a great job is key. But when we talk about everything that we spoke about at the beginning of the episode, so starting early, maximizing your earning potential, you know, setting yourself up for success, negotiation is really where that happens.

We say to the folks who are thinking about joining our coaching program, like we have an average salary number. And I tell people, look, some of this average salary bump is coming from all of the stuff we just talked about. You know, setting yourself up to be the most valuable candidate. But frankly, the vast majority of this increase is happening in that negotiation conversation.

Like that's what it comes down to. And so the first thing that I would say is to actually have the conversation to negotiate. I did, I partnered up with LinkedIn to do some surveys on salary negotiation early last year. And there were some really interesting findings there. I think the most important one was just right at the beginning.

I asked people, how many of you negotiated salary for your last job? And more than half of the people said they didn't negotiate salary. So when we go out there and we look at the data, if we look at average raises, if we look at, you know, what people earn, if they negotiate versus don't negotiate, basically over the course of about a 20 year career, people who negotiate salary make about a half million dollars more on average over the course of their career.

So like, Literally $500,000 more just from being willing to have this conversation. And when we look at the data around what people got out of negotiations, I think the data was something like close to 90% of people got more than the original offer when they negotiated. So you really have nothing to lose.

The other stat that I'll throw out there is the most recent one I saw is about 84% of hiring managers actually expect candidates to negotiate. So when we come to the table, I think a lot of us have these limiting scripts, right? These narratives where we tell ourselves, well, I've worked so hard to get the offer.

I don't wanna lose it, or I don't wanna appear greedy, or I don't wanna do X, y, and Z things, so I'm just gonna accept it and like go with it. But companies are expecting you to do this. It's part of the dance, right? Because on their side, their obligation is to minimize their expenses and their payroll, but maximize their value, right?

And so if they can get you for 80 K instead of 90 k or 120 K instead of 150 k, That's a huge win for them, right? So they're gonna come to the table on the lower end of what they're able to do. And so as a job seeker, it's our obligation to come back and say, Hey, I understand what you're doing here. I get it, but I'm actually worth X and here's why.

That's gonna still work out for you in the end. So the most important thing is to have the conversation when it comes to how to have that conversation. There's a couple of ways to go about this and you know, we'll break down how I think about it. So first you wanna have the salary conversation, the initial conversation as early as possible.

This isn't the final negotiation, it's just kind of the opening, but way too many job seekers wait until the very end. And frankly, I see a lot of people recommending this and I think it's just bad advice because if you wait until the end to have the conversation, you know, people will say, oh, you have the most leverage cuz they gave you the offer or all this other stuff.

You've also invested probably minimum five hours, probably double digit hours into this process. So many people then find out, oh, this role is not even in my range, or it's below my range, or they're gonna lowball me. And then, you know, you've wasted all this time, right? So getting clear on expectations upfront before you invest that time is one of the most critical things.

And typically what happens is a recruiter will bring it up. They'll say, Hey Andrew, you know, before we go forward, I just wanna understand what your expectations are on salary. So the first thing that I like to do is tell them, look, I totally understand. I wanna make sure that we're aligned on salary as well.

But my number one priority here is finding a good fit. That's really what I'm focused on. So they're probably not gonna let you get away with that. They're gonna ask you for the number again. But what you've done here is you've kind of made the finances a secondary thing, and they are now, by pushing it, they're making it a primary thing.

So we're shifting the dynamic a little bit where they're money focused and we're like, no, no, we're fit focused first. And then if the money makes sense, great. So now we're operating from a little bit more of a position of strength and power. Then they're still gonna ask us, You know, I understand we want a great fit too, but we need to understand if we're aligned.

So instead of giving a number here, the best thing you can do is flip the script and say, great, you know, I totally understand where you're coming from with that question. Would you be willing to share the range that you have budgeted for this role? So what that does is it pushes them to give a number first.

And I think most people will actually be surprised at how many recruiters are willing to share the budget. And that's a great place to operate from. Cuz now you have the information and you can just say, yeah, that's in my range. End of conversation, right? You don't have to share anymore. If they say the number, if they do push you, this is where you need to do a little bit of research.

You need to understand, you know, I recommend that people look up salaries for the roles that they're targeting, both at the company they're applying for, but also their competitors. And you wanna look at them across different platforms, right? LinkedIn, salaries, Glassdoor, PayScale, there's a whole bunch of ones out there.

You wanna look this up. And you wanna come up with a range that's in about the 75th percentile of what your research showed. So that means you can ask for more, but you're not pushing a hundred percent. You're not asking for the top end, which is like that little part of the bell curve that only a few people have.

So then you can bring that range to the table. But the way you word it, it should be specific. So I like to say, you know, I'm currently being considered for roles in the range of X to Y. So it's not, I want X to Y, it's not I deserve X to Y. It's. Other companies are considering me for roles in this range.

So that takes the pressure off of us and it kind of says to the company, Hey, other people are willing to pay me this or thinking about paying me this. So if you wanna be competitive, you probably should too. So that's a starting point. And then if you are aligned, you can go through the rest of the process.

And at the very end, what I like to do in preparation for that conversation is come up with three plans, plan A, plan B, plan C. What you wanna do here is think about first the main three base, salary, bonus, and equity. And then you wanna think about all the ancillary stuff you can negotiate. So most people don't realize they can negotiate P t O, they can negotiate continuing education, budget, job title.

Commuter costs. They can do things like, you know, a cell phone stipend, a work from home stipend, visibility on certain projects, visibility with certain people. There's so many things that you can negotiate that most people leave off the table. So plan A should be go for broke, go for exactly what you want.

And over index slightly, right? If they accept that, awesome. If they don't plan B, basically what you do is you reallocate the same value from one of those big three to the other, one of those primary options to an ancillary option. So for example, if I wanted, you know, a hundred K base and they offered me 90, and they're like, we're not budging on that.

I'm just gonna try and shift that extra 10 K into my bonus every year, or into stock every year, right? And so now what you're doing is saying, you know, Hey, I understand we can't move on the base salary. I totally get that. I want to be respectful of that. How about this? What if we reworked it this way?

And so now you're playing the good guy, right? You're like, oh yeah, no problem. I get it. I totally understand. I'm easy. What if we just, you know, plop that into the bonus, plop that into the equity? And that makes it easier for them to stomach, right? So the great part about having three plans is we can work our way down.

We always have a fallback. And then I think the most important thing to come up with on top of that is what I call an mao, which is your minimum acceptable offer. Just so if this company is not willing to even meet your minimum, you have to walk away. Because as hard as it is to say no to an offer, now if you accept that offer, you're just gonna realize that this isn't a good fit.

You're not getting paid what you're worth, and you're gonna be back in the job search in six to 12 months. So better to spend a few extra months now rather than waste another year and then have to go back in into the search. So that's typically how I recommend that people go about it. Bit of a high level overview, but really the most important thing is strategies aside.

Just have the conversation. Just see, you know, use some market research, use data, have the conversation, and I think you'll find that you're gonna be getting more than the original offer pretty much every single time. And I love the thought process of talking through it at the very beginning, making sure that you guys are on the same page and then going through all these tactics after you figure that out because it's really important, obviously not to waste your time.

You wanna find the right company for you. And the last thing you wanna do is spend, you know, 10, 20 hours going through a round bunch of round of interviews, preparing for those interviews and doing all these other things if it's not the company fit. So I love that part of it, and I think there's just so many golden nuggets in there that people need to be looking at and taking away.

Are there any other negotiation tips you have for getting what we want? Yeah, so I mean, I think that the biggest thing that you can do is make the business case to the company. So rather than just asking for more, showing them why it's worth it, reiterating some of the stuff that you talked about before.

And so, you know, this comes back to understanding those goals and those strategies. So if you come to the table and say, Hey, I understand that we can't budge on salary, can we take that 10 K and move it into equity? And here's why. I think that's the case. Or, or even better, let's say bonus, let's move that into bonus and here's why.

First off, this is a performance based bonus, so you're not gonna pay me that money unless I achieve the goals that you set out for me, right? So right off the bat, we're de-risking that investment for you. So I wanna make that clear. But second, just to recap, you know what we're talking about here originally.

I know that you all have this specific goal, and I know that if you hit that goal, X, Y, and Z, tangible things are gonna happen, right? If we successfully launch in this new market, I know that, that the opportunity here is a nine figure opportunity or whatever it is. I wanna help you capitalize on that. And just to recap my experience, right?

Here's where I've done this before. Here's where I've made this happen before. Let's talk about that value validation project that I put together that shows you a few of these ideas that I have that I'm bringing to the table. I know that you had that original offer, right? But looking at the market and where my skills are valued based on where else, the other places that I'm interviewing.

I know that this is my worth, but I also know that, you know, if you're willing to make that investment, if you're willing to meet me there, I'm gonna generate enormous value for you on the backend. And I can't wait to get started on this project because not only do I feel like the salary is great, but everybody I talk to is amazing.

The culture seems like just really hammering home these other intangibles, culture, fit, vision, mission, moving it away from the finances to showcase. Like this is my number one company for cuz of the whole ecosystem. And I really just, I don't want us to squabble over 10 grand. So will you gimme the 10 grand?

Basically? But that's kind of what we're going for there is make it a pitch, show them the r o i, and then show them why it's not just about the money, but why it's about the whole ecosystem for you. And that tends to play really, really well on top of the system that we just talked about. I love that strategy because there's, most people just go out there and they just try to negotiate the offer without having anything to back up that negotiation.

And I think that is the perfect way to do it, to show, you know what you can do some of the extra things that you can do to earn more income for that company so that you can actually deserve that offer. And then restructuring in different ways, you can make it a meritocracy in terms of putting it towards bonus or anything else.

That's a great idea as well. And the last section I wanna talk about here is how to get promoted. If you're at your current job, so maybe you've been at your current job for a little while, you haven't had a promotion in a while, and you really wanna ramp up your career within the company that you're at, you love the culture, it's a good fit for you, but you just haven't been promoted in a while.

What are some things that you can do to get promoted? Because when you worked at Microsoft, you were promoted multiple times. I think it was six or seven times I heard you say. So what are some of the things that you can do to get promoted internally? Yeah, for sure. So it was three times at Microsoft.

I'll throw that out there just so I'm not over inflating my credentials here. But yeah, basically there's two parts to this. When you get a new job, you kind of have that magical period where you're the new person, right? And so winning that, it's usually about 90 days in my experience. And winning that 90 days is super key.

So what I like to do, if you're starting a new job, the first thing that I'm gonna try to understand is who are all of the people in this organization that can impact my upward mobility? Right? And that's everybody. From VPs to directors, to your manager and other managers, people on your team. You can start with your manager and folks on your team and then just ask them like, Hey, who's really good to know in the organization?

Like, who should I focus building relationships on? And they'll tell you, oh, this person over here is, you know, won the President's Club award six years in a row, or that person over there and this person over. You add all those people to your list and then you reach out to them and you play the new person card.

So basically just say like, Hey, I'm Austin. I just started last week, or this week, whatever it is. So and so told me that you'd be an awesome person to talk to. And really, I'm just trying to get a sense of the organization and how everything works and really, you know your goals and you know the challenges that you're facing so that maybe I can help.

And that last piece is key, making it about them, your goals and challenges kind of sells it through. And then you just offer, buy 'em a cup of coffee or get a cup of coffee or whatever it is. Most people will say yes, some people will say no, but you know, 70, 80% of the folks you reach out to will say yes.

And then when you're on the call with them, I basically like to ask them three questions. So I ask them, you know, in your own words, what do you do here? Like, explain it to me in your own words so that I understand. And that gives them space to kind of tell you more about what they do so you can put them, you know, in the right place in the puzzle.

The second thing I ask them is, you know, if you could wave a magic wand and have my team do something or change something or whatever, that would help you achieve the goals you have, overcome the challenges you have, what would it be? And this basically gives you a roadmap. What is this person frustrated by?

What do they wish your team was doing? The nice part about where you're at is as a new person, you know, these people can sometimes feel like they can vent or they can overshare because everybody else on your team has already heard it a million times and they've probably, they just filter it out now.

Cause they're like, oh. John in accounting's just asking for the same thing again that he's asked for, you know, for the last 12 months in a row. But if you're talking to John in accounting, you're a new person, right? So they're more willing to share. The cool part about that is it helps you build a roadmap.

You can understand how you can add value to this person, how you can be a value to them, and how you can help them achieve their goals, which is the basis for, you know, great relationship building. And then last but not least, I always like to ask them, what's your best piece of advice for somebody who's new here?

And that can play into that advice triangle strategy that we talked about earlier. Cuz you could go take action on that advice report back, so on and so forth. So you kind of have two avenues to build relationships now. One based on challenges and goals and the other based on that advice triangle set up.

And if you do this with 20, 30 people, obviously depending on how big your company is, but if you do this with a critical mass of people, You're gonna get on their radar from day one, week one, month one, you're gonna know exactly how you can help them. You can turn them into a mentor with that advice triangle, and now you're set up for the future.

So that's the first thing I would do. The second thing I would do is get clear on what promotions look like and kind of reverse engineer, same as we sort of did in the job search itself. What I always liked to do was I would go to my manager when the time felt right, and I would say, Hey, Just to give you an idea of where I see myself heading X timeframe for a year from now, six months from now, I wanna be in this role, this specific role on this specific team, this specific job title.

Obviously I am where I am now and I wanna be there in six to 12 months. What gaps do you see there? What experience am I missing? What skills do I need to shore up? So by asking them that, you're kind of turning them into a partner with you on this journey, but you're also getting clarity on what they need.

And that clarity is key because we can actually turn that into almost like a promise, if you will. So, You know, your manager will come back and say, well, I think you need a little bit more of this experience or a little bit more of that experience, and I'd love to see you improve in this area. So then my next question is, awesome.

What projects can we work on together? Or what projects can we come up with to help me get that experience? And you can even bring some ideas to the table. Hey, I know that this team over here is working on the stretch project. Can you help me get into that? And do you think it would help me get that experience?

So now what we're doing is we're saying, okay, you're telling me if I want that position, these are the three areas you want me to improve in, and now we're coming up with tangible ways for me to improve them. So the hope is that when six months C comes around, you can go back to your manager and say, Hey, remember that conversation we had six months ago?

You told me that if I did X, Y, and Z, I'd be ready for that promotion. Well, guess what? I did X, Y, and Z. I also did A and B. Let's have that conversation. Now. That puts you in a really strong position to negotiate from when it comes to that promotion because this person already basically told you, these are the only things I need to see.

You've now done them. Right? And so that was really helpful because it also makes sure that you're on the same page too. I saw so many people throughout my career get passed over, even though they were amazing employees, amazing performers. They got passed over because they never vocalized where they wanted to go next.

They never told anybody that they really did want that job on that team. And people can't help you unless they know exactly what you want, right? If they don't know where you wanna go. So I would say that those are the two things. You wanna set yourself up at the very beginning for success, and then you wanna create that path with your manager to that promotion.

You wanna make it clear exactly where you want to go. The second system, creating that path with your direct manager is the exact thing that I would do where I would go and talk to my manager and I would say, Hey listen, I wanna be at this level within the next six months. You know, tell me what I need to do and they would give me what I need to do.

We'd go through those things and then I would check in with them, you know, once a month or every couple months and go through that process. And this leads to you going during review time or something along those lines where you get to that point in time and there's no surprises. Everybody knows what's going on here.

We're gonna have this conversation. I wanna get to this level. We agreed on this point in time. And then if that doesn't happen, maybe you have a different type of conversation, but for the most part, you have all the expectations set in place. And I love that strategy and it works so incredibly well from experience.

And I think that is an amazing way to do it. And then in the networking side, I've never thought of doing that. Kind of seeing how you can help every single person around the company and really you get to know him, you get to figure out what their struggles are, and then you can help them along the way, and that will really further your path specifically inside that company as well.

So, amazing tips there, Austin. This is absolutely amazing. So I wanna shift gears here real quick to, uh, some questions that we ask a lot of our guests. We get some fun answers outta these, so I'm excited to ask you some of these. So, what part of your work or life makes you come alive? Uh, I love writing. I mean, that's my jam and it, it always has been.

I feel like all of these things that I'm talking to you about now, the reason that they come out so like stepwise and sort of as a finished product is because I've been able to sit with them and write them out and share them in my content. And so that's one of the things I look forward to most is just creating space to write, whether it's about careers or anything else.

That's totally my jam and that's what gets me fired up for sure. If you guys haven't read any Austin's stuff is amazing, we'll link it all up down below so that you can check some of it out as well. What is your biggest fear when it comes to money? I think when I was young, my parents were, you know, they still are, but fairly materialistic and uh, for me it was kind of always having enough.

It wasn't that we didn't, I'm very lucky to come from a background where I didn't want for much and got a lot of opportunities, but at the same time it was all about like, gotta make more, gotta grow, gotta do better. And so I think that that's one of the best things I've done for my mental health was just start up with a therapist.

And I'm not a doctor this ist medical advice, but she's been amazing in helping me unpack some, like how I think about money, how I think about my business, how I think about, you know, all these different things. And kind of what I've come to realize is that a lot of the attitude and and anxiety that I create for myself around like, gotta get bigger, gotta do more, gotta do better even when things are already going well.

Kind of stems from that. So that's definitely something that I still practice and work through on a daily basis. I always say psychology is 90% of money and Illinois, 10% of is actually what you know, and that's a perfect example. How do you plan on leveling up your finances this year? Maybe it could be your business or investments or something along those lines.

Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, we're basically, growing the business is the easiest answer that I have, right? And so my wife and I have a nice setup for our finances. We sit down, we review them, we talk about, you know, what we're allocating where, and we have, you know, specific rationales for all of that. And so with that in place, which I'm very grateful we have that, we have all of our automatic transfers set up and it's all kind of systematized with that in place.

We basically just get to focus on our work and thinking about, you know, hey, how can we bring more into the top end of that funnel so that we can diversify it? So the biggest thing that I'm looking to do is grow our business, be able to coach more people, help them land their jobs. That's how we're successful and how we grow when our clients are successful.

So that's my big focus. I love that. What is the best money advice you've ever received? Oh, I mean, start early is probably the, the best. And I wasn't so good at following it. I mean, I think I did start early on compared to the average, but you know, I didn't start contributing to my 401K until I was five plus years into my career.

And, you know, even then wasn't contributing probably as much as I should have. And time is something you can't get back. And when you look at the numbers and the calcs between, you know, what a couple of years difference makes in your investments, that's easily it. So that kind of spurred me to get into action very quickly after that was hammered into my brain.

You're right, it's one of the biggest things that you can do with your money is to start early. So anybody listening who's in their early twenties or anything like that, make sure you start now. Now is the time to start. And the last one, what does wealth mean to you? This is my favorite one. Yeah, so I heard a, a great quote, and I'm struggling to remember exactly where it was from, and I think it may be attributed to many people, but basically to me, wealth, like true wealth, the pinnacle, the ideal picture, perfect setup is being able to do what you want, where you want, with who you want for as long as you want.

That's kind of the setup that I strive towards. Obviously, it's not always quite there yet, or it's not always feasible. So in the shorter term, for me, the wealth basically means being able to spend my time where I want it. You know, I think we can always make more money. There's always ways to do that. We can't really make more time.

We can buy time back with money, right? But at the end of the day, creating more time for the things that matter is most important to me. And so I feel like. Person A, who makes 10 x, what person B makes, but works 120 hours a week is far less wealthy than person B, who makes a lot less, but has a lot more freedom over their time, able to spend it with family members, friends, things like that.

So I think that that's something that needs to go into the wealth calculation is how much time are you spending to make the wealth that you're creating to generate the income that you have. Because it's not all about the dollar value, it's also how much time you have to be yourself, to be with, you know, friends and family to create experiences that are meaningful and lasting.

So to me, that's what it's about. Exactly that freedom of time is so powerful and it's one of the most amazing things that wealth can create. So Austin, this has been absolutely amazing. I think this is one of the most valuable interviews we've done in a very, very long time. I truly appreciate you coming on.

Where can people find out more about you and what you have going on? Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, I appreciate you saying that, Andrew. That means a lot. Everybody can find me, uh, on our site cultivated culture.com. We have a lot of free job search tools. We mentioned some of 'em earlier. Um, you can also follow me on LinkedIn.

I share content there basically every single day. A lot of the tidbits and systems that we talked about here, I break it down in writing and make it easy. So those are the two major places also on Twitter and Instagram. And I also have my own podcast called The Dream Job System. If you're down to add one more to your feed as well.

Awesome. We'll link all those up down below. Austin. Thank you again so much for coming on. For sure. Andrew. Thank you for having me.

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