EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you prefer to listen to me instead of reading? Well you are in luck. Just click link to SoundCloud below and you can listen instead of reading 🙂
FYI: Transcription services provided by Rev.com at $1 per minute
Let Me Reintroduce Myself…
I am not an IT professional, someone who enjoys working with computers or what have you. That was never my MO. My thing is I have a problem and I’m trying to solve it using technology. That’s all I ever been doing, and that’s all I been doing. That’s all I’m thinking about going forward.
You get some people who say, “Well, you don’t have this cert, you don’t have this degree, you don’t have ABC,” because I never cared. When you look at the page of my resume or something, you would see that nothing seems to make sense. Everything’s across-the-board, but what you don’t see is I had a problem with this, so I went and worked on coding. I had a problem with this, so I upgraded my computer. I’m trying to learn this, so I’m working with a YouTube channel. I trying to do this, I’m using SoundCloud. I tried to go with this, I tried to learn to code. I did this, I’m trying to make apps.
This, that, and the third, all my problems I’m trying to solve using the abundance of technology and the free information in our world today. That’s what separates me from everybody else. I’m using the words, videos, free articles, and PDFs to try to get there. Right now I’m trying to work on marketing and stuff. Yeah, I went to school for marketing. I didn’t go to school for IT. I’m in an IT job, but either way, I’m trying to combine all those skills now with the one thing of, I’m trying to solve my problems simply and repeatedly so I can help others.
Solve It With Technology…
Case in point, a while ago when I used to look for jobs, there used to be jobs opportunities that say, “Hey, email me at ABC@e-mail.com. Send me your resume and a cover letter, and we’ll get back to you if you fit the description.” Well, the problem with that was, if you ever been through this position, 99.5% of the time you will hear nothing back, and if you do hear something back, it will be literally 3 to 4 months later where you don’t even remember who is spamming your inbox.
I decided there has to be some way for me to see what’s going on once this email leaves my inbox, and you know what, there is. I spent quite some time on this but I found out using freely available software and/or low-cost software, that not only can I send people the email, and
- See when they open it (estimated time)
- How often they clicked it
- Estimate how long they read it
- If they shared it
- and see if they opened up any attachments
Then I started to take it a step further, so I started to send my attachments, like say my resume, and I say that I did ABC project in my resume. My project on my resume would be linked externally to another service, let’s say Google URL Shortener or something, so now I could track when you click on that link too.
NOTE: Interested in finding out more about my email tracking system? Click HERE
I could follow the whole train, so yes, you may not have replied to me, say in the 3 weeks that I sent you the email, but I am getting analytics on the backend that says you opened the thing 72 times since I sent it, and it was shared around, and it was like 15 different readers. I’m also going in with the marketing mentality. I’m testing different subject lines, different cover letter formats. I had a bullet format, heres 4 reasons why you should pick me, blah, blah, blah. I was looking to see which ones were working, what works and what didn’t, and testing. I will admit some of them never got opened. Maybe that was based on the time that I sent them. It’s like they were never opened at all. That’s fine. It’s like email marketing, right? Now, you can see where I’m combining email marketing in the area where most people didn’t even think to try stuff like this.
To follow up on my point, I don’t work in IT. Other people like, “Oh you be upset about AB and C.” I’m like, “No, no, no. See, I’m trying to solve the original problem. If y’all want to go around in circles and deal with tickets do things. No, I’m here to solve my problems and other people problems. If I can figure out a solution that permanently solves the problems then let’s be about it, or find out what it is and go down that road.” My problem was I send off for a job, I don’t hear anything back. What happens there?
To bring that full circle, before I even sent off for a job, I was working on, well, I already had a template per se for a cover letter, where it was like based on the type of job that I’m applying for. Already had a couple click template made where it’s like, okay, I am here. Fill out the company name. This is what I’m looking for. This is what you looking for. Here are the requirements. Here is a quick summary. Things like that. I was also working on a way to pre-build the resume with a few clicks which I was researching, but then I realized something, and it really, really pains me to say this, but I realized something much later on.
The Laughing Owl
Way back in 2015 I applied for this job. I have a friend who will tell you this. All I know, I don’t remember the job, I think it was customer service, but the company name was SendOwl. My friend will tell you that I built up my resume. I built up the cover letter. I put work in it, you know hours. I paid attention to details. I pored over the thing. I spent at least 20 hours on this process. It was a work at home customer support job for an online platform where you can sell your digital goods and they’ll take a cut. One of the requirements said they want someone who’s good at video editing too, and I said I was working on video editing, always working on video editing, so I’m trying to be like, “Hey, here’s a great chance to show off my skills.”
I go through this path, and instead of playing Grand Theft Auto 5 on my computer I work on a 1-minute explainer video for them, because they didn’t have anything. Now, I built this video from scratch. I admit it could be better. You can see it in the link below, but I went and found the icons, I animated the whole thing, put it all together. I got the summary. I even went so far to find, online, a British voice actor because the company was based in the UK, Europe, Britain, somewhere. I would double check. It was based in the UK and I’m like, this is your company. This is your thing. I wrote the script, hired the actress, edit her audio, matched it up to the video, sent it in the tracked email as we spoke about before, and sent it off for the position.
I saw that the CEO of the company opened said email. Mind you, this is like 10 hours of this video editing, creation, storyboarding, drafting, the whole 9. It’s like 10 hours of that, then 10 hours for the cover letter, the resume, making sure I follow all the directions of course. Through my analytics, statistics trackers, whatever, I see that the CEO opens the resume email maybe a day or 2 after I sent it. I saw that he did not even bother to click the link to the video, using my trackers, and since I also know that I went out of my way to host the video, not on Youtube. I hosted it at another place, shouts out to Wistia, where I can see the exact time and statistics if it was ever viewed.
The only reason I found Wistia, because I was watching someone else do a video for their products or service, and I’m like this is a really nice player, and it’s not YouTube when I hover over it, and then I saw all the Wistia brand there, but that’s off track. To get back on track, in the very first part of my email, hi, whatever, here’s my name, I go through and show my blurb, and I go, “PS, I heard you’re looking for a video editor. I made something for you.” I’ve put that in a hyperlink to the video direct on Wistia, and the person, CEO, administrative assistant, whoever didn’t even use the damn 30 second to a minute long clip.
Below I have linked the video in the screenshot, the email for you, so you can see what I sent out. Oh my God, you talking about, I wasn’t the same because I realized I was wasting my fucking time. Now, I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it is what it is. I spent 20 hours putting in work on something that doesn’t scale, that isn’t repeatable, that would’ve only got me maybe an email for a phone call, for an interview, for the whole thing, and I put 20 hours of work in there like a dumbass. Again, that’s why I say I’m not an IT professional. I tried to solve problems with technology.
I learned from that. I don’t do that stuff any more. I’ve been trying to streamline. I’ve been actually trying to automate the whole process, but I’m just getting out of it, because it’s diminishing returns for hours and efforts work, because if anyone sees this video, know that I have, without a doubt, put in the effort and time to track it, to build up the video … I did everything that you’re “supposed to do” and I couldn’t even get a view on a video, let alone feedback to the resume or anything. I got the standard we didn’t accept your whatever a couple days after that.
The job was remote customer support for the digital platform. It would be like they needed someone with a tech mindset to guide people through, to help build guides, and everything that you see me doing now, and that I have been doing. To go above and beyond, and couldn’t get someone to click the link, I was devastated. I’m not even going to lie to you because I felt as though it was a punch to the gut because if you talk to anyone out there anywhere else, you talk to your mom, your siblings, your father, politicians, teachers, whoever, guidance counselors, they will all say, “Oh, try harder. Try Harder. Don’t give up. Try harder. Don’t give up. Try harder. Go out there and get them again. Something, someone will come through.”
That lesson was worth more than my entire college degree. That lesson was worth more than, it was probably the best lesson I’ve learned in the last 5 to 6 years. It’s one of the most amazing, defining moments of my last 3 years. Now, I will admit, at this time I had a job. I was trying to go into something and grow my skill sets. That’s why I was trying to apply there because the e-commerce side of things is very interesting. There’s always room to grow, but that lesson alone showed me that if I do not change what I’m doing now, nothing else will matter.
Now, I bring about, I want to wrap this up with this conclusion. In this paragraph, in this post, we discuss 2 things. We discussed my innate ability to try to use technology to solve my problems, which was how I got started on this path, and we discussed how no matter what you do or how creative something is if no one looks at it, you just wasted your time. That’s like me putting a spelling error on the video, and it’s being thrown out the window because I spelled something wrong, but that’s assuming they looked at the video anyway. You know what I mean?
If you do not click the link to see what I’ve done, I might as well not even done it. I could’ve sent a blank resume, a template cover letter, to whom it may concern, and just been done with it and got the same exact results. I’m not mad, or bitter, or angry. I will admit I was at the time, but I came to understand that’s how it is. On the flipside of the coin, when people ask you, go out there, and give 110% for this, that, and the other, I can’t agree with that. No. The only thing that I’m going to give 110% to is something that scales, that’s repeatable, and that gives back.
Do you want to know what that is?
If you’re in my shoes, invest in yourself, give it back to yourself. That’s why every body keep seeing me, because when I put that 20 hours into, let’s say this blog post at that time or a website at that time, I will be building upon that instead of just having this as a footnote of the story, of an experience I had gone through going through the system.
At the time I ranted totally different about the whole thing. It was definitely an emotional period, only because I experienced the running with the feelings, not feelings, I guess it’d be more like what people say to you, and how things should work, and the reality of how life is. Now, you might say that you could’ve got that when you was younger. You do get it when you was younger, but it’s also different counterpoints when you’re doing it as younger. It’s different, it weighs out, because you’re younger. To this day, even though this only happened a year ago at the time of this writing, to this day people are still told things like this, whereas they feel as though they got to put what they want to do on the back burner for what’s going to be right.
I don’t even know where to start with this or how to end this, but I am solutions-oriented using technology as my repeatable base. I’m not a IT professional. I’m not whatever label you want to use. I’m just trying to solve my own problems using technology. If I could just so happen show it to you and help you solve yours, then so be it, but I’m not that guy who always wanted to start, “Oh, man. I’m going to work at the help desk and answer a phone call.” I don’t even like talking to people on the phones. A phone call that’s 10 minutes about a computer problem, let’s be honest, a phone call that’s 60 minutes about computer problem I could probably sum up and solve within 5 minutes of just letting me touch the computer and fix the issue directly.
We don’t even need to discuss. What happened? It broke. It’s fixed. It’s fine. Are you trying to learn how to do this? I can show you where to go. It’s called Google. Let Me Google That For You
That was a personal experience that I haven’t told anybody, which you can see now, and of course, you can check out the video and links, comments, let me know.
REMINDER: Transcription services provided by Rev.com at $1 per minute. For those of you wondering, this was a 20-minute recording that clocks in at 2500 words.