Today’s piece was inspired by (and borrows from) Erik Davtyan’s insightful medium post. His is specifically for Software Engineers so I figured I’d expand it for a more general audience. Without further ado, let’s go.
In the realm of career advice, we often encounter a ton of tips and tricks on how to land the perfect job. But what if we flipped the script? What if, instead, we explored the art of not getting a job? In this guide, I’ll give you nine easy strategies that can lead you down the path of perpetual unemployment. So, whether you’re looking to maintain your blissful unemployment or you’re an oddball who actually wants a job, this guide will provide you with a fresh perspective. Remember, sometimes knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.
The Art of Procrastination
Why rush to send out CVs when there’s an entire world of procrastination to explore? Procrastination is often misunderstood and maligned, but it can be an intriguing journey of leisure and pleasure. It’s not just about delaying tasks; it’s about immersing yourself in activities that provide immediate gratification and pleasure.
So put away that CV and try diving into the depths of the internet, where an ocean of knowledge and entertainment awaits. You could spend hours, even days, exploring fascinating articles, engaging in online debates, or getting lost in the labyrinth of social media. The internet is a treasure trove of information and amusement that can keep you occupied indefinitely.
If that’s not your jam, you could binge-watch your favourite shows, an activity that has become a cultural phenomenon in the age of streaming services. TV series can offer an escape from reality and a chance to immerse yourself in different worlds. Why focus on your own boring life when you could spend hours, even days, following the more exciting lives of your favourite characters, experiencing their triumphs, tragedies, and transformations?
So, who needs a job when you can embrace a different way of life, one that values leisure and pleasure over productivity and efficiency? So, put away that CV and embrace the art of procrastination.
The Mystery of the Generic CV
When you finally decide to break away from the blissful world of procrastination and update your CV, it’s important to remember one key rule: keep it as generic as possible. After all, who doesn’t love a good mystery? You learnt that from the TV show, remember?
Instead of tailoring your resume to highlight your unique skills, experiences, and achievements, aim for ambiguity. This will perfectly optimise you for perpetual unemployment.
Don’t list specific technical skills or soft skills. Stick to vague, generic terms that don’t provide any specific information about your skills and experiences. Phrases like “hard worker”, “detail-oriented”, “problem-solver”, “strong communication skills”, or “results-driven” are perfect. These are meaningless fluff on a CV. They give absolutely no indication of what you’re actually good at, leaving potential employers guessing. Make it a point not to provide examples of tasks where these skills were displayed, that might make you attractive. We don’t want that.
In the experience section, simply list your job titles and the dates you held them, but leave out any details about what you actually did in those roles. This will ensure that employers are left scratching their heads, trying to figure out what you actually bring to the table.
Remember, the goal here is to create a resume that is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Employers love a good puzzle, right? And if they can’t figure out what you’re good at, they can’t hire you. It’s a win-win situation!
So, embrace the mystery of the generic CV, and watch as the job offers don’t roll in.
The Non-Interview Technique
If you did your best on the last point but by some unfortunate twist of fate, you find yourself scheduled for an interview, it’s time to deploy the Non-Interview Technique. This strategy is all about being as unprepared as possible to ensure you maintain your blissful state of unemployment.
First, don’t research the company. By not knowing anything about the company, you’ll effectively communicate your fabulous lack of interest and commitment, which is sure to send the right signal.
Second, don’t let interview prep interfere with your regular online debates and doom-scrolling. You want to maintain the mystery and get surprised by all the questions during the interview and wing it. Rambling, off-topic, or nonsensical answers are sure to leave your interviewer scratching their head.
Third, punctuality is overrated. Arrive late. This not only shows a lack of respect for the interviewer’s time but also suggests you’re not particularly interested in the job.
Finally, a yawn or two during the interview can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. If you’re feeling particularly daring, consider checking your watch or phone frequently during the interview to really drive home your lack of engagement.
The Non-Interview Technique is all about showing that you’d really rather be somewhere else and that there are other things that are more important to you than this interview. By following these steps, you’re sure to leave your interviewer with a strong impression.
The Loner Lifestyle
Who needs connections when you’ve got solitude? If you interact with people too much you might uncover opportunities and get your foot in the door. You don’t want that. Embrace the hermit lifestyle and avoid networking opportunities like the plague.
Industry events are a no-go. These gatherings are typically filled with professionals in your field who are eager to exchange business cards, share insights, and discuss potential job opportunities. So, steer clear of industry conferences, seminars, and networking events. Instead, enjoy the comfort of your own home, far away from the hustle and bustle of the professional world.
Social media interactions should be kept to a minimum. To maintain your unemployment streak, it’s best to avoid platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter or, at the very least, avoid any professional interactions on them. Stick to vibes.
Remember, the fewer people who know you don’t have a job, the fewer people there are to ruin your unemployment streak with job offers.
Choose the tranquillity of unemployment over the chaos of job hunting. Forget about networking and start enjoying the peace and quiet of solitude. After all, who needs connections when you’ve got the comfort of your own company?
The Art of Giving Up
In the rare case that you pass the first interview in some miraculous way, it’s important to master the Art of Giving Up. This is not about a lack of capability or potential, but rather a strategic move to maintain your blissful state of unemployment.
During the interview process, there are often several stages designed to assess your skills and suitability for the role. This could include a technical interview, a take-home task, or a series of problem-solving exercises. These stages are typically designed to challenge you, to push you out of your comfort zone, and to see how you perform under pressure. You don’t want that. You prefer the comfort zone and the warm embrace of the familiar.
So, don’t hesitate to throw in the towel. If you ever feel stuck, give up. Don’t try to work through the problem, don’t ask for clarification, and definitely don’t attempt to come up with a solution. Simply throw your hands up and admit defeat. This will not only end the interview process quickly but also leave a lasting impression of your commitment to unemployment.
Don’t waste your precious free time. After all, they’re not paying you for this time, right? And let’s be honest, the actual job pay was probably going to be too low, anyway. Make up an excuse and abandon it. You could say you didn’t understand the task, you didn’t have time to complete it, or simply that you didn’t feel like doing it.
The Art of Giving Up is all about choosing ease over effort, surrender over struggle. It’s about recognizing when to step back and let go, rather than pushing forward and fighting on. So that you can return to your own super-interesting, stress-free life. Who needs the stress of a job when you can enjoy the tranquillity of unemployment?
The Leisure Life
Work is work, and leisure is leisure. They’re two distinct aspects of life, and in our quest for perpetual unemployment, it’s important to keep them separate. Your work is a job, a means to an end. It isn’t a hobby, a passion, or a pastime. It’s something you do to earn a living, not something you do for fun or fulfilment. So, when you’re not working, it’s crucial to use your free time for activities that don’t improve your professional skills.
Daydreaming about the future is a leisurely activity that requires little effort but offers a lot of enjoyment. It allows you to imagine different possibilities, explore various scenarios, and even plan your ideal life, all without the constraints of reality. Couple this with inaction and you have the perfect combo to burn away those extra hours.
Remember, you’re going to work a lot in your future career anyway, so why bother now? Don’t even try to contribute to your industry or take on extra tasks. You shouldn’t do work for other people for free. If you’re in a team, just use what the others have done and never contribute. This not only saves you effort but also ensures you don’t stand out or attract attention, which might lead to job offers.
The Art of Ignoring Feedback
In our pursuit of the blissful state of unemployment, we must master the Art of Ignoring Feedback, a strategy that promotes stagnation over growth and comfort over change.
Whether it’s constructive criticism from a potential employer or well-intentioned advice from a friend, feedback might provide insights into our strengths and weaknesses, offering a roadmap for personal and professional development, so we’re going to ignore it. After all, who needs growth and improvement when you can remain blissfully stagnant?
Ignoring feedback is not just about dismissing others’ opinions. It’s about embracing a mindset of complacency, about choosing comfort over challenge. It’s about rejecting the opportunity to learn and grow, and instead, maintaining the status quo. It’s about keeping those blinders on, focusing on the present, and ignoring the possibilities of the future.
So, the next time you receive feedback, whether it’s a critique of your resume, a suggestion for improving your interview skills, or advice on job-hunting strategies, be sure to ignore it. Dismiss it, forget it, and move on.
The Joy of Unreliability
In our goal of a life of unemployment, it’s crucial to cultivate a reputation for unreliability. This counterintuitive strategy is all about embracing inconsistency and unpredictability, traits that are typically frowned upon in the professional world but are key to maintaining your blissful state of unemployment.
First, make a habit of showing up late. Whether it’s for an interview, a meeting, or a casual catch-up, tardiness is a surefire way to communicate your lack of respect for other people’s time. It sends a clear message that you’re not committed or serious, traits that employers typically love to avoid.
Second, in the world of work, deadlines are sacred. They ensure projects move forward and that everyone is on the same page. But in our quest for unemployment, we’re going to disregard them. By consistently missing deadlines, we will demonstrate a lack of responsibility and a disregard for the importance of time management, further solidifying our reputation for unreliability.
Third, forgetting about commitments is the cherry on top of your unreliability cake. Whether it’s a promise to send an email, a commitment to complete a task, or an agreement to meet at a certain time, forget it. That is a sure way to show your lack of reliability. It suggests that you’re disorganized and untrustworthy, traits that are sure to deter potential employers.
The Art of Unprofessionalism
Finally, if you really want to nail in your blissful unemployment, master the Art of Unprofessionalism. This strategy is all about rejecting the norms and expectations of the professional world and embracing a more casual, carefree approach.
Let’s talk about attire. In the professional world, how you dress can say a lot about you. It can communicate respect, seriousness, and commitment. So, instead of dressing appropriately for interviews or meetings, opt for casual, inappropriate attire. Think flip-flops for a corporate interview, a t-shirt for a formal event, or even pyjamas for a video call.
Next, language is a powerful tool. In professional settings, always use slang, colloquialisms, and casual phrases in your interactions. This will not only show a lack of professionalism, but also suggest a lack of respect for the formalities of the business world.
So there you have it, my foolproof guide on how to never get a job. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on the fast track to a lifetime of blissful unemployment. But remember, if you’re one of those oddballs who actually wants to get a job, you might want to do the exact opposite of everything I’ve just suggested. Happy job hunting, or not!