I assume the only reason you’re reading this is because either: (1) You like the word ‘badass’ in your article titles as much as I do, (2) You want to be hired on the basis of your badass-ness instead of, say, being hired on the basis of being the Archduke of Everything-Just-Lands-In-My-Lap Mountain.
People who choose to get hired like a badass are rare. One of the reasons they’re rare is because 99% of the time, they are part of the creative class who can call products into existence all by themselves if they had to. They are renaissance people. They figure stuff out and get sh** done. They do jobs they didn’t know how to do yesterday. They are generally not sales people. As someone formerly stuck in a sales role with an inner badass dying to break out, I can tell you that sales people are valued for being careful and for wooing people with the right words at the right time - not for being badasses. Badasses could not give a flying fart about the subtle intricacies of double-speak.
So if that’s what they are, what does it mean to be hired like a badass? First, it means wanting to be hired because you’re awesome. Being hired because you can do the job. Being hired because your work will make your co-workers think smarter and work better. Being hired because you possess that rare, nameless virtue, that says: when instructed to dominate an idea, I will hunt it, rip its head off, skin it, stuff it, and set it on my desk as a beautiful work of art. I may not be the best in the world, but I fearlessly make stuff and I make it well. If you want to be hired on this basis - you’re halfway there.
If you don’t want to be hired because you’re awesome, it either means you’re not awesome and should be figuring out how to be, or because you ARE awesome, but are afraid that you’re not. As evidenced by discussions I’ve had with lots of Zerply users, many, many, many people are in the latter camp. If you’re in this group, your default “hire me” tactic is probably wooing a recruiter into thinking about what a great interviewee you are instead of focusing on showing off how badass your work is. In either case, do you know what the real solution is? Make awesome stuff, let it speak for itself, and illegitimi non carborundum (don’t let the bastards get you down). *Sidenote: Sometimes, you just need to make money and are obligated to reprise your role as Mr. or Ms. Lookatmyinterviewskills - fair enough - but once you get the job, strive to become a badass.
Here are some things that don’t matter that much if you want to be hired like a badass: impressive interview clothes, confident smiles and handshakes, minty breath, perfectly coiffed hair, ever-so-carefully hidden tattoos, the ability to wear a bluetooth earpiece at all times with a chatty disposition, and a natural wizardry in the dark arts of remembering first names. These are Dale Carnegie-esque ways to “win friends and influence people” and they have their place, but they also don’t score you points in the game of being hired like a badass. If they feel especially false to you during an interview, guess how false they’ll feel in two weeks when you have to stay in character all day to maintain the illusion birthed by your 3-hour improv show titled “Interview Day”?
So, what matters if you want to be hired like a badass? At Zerply, we like helping really fun startups like AirBnB and Square hire badass designers, developers, and other creatives. One of the best things about Zerply is how quick it is for us to figure out if someone is a badass. It goes something like this:
"Let’s search for web designers for that Square position." *click* "Oh wow, look at all these pictures this person shared on Zerply, Dribbble, and Behance. She’s done a lot of stuff. She’s a badass. I’m going to see if she wants to apply."
"Next." *click* "This dude, on the other hand, tagged himself as a web designer, but I’m 99% sure he’s not a badass. He has almost no work uploaded anywhere on the web even though he says he’s been doing it for four years. Square would punch me in the face if this dude applied."
In brief, perhaps the easiest way to become a true, blue badass is to share your work like crazy. Share pictures of your sketches. Share pictures of pictures of pictures of sketches. Share finished work. Share pictures of the silly toys that sit on your desk in your workspace. Share random pictures of yourself shooting Nerf guns at your coworkers. Share images of side projects you’re working on that have nothing to do with your day job. This kind of openness demonstrates a fearless disregard for whether a recruiter dislikes who you really are. This openness says, “I am not a person who trifles with falsely curating a tiny image of who I am. I’m a human. I make lots of awesome stuff. I’m a badass.”
Find out more about our growth hacker and resident badass on his profile: zerply.com/ajwinn