The Informal Job Market - And Why It Matters.
Michael Ellsberg is the author of The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think, and It’s Not Too Late, out Sep. 29th, 2011 from Penguin/Portfolio, and The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret For Success in Business, Love and Life, from HarperCollins. He also writes a blog on entrepreneurialism, career development, and education at Forbes.com.
The Education of Millionaires is a bootstrapper’s guide to investing in your own human capital. Ellsberg interviewed some of the most successful people on the planet who didn’t complete college and who educated themselves in the real world, to deconstruct their secrets and create a “Syllabus for a Successful Life” based on what he learned from them.
The book features interviews with self-educated billionaires Phillip Ruffin and John Paul DeJoria, Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Sean Parker, WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, fashion designer Marc Ecko, Pink Floyd lead guitarist David Gilmour, and marketing experts Eben Pagan, Frank Kern and Joe Polish. It also features the insights of experts including Seth Godin, “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki, and PayPal co-founder and Facebook angel investor, billionaire Peter Thiel.
The Education of Millionaires has been sold into Korea pre-release, and The Power of Eye Contact has been sold into China, Russia, France, Korea, Vietnam, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. The latter was featured in the Washington Post, and on Tim Ferriss’s Four-Hour Workweek blog.
Ellsberg is the creator of Eye Gazing Parties, a series of social events based on eye contact which attracted feature press coverage from the New York Times, Associated Press TV, CBS News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Regis & Kelly, Current TV, Yoga Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, the BBC, the Times of London, Match.com, Nerve.com, Agence Press France, German and Canadian national television, and in Tim Ferriss’s #1 New York Times andWall Street Journal bestseller The Four-Hour Workweek. Elle magazine called Eye Gazing Parties “New York’s hottest dating trend.”
Ellsberg collaborated with Dr. Marc Gerstein on Flirting With Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental, which was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. Ellsberg’s work has also been featured in the Harvard Business Review online and on Digital Book World.
Ellsberg was born in San Francisco i
Michael Ellsberg: There is something called the informal job market versus the formal job market. The formal job market is the one you hear about where you see job ads and it says—usually it will say “Bachelor’s required; Master’s degree preferred.” So you see that and you think, “Oh well, I need a Bachelor’s degree to get a job.” Well, that is happening on what is called the formal job market, which is really only about 20% of hiring.
Most people who track this believe that about 80% of hiring happens on what is called the informal job market, which is essentially . . . somebody knows somebody, the boss needs a position filled, they ask their employees who would be good to fill this position, and the employees have referrals. And in that vastly larger informal market, traditional
credentials are much, much less important than who you know, and usually the notion of job requirements is highly negotiable. If you know somebody who knows somebody who works in an organization that is hiring, you can get a referral and it doesn’t really matter what your GPA was or how you did on your tests or your credentials. What matters is that you have a great resume of results that you have gotten in the real world and that you’re a good networker, that you know people.
So I would say to young people, the things you should really be focusing on are learning how to become a great networker. That, to me, is the number one skill, and of course also learning the skills of the area that you want to do business in, to have a career in, which you’re unlikely to learn in college.
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
80% of hiring happens on the informal job market, says Michael Ellsberg. His advice for job-seekers? Network, network, network.
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