How to Get Your First Job & Make Tons of Money

Matthew: Hey, everybody! I’m Matthew Whitaker here with gkhouses, and today we are going to try something a little bit new. (How to Get Your First Job & Make Tons of Money)

We have an internship program at gkhouses and the whole idea of the program is to bring really talented people into the company. They will get to experience some of the culture, see what we do here at gkhouses, and hopefully learn something they can take back to school. We would love it if they could potentially come work with gkhouses one day.

So, today I have our interns, Hannah and Savannah with us. Today is my second lesson with them, and I thought it would be cool to put this out to the community by sharing it through a vlog.

To be completely transparent, we think sharing it will be a great recruiting tool to find really talented people.

Today I’m going to talk to them about how to get your first job and make tons of money. I don’t have tons of cool graphics but I think this will get the point across to everybody. I spoke about this topic during one of the classes at the University of Alabama. It was very well received, and people seemed to like it.

So, I’m going to talk about it in light of something that we do in terms of what we look for out of talented people here at gkhouses.

During our phone interview we ask everybody four questions and I’m going to walk through those questions and also tell you what we are looking for.

I also think it will explain how we have seen young college graduates be successful in gkhouses, and hopefully people can glean some success principles from it.

Question #1: What Are Your Career Goals?

One of my favorite quotes that goes along with this question is from Alice in Wonderland. Alice asks the Cheshire cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” He replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” In return Alice says, “I don’t much care where.” And the Cheshire cat ends with, “Then it does not matter which way you go.”

So based off of that quote, the first thing I look for is direction.

I don’t necessarily think that somebody getting out of school needs to know what the next 50 years is going to look like in their career, but I do think that people need to have a direction.

Direction is important for graduates because you don’t want to be 50 years down the road and end up in a place you never intended on going.

I think of it as crossing the United States. We started out in New York and we knew we were headed to California. It doesn’t make sense for us to just start walking. What makes sense for us to know what general direction we must start walking to get to California.

One thing we have seen from young people who just got out of school is a lack of direction.

Again, this doesn’t mean that you know what the next 50 years is going to entail. Although, you are going to spend a lot of your life actually working. We spend eight to ten hours here a day at gkhouses. That is 50 hours a week, times 50 weeks a year, times 50 years is a whole lot of time. So, for you not to be intentional about how you spend that time is a huge mistake.

I think it is best to start now, thinking about what direction you want to go in.

Question #2: What Are You Good At Professionally?

Stephen Covey who wrote 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says, “Self-awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies.”

So, one of the things we have noticed is that young graduates that are successful are very self-aware.

They know the things that they are good at. Maybe it’s the subjects they feel most confident about or the things that come easy to them such as people or numbers. They have given it some thought and asked themselves, “What and I good at? What are my God-given abilities?”

From there they choose careers that maximize their God-given abilities. For example, if you are not a people person, it probably does not make sense for you to be in face-to-face sales because it’s just going to drive you insane.

You need to spend some time consistently reflecting on the things that can come easy to you and the things that don’t come easy to you.

Believe it or not, we ask the same questions of people that have been in their work careers for 20 or 30 years and sometimes they are not good at answering these questions.

To me, it just shows that they have not given it much thought. So, knowing what you’re good at professionally is super important.

Question #3: What Are You Not Good At Or Not Interested In Doing Professionally?

Mother Teresa said, “Honesty and transparency makes you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”

A lot of people think this is trying to turn their weaknesses into a positive. For example people say, “I work too hard,” or “I’m a slave for results.”

The truth is there are things that we are just not gifted to do. I think of me and basketball. I was very slow, I’m fairly tall, but not nearly as tall as the NBA players. There’s no way I’m going to be a professional basketball player.

For you to know what you are not good at is every bit as important as what you are good at. If you are able to recognize this you can maximize what you are good at. You can also stay away from the things you are not good at.

It is also important to build a list of things that you are not willing to do professionally, as you go through your career.

Again, we are all going to be spending a bunch of time at work and you want to be intentional about that work. You need to be honest and transparent about the things you don’t want to do and the things that you’re not good at when talking to your boss or interviewer.

I think of finding a job is almost like getting married. It’s better for us to get out all of our warts on the front end so that when we get married, there are no unmet expectations on the back end. The best thing that can happen is we expose all the warts and everybody is willing to live with each other anyways and we live happily ever after. The second best thing is we decide not to get married in the proverbial sense and we don’t start working together.

So, I tell all young people, “Hey, look. Be honest and transparent in a job interview, it’ll make you a whole lot happier on the back end. Don’t get so busy selling yourself that you are willing to tell people things that stretch the truth. If you do this you will find yourself at a job you should have never been in.”

Question #4: Tell Me The Name Of Your Last Five Bosses And How They Will Rate You On A Scale Of 1-10 When We Ask Them.

Warren Buffett, who is one of the quirkiest, funniest guys, has a lot of great quotes. He manages a business called Berkshire Hathaway and he has said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

If you think about that and apply it to your life, you will do things differently. What I think is unique is you are starting to build a work reputation right now, in college and in this internship.

I think of it as a wake on a boat. You are basically creating a wake as you go through your work career. You need to recognize that the wake is going to follow you no matter what.

So, make sure that you live your personal and work life with integrity and do things knowing, in the long run, it’s going to pay off.

You are going to be able to take a bunch of shortcuts earlier in your career that will help get you way far ahead. Whether that be stabbing somebody in the back or lacking integrity in a certain area. But I will tell you it’s not the best use of your time, energy, and effort because in the long run, it will just come back to bite you.

We have had people leave gkhouses and be very respectful of us and the effort we put into them. We have also had people that are not that respectful.

If somebody ever calls and asked me about the people that were not respectful, I’m going to be very transparent that they left in a very disrespectful way.

I have a list of people that left here to go on and do really great things. They are still some of my favorite people. I would bend over backwards to help them in any way. Whether that be them asking for their job back here or asking me to be a reference for another job.

So, that’s it in terms of the questions.

How Do You Get Good At Answering These Questions?

How do you get to the point where you can have a lot of self-awareness and direction?

I think other than gaining experience, books are where people can gain a lot of knowledge. I am an avid reader and a believer in books. Why would you not learn from other people’s experiences?

What we can read in five to ten hours took somebody a whole lifetime to accomplish. We can sit down, read it, and apply it to our lives so we don’t make the same mistakes.

The second thing is audios like podcasts. You can also listen to books on audio. The other day I was listening to the founder of Instagram. In today’s society, I can literally ride in the car, listening to the founder of Instagram. That is crazy to me.

There are podcasts about anything. You can certainly find podcasts about anything that interests you.

The third thing I would say is going to conferences. This is a great place not only to listen to people speak, but also to meet like-minded people. Some of my best friends have come from conferences. They are usually the people I reach out to and ask questions.

The last thing is being around successful people. I am a firm believer that you ought to consider actually going to work for somebody you admire. Even if that means working for free for a year or two.

I think there is future value for working for that person. You will make more money in the long run by dedicating that 12 or 24 months working for them. Not only make more money in the future but learn tons more as well.

Now, obviously, people have different financial situations. If I could go back I would find a way to work for a successful entrepreneur. Even if I had to work for that person for free.

“You’ll be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

So, to recap…

Be picky when choosing a job, and be willing to leave fast if they are not providing you an opportunity to grow.

Be willing to make less or even zero money to work for someone who can teach you a lot.

Just because a job is hard and not fun all the time does not mean you are in the wrong place.

Thank you for watching. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses. I certainly hope this is helpful.