Written by Bree Brouwer
Do you think of yourself as a geek? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Modis “Geek Pride” survey found that more than 87% of Americans proudly identify with their inner nerd. If you’re among them, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that those characteristics can serve you well in a job hunt.
However, if you think you have to be a computer whiz or tech nerd to identify with geeks, think again. The “G” word now applies to anyone with a huge passion or interest of any sort, especially for comics, movies or video games.
This means that geek employees are already roaming the halls everywhere. And, since people enjoy working with colleagues who share similar interests, employers are likely to hire even more people with geek tendencies.
Note to non-geeks: If you never identified previously with this pack, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon and become more obsessive about whatever is on your list of personal and professional passions. This one change could make or break a job hunt.
But simply announcing “Hey! I’m a geek!” won’t land you a job or a promotion. You need to translate your geekiness into skills employers understand and appreciate. During interviews, focus on the following aspects of your personality. You’ll be well on your way to showing hiring managers that you’re one of the best candidates their organization could possibly choose.
5 Ways Your Geek Power Can Land You A Great Job
1) Your geekiness makes you an obsessive problem-solver
There’s not a single company that doesn’t have problems to solve — whether it’s their own, or their customers’, or both.
This is where geeks come in handy. You enjoy challenges and finding answers to problems. (More so with technical geeks, but also with the pop-culture-loving geeks, as well.)
If your geeky self tends to dig deep into work challenges, you’ll be valued for your persistence — which may not be as common in your non-geek coworkers. What company wouldn’t want to hire you for that?
2) You taught yourself more than you ever learned in school
No matter what your interests may be, if you’re a geek, you tend to be creative and experimental. Since you don’t learn via traditional methods or work via traditional processes, you tend to find ways to teach yourself.
Employers love creative self-starters, especially when you use that skill to solve their problems. For example, you might take a smartphone picture of your signed contract and send it via email instead of hunting down a paper envelope, a stamp and a mailing address. (And besides, it gets there faster, anyway.)
If you’re want to exercise your creativity, look for companies that are flexible and innovative in their mission and their process. A more traditional setting might stifle this special quality in you, so seek environments that will benefit from your originality and resourcefulness.
3) You mastered work-life balance before it was even a “thing”
As a geek, you tend to want to make a life instead of a career. This means you’re less likely to be a workaholic who runs yourself down and reduces your quality of work.
But be careful not to become too dedicated to your “life” instead of your job. Realistic, optimistic geeks understand that to live a good life, meaningful work is a necessary and welcome component.
4) You’re flexible to change, diversity and new ways of learning
This mindset is tied closely to a geek’s creative nature. If an old approach doesn’t work for you or the problem at hand, you’re willing to toss it out the door and try something new. You’d rather learn from what Joss Whedon can teach you about business than what an experienced Wall Street guru has to say.
If a company is interested in workers with a little bit of daring and open-mindedness, you’re the ideal candidate. A geek is more willing to help a company grow, adapt and develop through alternative methods than some non-geek counterparts who may prefer to play it safe, and remain set in their ways.
5) You’ve got the drive to make a difference
What you do each day is not just all about you and your life. You want to contribute something greater to the world and make it a better place — whether that’s through the products you support or the way you live your life. (“Yep, this Superman shirt is 100% organic cotton!”)
It’s likely that if you’re a geek working for a company in the business of changing lives, you’ll feel passionate about that company’s goals, services and products.
Of course, not all geeks are created equal. And not all companies can handle having lots of geeks onboard (and vice versa). As mentioned above, geeks work best in innovative companies.
However, you’re also a huge force to be reckoned with in the workplace. So when you’re applying for jobs, fly that geek flag high and make sure you apply to companies that not only provide professional growth, but also gladly welcome your special character within their culture. Let us know what your discover on your unconventional path!
(About the Author: Bree Brouwer is a freelance blogger and content strategist who writes for FortressGeek.com, a Canadian-based online retailer full of nerdy goods. Bree and the staff at FG love helping geeks get paid to do what they’re passionate about. Connect with Bree on Twitter or LinkedIn.)
(Editor’s Note: This post is republished from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)
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