Por Ricardo Elías Aguilar Sandí  - Vicepresident GOES Business Administration

Where can I work? Who will hire me? Am I experienced enough? All these are questions that at times seem impossible to answer as entry-level students, full filing experience requirements from employers come short of a miracle as students embark on a job hunt midway through their studies. How can Gen-z better tackle this problem? It all boils down to four main principles: #1 Development, #2 Positioning, #3 Testing, #4 Iteration. These concepts can be found in what is commonly known as Growth hacking, which is a subfield of marketing that focuses not only on selling a product but on creating a solution for a deep pain within the consumer. As markets have shifted to the digital era, growth hacking has become a highly sought-after skill. So what is career hacking? Simply put career hacking is being able to develop a firm foundation of soft skills and a will to learn, leveraging your strengths and understanding your weaknesses to position yourself as a capable learner and an asset with potential, and testing your approach within a broad spectrum of fields and skills and finally to take action and improve in all the areas possible.

#1 Development
Developing as a person; or as a professional seems simple enough, but it’s important to keep in mind that there is a need for good raw material to work with. This means that in order to develop, it’s required to strive to be effective in communicating, learning new skills, and being teachable overall. Translating these soft skills into a dynamic environment of challenges and learning creates a fertile combination where a student with “No” experience can quickly become an asset with a lot of potential as an employee.

#2 Positioning
Leveraging your strengths and weaknesses is a very important aspect of career hacking, it’s clear that as an entry-level candidate no one is an expert in any specific area. Understanding this is a really powerful tool since it doesn’t mean a candidate is not valuable, on the contrary, it means that a candidate is capable of focusing their developed soft skills (Raw Material) into multiple areas which could translate to an invaluable asset down the line for a company to have. The key to a better positioning is to bring value upfront, whether to an employer or to a business partner.

#3 Testing
Once a developed base is created and the positioning is right, it’s time to test them in multiple fields, at first it can be tempting not to get out of the comfort zone but at this point, a key factor for a successful career needs to be adaptability. Learning to adapt and utilize the previous knowledge to obtain more is what drives the exponential growth of a career hacker.

#4 Iteration
Finally, it’s really important to improve all aspects of development, positioning, and testing. Iteration quickly shortens the time required to gain experience since it exposes areas of growth and quickly acts upon them.

As Markets begin to evolve quickly it’s invaluable to learn to adapt with them. Career hacking allows raw talent to grow into impactful leaders, develop new methods and overall overcome the barriers that at first seem impossible to defeat. Humility and willingness to learn will outclass any amount of “traditional” experience in the global market economy, so be ready to embrace it.

 

MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (www.ulacit.ac.cr), producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente Delfino.cr, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas.  Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.

References:
  • Fuente, O. (2021, January 20). Growth Hacking: Nuevas técnicas para el crecimiento empresarial. Thinking for Innovation. https://www.iebschool.com/blog/que-es-growth-hacking-como-aplicarlo-marke ting-marketing-digital/
  • Parker, K., & Igielnik, R. (2020, May 30). On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.
    https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/05/14/on-the-cusp-of-adultho od-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far-2/
  • Piazza, A. (2020, November 30). Career Hacking: Tips and Tricks to Making the Most of your Career. Medium. https://klrgrz.medium.com/career-hacking-tips-and-tricks-to-making-the-most- of-your-career-6c5bcc0eda31