Archive for May, 2011

Email correspondence with Arts student looking for a job

May 26, 2011

I have a friend doing an Arts degree.  I once mentioned that I’d built an Excel sheet that could automatically work out the optimal financial advice for a person, and generate a document in Word to explain it. He got excited, and pitched me on the idea of starting a business where I’d talk to financial planners to get the work, and he’d use the software to build the reports. The following email correspondence ensued:

*************

Hi Durand! I went to the USyd employment service. They emailed me the link to become an employer looking for workers. If you send me your email address, I’ll forward it to you (that’s why I went to see them). Can I suggest that when the time is right, you recruit only say Arts student, who should be decent enough at that sort of thing – essays and multi-chocice-type picking – rather than commerce/finance students, or IT guys, as they may gt wise pretty quick and become competitors, where as Artsy-fartsys will probably just be happy fro the work – which, as repeat, I am confident tey will b quite able to do. I guess the end trick would be getting the firms to be satisfied with the final reports … but you know what “cuts it” in that department.
XXX.

*************

Dear XXX,

I’ve been thinking about this for quite a bit, even though I’m not currently in a position to employ anyone, being an employee myself. But by sending me your note, and going to the trouble of going to the USyd employment office to find out about this sort of stuff, you’ve shown a lot of initiative, which is really impressive. If I were in a position to employ someone to run software for me, I’d hire you.
And wouldn’t that be a waste of your talents.

As an administrator, you’d probably be paid around $40,000 a year, or around $3,000 a month after tax. You might be able to eat and pay the rent on that kind of salary (if you’re frugal), but not much else. And as a rule, administrators get dumped with all the crap jobs that no-one else wants to do, while having their concentration broken all the time by ringing phones, changing managerial whims, and photocopiers that have run out of toner. But if you knuckle down and work hard …. no-one will notice. Well bollocks to that! A big steaming pile of bollocks! (And yeah, ask me how I know about that kind of job, and I shall tell you a tale of woe and despair).
I’ve got a better idea. Learn salesforce.com. It’s a “business platform” that allows you to build websites without having to know anything about building websites. If you sign up for the (free) development package, you can learn to build entire businesses online, which you can then either sell in their app-store, or sell to the thousands of people who want their businesses to run more easily. All the tutorials are online, are free, and are actually quite fun and easy to learn (just follow the tutorials). The thing is, most people don’t know about it, and those that do don’t have the two weeks it would take to do all the tutorials. Those that do and pass a test can get certified for a couple of hundred dollars. And people who are certified are able to earn between $80,000 – $150,000 a year, which is around $5,000 – $10,000 per month after tax.
If you got certified, I’d love to come and work for you as a salesperson. I could find all sorts of clients who need salesforce.com skills,  because while I was trying to get work as an Excel guru, heaps of business people I talked to were disappointed I didn’t know Salesforce.com instead.

(I know what you’re going to say. You don’t know anything about websites. You don’t know anything about programming. Perhaps you don’t know anything about business. True. But last year, you didn’t know anything about philosophy either, and now you’re in second year.)

Something to think about 🙂

Durand

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