Go Where The Geeks . . . Aren’t?

I often advise people to go where the geeks are career-wise because, let's face it – I speak to geeks.  I'm about geeky people doing geeky things, fans doing fans doing fannish things, otaku doing . . .  otakunoid things?  Well, anyway, conjugation aside you know the drill – I'm about people going where they find likeminded folks and do professions that fit their interests.

But my recent columns on HR got me thinking.  I've advised folks to deal with HR by upping their geek game and leveraging technology and knowledge to work around the flaws in the world of the job search.  I'm thinking now I've thought too small.

I think that you may want to consider playing contrarian and looking for jobs, positions, and opportunities in very non-geeky areas.

Why would I say this?  Well, first i'm not saying that for everyone.  In fact i'm not saying it for most people who are progeeks and profans.  I'm saying it for those of you seeking a challenge, a new opportunity, a shakeup, or a contrarian approach.

But I am saying it loud and clear: you may want to consider going where the geeks aren't.

See, geeks have enthusiasm, technical knowledge, and special understandings that may be useful outside of the companies, jobs, and opportunities that they'd normally think of.  We just may not check out those potential options because we're thinking of looking for the geek job ideal.

Instead, we should look at places that need us and make our ideal happen.

You're are needed.  Think of the places that you could do good if the people would hire you and listen to you.  Maybe you're a media guru and some marketing companies are so out of touch that you could help them with your insights.  Perhaps you're a technical genius and you could make the HR department that frustrates you into a quick-response high-tech engine of professionalism.  You can make things work.

There are opportunities for you out there that you may not be seeing because you're not looking.  The ideal job for you may be out there, buried in a department you hate, or a company you'd never thought of.  Thinking contrarian like this could help you find a lot of great opportunities you'd never looked for.

It's a chance to transform how companies and departments and maybe even industries work.  It's not going to get better, it's not going to get more geek-friendly, without pioneers like, well . . . you.  Someone's got to blaze trails, so you might as well do it.

Finally, you have the opportunity to use surprise by going to non-geeky companies and departments and the like.  You can surprise people by being different.  You can show them how you've planned this contrarian path.  You can impress people by thinking outside a box they didn't even know existed.

Maybe you'll be a contrarian geek.  Maybe you'll be a geek pioneer.

So, maybe it's time to stop listening to me and . . . er, listen to me another way.

Go where the geeks aren't.

Steven Savage