A few weeks ago, Laurie Ruettimann wrote a blog on Punk Rock HR asking the community to provide tips for job seekers on how to get the job. My advice was to approach getting the gig in the same way you would attempt to get into an exclusive club.
Here’s an example from my “clubbin days”.
I remember the first time I tried to get into an exclusive event. We’d just left a Prince concert and heard that he was planning on stopping by a certain club after the show. He was hosting a “private party” in one of the VIP rooms there.
My friends and I were hell bent on going.
When we arrived at the club, there was a line of people (each one of them, pitifully desperate to get in) that wrapped around the building like a Six Flags ride. Unless you were on the guest list or could afford to slip the doorman a grand or two, you didn’t have a chance of getting in.
I realized in that moment that I had two options:
1. Convince my friend to flash the bouncers.
2. Make such a favorable impression on someone who was “already in” that they’d bring me in through the back door.
My friend said, “No.”
She, like the rest of the crowd, started kissing up to the doorman and begged him to let us in. That didn’t work. It usually never works for most people. And, she’s definitely not “most people”.
I happened to notice that the dude who performed a keyboard solo during the concert was near the back door and was in the process of getting bombarded by a group of girls. Almost instinctively I confidently walked over and, shouted, “Ladies, please step away and let this gentlemen through.”
They all assumed I worked at the club.
I took his arm, led him away from the crowd, and we began walking toward the back door. Afterward, I looked up and said, “I don’t work here you just looked like you could use some help,” and then started to walk away. He grabbed my arm and said, “Hey, wait. That was really cool. What’s your name?”
I told him my name. And he invited me in.
I think you should approach getting a gig the same way. Don’t waste your time on the doorman and don’t follow the crowd. Work to deliver a big favor/impression to that person who is “already in” and can get you in the back door. And, never flash the bouncer.