The second hot topic of 2020—after Coronavirus—is the job market. People are losing jobs that are no longer needed. People are looking for jobs that aren’t still created. The rat race has never been fiercer. In addition to population growth, urbanization, and migration—on a global scale—the legions of Don Quixote candidates have to fight a new emerging world of imminent AI infiltration, learn how to deceive ATS (Applicant Tracking System) in the recruitment process, refresh outdated degrees, or master up new skills.
Amid my own employment windmill fights, I have recently experienced an epiphany. There is one of a hell job in which the lack of experience is, in fact, a job qualification, and where you are not going to read with disappointment “You and 2251 people applied for this job”.
Lo and behold. The job I’m talking about is—President. If comedians and actors can become presidents, why is it so difficult to land a mere Internship nowadays? To find a satisfactory answer to this paradox, let’s have a look at the requirements for both roles.
Requirements to land an Internship—My experience
I am going to talk about my own experience here, but I’m sure those 2251 applicants and even more, can relate.
I am a highly accomplished flight attendant with extensive experience in both private and commercial flying. In addition to that, I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Law, graduating amongst the Top 10 students from my university. Yes, I was a nerd. You probably wonder why I chose to pour Gin & Tonics at 3 AM to sleepless passengers instead of drafting contracts in fancy offices? Well, I was on the point of burnout.
Since I was a child I was the best in my class, in my high school, in my uni. It was my goal to make my parents proud of me. And they were. They were proud. I was stressed. Always alert to give the right answer. To know it all.
After I finished university, I jumped straight into the working bandwagon whilst also doing my Master’s degree. During the day I was going to work, and in the evening I was attending my classes. A period of my life of no life.
When the Flight Attendant job opportunity came to me through the divine ways, I took it without thinking twice. I needed a break and I wanted to travel the world. I highly doubt I would have hopped across the Earth’s longitudes and latitudes had I stayed in the uncharted land of Moldova.
The following 8 years of flying were a breath of fresh air for my overheated brain, and probably, the most memorable. I didn’t feel like I was working. I was on holiday—jet setting around the world like a rock star.
I still am, but as per the Laws of our inconsequential existence we, humans, always seek novelty and change. My job is amazing, but I have reached my potential here, and now I crave new challenges. My brain is hungry for knowledge and learning. This time not because I want to be the best but because I want to do something I love that gives me a sense of achievement. Ok, maybe also be the best at my vocation.
When we choose what we want to become in this life as professionals, we choose it quickly, because you go to university straight after high school. We don’t have time to ask the universe what is our divine calling. You barely even think about the Universe at that age. So, unless you know clearly what you want to be since you are 5 years old, 85% of us end up with degrees that we don’t like, in jobs we hate. Sometimes it takes years to figure out who are you in the first place, let alone what’s the God’s plan for you.
Coming back to me, I liked what I studied. I like to disentangle complicated matters and apply abstract concepts to real-life situations, but I loath the sense of arrogance and austerity in the Law industry. At least that was the feeling I got from my 2 years of work in this field.
However, I am still a nerd as much as I am a Unicorn. I can draft contracts about flower’s rights and still be stern. I can talk about time dilation and still be goofy.
At the symbolic age of 33, note—the Jesus age—I figured media could be the place I could fit my studious, yet gregarious personality. Media encompasses people skills, writing, communication, and analytical mind—exactly what I have acquired through my studies and flying career. Nevertheless, it seems more real to fly on Mars rather than land an unpaid Internship.
In a society where degrees don’t matter anymore, why is it so hard to break into an industry that speaks to my soul? And I am not even talking about a paid job, just a mere UNPAID Internship.
You know why?
Because even for an unpaid Internship you have to defeat the Entry-Level Catch-22. Yes, Internships nowadays had taken the place of an entry-level job. I was recently looking at PR Internships and they were already asking for experience in addition to a Master’s degree in Journalism, Marketing, or other related fields.
Another Internship that I have applied for in Social Media—sent me two pages of assignment tasks to prove my knowledge. It took me a week to do it. I am not complaining. I don’t mind the work, especially when I love what I do. What I am trying to say here is, what I said above—getting an Internship nowadays is like getting a job.
By definition, you don’t need experience but preference will be given to candidates with previous experience. You don’t need a degree to get your dream job, but you have to be a recent graduate of a Major in Journalism, Communications, etc.
Instead of trying to overcome the Catch-22, I’d rather run for President.
Requirements to land Presidency—Zelensky and Trump experience
Now let’s see if previous experience and a Master in Political Sciences were required when Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump applied for the President job. Did they undertake relevant Internships and do volunteer work to build their CVs?
According to the Constitution of the “American people”, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.
Most of the countries have similar requirements. Basically, be a citizen of the country, a good one—no crimes, no fishy stuff in your profile, speak the language, and be a certain age, for wisdom supposedly comes with age. With this bare minimum no wonder Kanye West is running for President. After all, there is the precedent of comedians who made it to the top office of the world.
My Mom often tells me that movies are from life. Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, will surely argue with my Mom that—life is from movies.
Before becoming president, Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor and a comedian. In 2015, he played the role of the President of Ukraine in the TV series “Servant of the People”. His character, a history teacher, accidentally wins the presidential election after a viral video showed him ranting against government corruption in Ukraine.
Soon this fictional life became the reality for the famous actor. Was this the manifestation of the visualization process at its finest, pure luck, the right person at the right time, or maybe, the minimal requirements to apply for the job?
Trump, with a similar unconventional career path, would say that people voted for him because “…[he] is so good looking” (New York Times, 19/9/99). Tip for me—include a photo on your CV. He then, went on to elaborate on his beauty stating, “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” Rich and media-savvy, I would add.
The former businessman and real estate mogul understood the power of media at an early stage and tapped into it. His outrageous speeches captured the attention of the thirsty media for coverage. People were startled by his speeches, yet kept watching them closely.
It is a very familiar feeling when, for example, you don’t like a person on social media and criticize her amoral behavior, but you won’t unfollow her. On the contrary, you will keep watching and judge even more.
Because by comparison, it makes us feel smarter, better. Because deep down we would like to be as uninhibited as she/he. Because we are curious. Because, sometimes, of no reason at all.
If you hate-follow long enough, you might end up unconsciously liking that person. That’s why we hate-love Trump. That’s why he became president, along with other favorable premises that I don’t have the time and space to explore now.
The political experience didn’t matter either for Jimmy Morales – the former comedian/actor and president of Guatemala, or Marjan Šarec – another comedian and former Prime-Minister of Slovenia.
It seems to me that comedy runs in the presidency business. After all, the two aren’t far off from each other.
If acting skills are transferable to the presidency without previous political experience required, why aren’t my humble communication skills transferable to the media field, where they are actually, required?
There is another catch here. Catch-[insert the number of LinkedIn connections or Instagram followers]. You might be skillful, you might write well, your product might be good—but if the marketing is bad, if you are not popular, if you don’t know people, you’ll end up being good just for yourself.
So here it is, my first article for LinkedIn to “put myself out there” as per recruiters’ advice, to showcase my writing skills, to network, to dodge the ATS.
I wrote this article because I love writing. And who knows, maybe this goes viral and lands me presidency faster than an Internship.
Let’s make LinkedIn great again!