June 27, 2011


Hustle Vs Talent – Which Reigns Victorious for Energy Job Seekers?

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my new-found heroes this year. For those of you who may not know who Gary is, he is the king of hustle (in my book). He’s a wine guy and business guru. Although there’s nothing special about where he does his work or what he does specifically, there is something incredibly remarkable about HOW he does his work – and every energy job seeker needs to take heed.

“Can we get over the point of people thinking that talent is enough? I think the line in the sand, the defining thing in this whole game is hustle.” _Gary V.

A lot of energy job seekers (job seekers in general, really) are just not putting in the hours to get to where they want to be in the workforce. Energy job seekers are just not hustling. I don’t care if you’ve just taken a couple classes in solar energy or you don’t have a lick of experience in the field, you have the tools, resources, and access to achieve what you want – landing that energy job.

Gary Vaynerchuk has hustled and put in the hours throughout his whole career. He took a decent family business and turned it into a formidable empire in a matter of years through hard work and commitment. He’s written bestselling books and dominated the social media speaking circuit despite the fact that he’s not really a good writer. He’s taken his wine tasting/video blog business to immense heights by busting his ass. He hustled to create the career of his dreams and this is what energy job seekers need to start doing.

If Gary’s story seems too distant and unrelated, I’ll tell you MY story – the story of where and how my energy career started.

Before my current energy gig/day job, I’d worked dead end jobs at a call center, a paving company, a couple non-profit organizations, and in retail. I even sold gourmet mushrooms to restaurants around the country from a pole barn. I had no energy-related qualifications what so ever. When I had the epiphany that the energy industry was why I was put on this here planet, I got to work.

I researched the degrees that were accessible and affordable that could get my foot in the door. I went to school full-time while I worked at the most miserable job I’ve ever had just because it allowed me to do schoolwork on the job some days. I gave every last ounce of myself, physically and emotionally, to getting an Associate of Applied Science majoring in Alternative Energy Engineering Technology. Woopity doo… an associate’s degree from a community college – not real impressive for a stepping stone into a highly technical industry, is it? But it didn’t matter.

One day, a job opening for an entry level admin position with an energy firm fell into my lap. I still had another year of studies left before I could graduate. All I had on my resume was a bunch of administrative and customer service experience, a general associate’s degree with a focus in political and economic theory, and a bag full of gusto. I took that following weekend to research the company, revamp my resume, organize my portfolio and write the most epic cover letter I could muster. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning making sure every last detail was perfect.

I submitted my application, resume, and accompanying documents. Shortly after that, I had an interview scheduled. I didn’t have any money because my job at the time was not only miserable, but paid me in peanuts. I borrowed some money for a haircut, a brand new suit and shoes, a leather folder and a nice pen. I was not going to leave a single stone unturned when it came to this opportunity. I spent 3 nights after work researching potential interview questions and crafting my answers. I wrote out everything I could about the company so as to commit it memory.

I nailed the interview due to my massive amount of preparation. I waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity two weeks. I got the job offer and was set to start the following Monday. When I got off the phone with the HR rep, I nearly fell to my knees with gratitude and pure bliss.

When I got started, I worked my tail off. We were starting up a new office so we were all creating, building, and forming our own methods and processes. It was crazy, madness. I worked late. I took on anything my boss didn’t have time to tackle. I did outreach. I created report templates. I called on our sister offices in Wisconsin for insight. I pulled every last damn trick out of my hat to help get our program running – and it paid off.

A mere 5 months later, I was promoted into a technical position as an Energy Advisor on a different program- and I still hadn’t completed my energy degree nor did I have any technical experience at the company. It was my hustle that got me the job and the fast-track promotion.

I didn’t have any extraordinary talent. Hell, I still don’t… but I’m a top performer in my office. I know less about the equipment I consult on than any other Advisor on staff but I land projects left and right. My conversion rate of pitched projects to sold projects is astronomical in comparison to my peers because I HUSTLE. I hustle in everything I do and it pays off every time.

Watch this video from Gary Vaynerchuk about how even in professional sports it’s those that hustle that have massive careers – not those with the most talent.

“Somebody’s going to outwork you. I’m definitely going to outwork you. And there’s other people that are going to outwork you in your niche. If you don’t start putting in the hours, if you don’t start dropping the Xbox controller and the Wii paddle and your Tivo remote and that beer after work in your hands, you’re going to lose. And I don’t give a rat’s ass if you went to Yale or you’re the most creative son of a b****. If you’re the biggest, best of all time and you don’t put in the hustle, you’re going to get beat.” _Gary V.

Whether you’re looking for your first energy job, looking to change careers, or simply just looking to get ahead in your energy career currently… you have to hustle. Stop crying about the economy, the rejection letters, your current circumstances, etc and just – keep – hustling. Put in the work and the long hours. HUSTLE! And don’t stop until you reach your goal – because someone will out work you and will beat you in the next round of interviews if you don’t.

Photo credit (in order): andysteel, channah, Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It” site

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June 23, 2011


4 Ways to Ensure a Remarkable Career Coaching Experience

Career coaching services are gaining popularity these days, what with all the doom and gloom of a crashing economy and all. Some people may equate career coaching to job therapy but it’s so much more than that. Career coaches can help you to spiff up your resume, increase the effectiveness of your job hunt, help you make tough decisions about your work life, or even open your eyes to a whole world of new possibilities.

I talked a little bit about my experience with a career coach over at Brazen Life this week and the response to the post has been most enjoyable. Check it out and jump into the conversation!

Have you ever worked with a career coach? What was your experience like? If not, what’s been holding you back?

Check out the amazing and talented Coach Jennie to see what her coaching service is all about.

Photo credit: vierdrie

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June 20, 2011


3 Things Energy Job Seekers Fail at With Social Media Networking

“Professional networking” often leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth. The schmoozing, the hand shaking, the business card exchanges – it can seem so pompous and fake. Take for example, this totally awesome ‘Kids in the Hall’ sketch about some networking businessmen. Who in their right mind would actually want to do something like that? […]

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June 16, 2011


Teaser: Madam Energy vs. The Energy Careerist

Whoa! Something just erupted in the world of The Energy Careerist and Madam Energy! You better put your battle armor on. Something major is on the horizon, folks. And it’s bound to get interesting. Today, I’m announcing the all new Twitter handle. MadamEnergy is taking a back seat now that The Energy Careerist is really […]

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June 16, 2011


Could Existing VFD Tech Put a Colossal Dent in Global Energy Use?

ABB put together the awesome infographic below to illustrate how existing electric motors are a major efficiency challenge globally and the opportunities for savings. Please allow yourself to be wow’ed. Infographic respectfully snagged from: Cleantechnica

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June 13, 2011


5 Cliches Energy Secretary Steven Chu Doesn’t Fall Victim To

US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is an energy bad ass. His work as Energy Secretary and with revamping the Department of Energy has been inspiring, to say the least. Budget cuts don’t shake him – he’ll find new ways to incentivize innovation that don’t cost billions. Opposition from congress? Bah – he’ll wrangle support […]

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June 8, 2011


Energy Job Watch Wednesday: Utility Jobs Resource

Hey there, Energy Job Hunters. It’s that time of the week again – Energy Job Watch Wednesday! Due to my inability to keep the days straight last week and completely missing EJWW, I come to you this week with a bunch of helpful resources all in one place. Most aspiring energy careerists today are pretty […]

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June 6, 2011


Ask The Audience: How Do We Combat the Aging of the Energy Industry?

The average energy professional in the workforce right now is over 50 years old. Over half of the workforce is within 5-10 years of retirement. The industry’s job market is expected to triple in the next 10 years.  With these three statements in mind, it looks like the energy industry is going to be experiencing […]

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May 30, 2011


Energy Efficiency Gets Empirical on its Enemy

Energy efficiency has an enemy – and they’re called the Rebounders. Many opponents of energy efficiency and conservation efforts around the country are touting the evils of the “energy rebound effect”. The energy rebound effect theory claims that as the population adopts more energy efficient practices and utilizes more efficient equipment, the cost savings they […]

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May 25, 2011


Clean Tech Battle Cry For Generation Y

I recently wrote about the struggles of clean tech to thrive without incentives from government funded research, federal tax cuts, and consumer financial programs. It stemmed quite the conversation in the comments section. Can clean tech continue to boom? If the elimination of incentive to drive demand and access is merely a road block, how […]

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