There’s a running joke I have with my friends whenever we play Xbox together and it’s to always ignore any warning or error messages and just keep mashing A. Microsoft is really dumb when it comes to the older Xbox 360 consoles. When trying to do anything that requires you to sign into an account like any online, system link, or local multiplayer stuff, it freaks out and starts telling you you can’t do it.
So I started thinking maybe there’s something to learn from this. Maybe most “requirements” aren’t actually requirements at all, but are there to weed out the people who don’t want to put forth effort to get around them. Now playing video games is a pretty poor example of this, so here's a few more.
I was reading on Medium the other day about a guy who applied for a business development role that required 3-5 years of experience. The only problem was he was still in school. You know, the ole can’t-get-hired-because-you-don’t-have-experience-and-you-can’t-get-experience-because-you-can’t-get-hired we all know and love.
So he decided to prove that he was qualified for the job. Instead of submitting his resume and sitting back, he went on the offense. He decided to pitch some companies on forming partnerships with them and would then introduced those companies to the hiring manager. He got the offer. And think about it, he just saved 3-5 years.
He did this same thing when applying for a product design job. Instead of being passive, he mocked up some design suggestions and got an interview the same day.
Aside from jobs like medicine or law, job “requirements” are pretty negotiable. You just have to prove you can bring the company value. Don’t let them feel like they’re taking a gamble on hiring you, make them feel like they're missing out if they don’t.
People who aren’t willing to “break the rules” a little bit usually end up wasting years of time and money trying to achieve a goal they could’ve achieved with a lot less. -Raghav Haran
Basically, if you can just put forth effort in the right places and at the right time, you can achieve a lot more with a lot less.
Here’s a call to action. I usually do this at coffee shops or fast food places. Try and negotiate at the register. You don’t have to be one of those weird entitled customers, just ask for a discount. I usually say something like, “You guys don’t have any discounts for broke college kids, do you?”. Sometimes they do, sometimes they feel sorry and give you one anyway, or sometimes they just laugh it off.
Ok last example. I was eating at some trendy burger place in Boston and did this. I was paying for someone else and the total was a little over $18. I asked my usual question and the guy winked and responded: “you go to the school around the corner don’t you?”. He took 50% off right there. I just saved $9 by basically making a joke. I got paid $9 to make a joke. Now why that school gets such a huge discount is beyond me.
These examples just go to show that most things in life are negotiable and there’s a way around most of the "requirements" people make.