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Job Advice from Derek Johnson

Category : My First Job

It’s always interesting to see how entrepreneurs got started. Derek Johnson, the CEO of tatango.com is one of our favorite entrepreneurs and he was willing to share his story with our readers. I think his tips make a lot of sense, what do you think?

What was your first job as a teenager?
Ever since elementary school I’ve always been on the hustle, taking any small job that anyone gave me. My first real job was one that I created by starting my own company, Johnson Labor. After school and during the summer months, I would ride my bike around the neighborhood and knock on doors and ask if they had any random jobs I could do for them. I did everything from power-washing to babysitting, and gained a reputation as the go to guy in the neighborhood for any random job that needed to be done. Very soon I had more jobs than I could handle myself, so I started hiring my friends and focused primarily on managing and acquiring new jobs.

What are some important things to remember when looking for/selecting a job?
I think the most important things to remember when selecting a job is to ask yourself whether you are going to have fun and if it will be challenging for you. As the old adage says “if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life.” I would say the worst jobs I’ve ever had were the jobs that I wasn’t passionate about or didn’t have an interest in. Those were the jobs that I dreaded going to work everyday and everyday seemed longer than the last. The minute you find a job that is fun and you can become passionate about, you will know what I’m talking about.

What are some important things to know for the interview, etc?
The most important thing is to get into the mindset of your employer. Companies hire people to make money or save money, that’s the simple truth. If I hire you for $40k a year, you will have to save or make me a multiple of $40k. The minute you realize this, selling yourself in any interview is much easier because you are thinking along the same lines as the person doing the hiring.

How has that job helped you as you grow older?
It’s taught me how to manage people. More so, it’s taught me how to manage people that are the same age that I am, which is very difficult in my opinion.

What piece of advice would you offer somebody looking for a job?
Hustle hard!!! A few years ago, it was a much easier job market than it currently is. It used to be that you had to hustle once you got hired, but times are different, you now have to really hustle your ass off to just get in the door with a company.