Tuesday, December 12, 2017

You're not really competing against all 250

My brother once applied for a job out-of-state.

There were over 250 applicants for the position. His odds were 1/250, mathematically speaking.

I talked to him on the phone when he decided to go through the application process. He said "Lee, people keep telling me I don't have a chance because there are so many people trying to get this job."

"Yeah, I imagine," I said.

"But the thing is, I'm really not going against all those guys. I'm better than most of them already."

Arrogant? No. It was objectively true.

When we were young, our dad and both of our grandads told us to "have a firm handshake," "show up on time," etc. The kind of basic stuff every man was supposed to know.

In Current Year, these things aren't common among the uptalking soyboy set. My brother is a Millennial but doesn't act the part.

Sure, the whole job market is a complete mess where people are hired to fill certain racial quotas, etc. - but competence can still get you places, especially in the small business world. And my brother had an advantage in that he wasn't coddled and he was raised by tough men who had been there, done that.

He went to multiple interviews. He showed up, shook hands, met the people in charge, remembered their names, talked to other employees in the building and was out in the parking lot with a cup of coffee to nod at the boss when the man got in.

After a month, the remaining list of people was down to ten. And my brother was one of them.

Then they picked a man to fill the position - and it wasn't my brother.

He shrugged it off. He got close.

But then the boss called my brother in and said "listen, we want you to be on this team, somewhere - anywhere - so I've talked to the higher-ups and we're going to find a place for you if we can."

Shortly afterwards, he was hired into a new position.

I wasn't surprised.


You can look at marriage stats and say "OMG LOOK AT THE DIVORCE RATE!"

You can look at the supposed price of raising children and say "OMG I CAN'T HAVE KIDS!"

You can say "THE ODDS ARE 1/250 - NO WAY I'LL GET IT!"

But most people don't even have the self-control to quit eating potato chips when they have a gut. Most people don't have the patience to save for the future, train a dog or learn game. Instead they rail against the odds and complain that the world isn't fair and that women are wicked and that no one is hiring. And that @#%$! dog keeps pissing on the sofa!

Those are the guys you are competing against. The odds aren't nearly as bad as you think.

14 comments:

Keef said...

"But most people don't even have the self-control to quit eating potato chips when they have a gut."

There is a ton of wisdom in that statement. It reminds me of the Jordan Peterson quote about how if you want to change the world, go clean up your room first.

sysadmn said...

Remember the OkCupid blog post (https://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/) found women rated 80% of men as below average? Sounds discouraging, until you look at the competition.

At 55, I can be in the upper 75% by not being overweight, grooming, and being able to have an intelligent conversation. Hit the gym twice a week, and run a little game, and I'm top 10% or better of the men these women interact with. They may dream of Mr Billionaire Handyman Sensitive Guy, but they get Mr Slob who sends dick pics.

To paraphrase Woody Allen's famous quote, 80% of life is showing up. You're way ahead of those who don't, or don't put even minimal effort in.

jay c said...

Whether it's the dating market or the job market, a man can give himself an automatic promotion over his peers if he just does the simple things that they don't: dress well (not stupid or gay), maintain good hygiene, maintain good manners, be professional, keep your word, be confident. +1 for every box checked. Competency is the bottom line, but it's the rest that really distinguishes the top men from others.

Artisanal Toad said...

According to the CDC, over 70% of all Americans over 20 years old are either overweight or obese. Then look at the upper middle class and wealth classes. The hallmark of those folks is they're thin, because being overweight is a sign of being undisciplined. First impressions count and your body makes a statement about you just walking through the door. That gets more important as you get older and a 40+ year old man with a good physique makes a statement that he's well above average without saying a word.

As pointed out, most are simply unwilling to change, which is why for anyone who really desires success, all they have to do is go get it.

tz said...

You aren't competing against other guys, you are competing against the tempters that will destroy your family. And often succeed. Anyone who is around people will eventually hear the horror story of the divorce, even if it was a good man who did everything right, but lost the kids and spends time in jail because they think they missed a child support payment.

Advice to "just do it" sounds much like the armchair general chickenhawks that want men to go fight in a war on a battlefield when they've never even fired a gun or in any kind of shape. Of course not every soldier came back missing a few limbs, with PTSD, or night terrors, so what's wrong with going to fight - see, I'm fine. Yes, but when you see gatherings of veterans, it is hard to not notice all the prosthetic limbs while deciding if you want to take the risk.

In your example, there was no horrible downside. He would either get the job or not. Failure wouldn't ruin his life. And he could just try again at another job. Do you think it is equivalent that if the family is shattered by divorce the man can just try again?

Lee Jackson said...

"In your example, there was no horrible downside. He would either get the job or not. Failure wouldn't ruin his life. And he could just try again at another job. Do you think it is equivalent that if the family is shattered by divorce the man can just try again?"

No, you are correct that marriage and children is a higher risk. It's also much higher reward. Of course there are downsides to getting married and starting a family. There's always the potential for terrible failure. Maybe your wife goes nuts and screws you over. Maybe the neighbor calls CPS. We've seen that many times.

Yet if you fail to form a family, you are a dead end.

It's like the people that never start their own business because they can't afford health care. Take the risk if you have the guts for it. The payoff potential is high.

I have a wife and children. It is completely worth the risks to hold a newborn in your arms or to go fishing with your son on a summer afternoon. To watch your daughters build a sandcastle.

Or you can be afraid of screwing up and miss the greatest experiences of a man's life.

ThirdMonkey said...

Avoiding risk because you're either afraid of screwing up, you've screwed up before, or been screwed over before, is the greatest risk of all.

My wife's uncle got divorce-raped back in the 70's. His kids refuse to speak with him because of the way his ex-wife poisoned them against their father. He has grandchildren he has never, and will probably never, meet.

He said the years when his kids were young and his wife wasn't bat-shit crazy were worth it.

VFM #7634 said...

Business Game really isn't that different from Game with women. The analogous situation to LJ's brother: Say a girl does like you quite a bit -- you've impressed her more than the other hundred dudes she sees around regularly -- but she chooses to be with a different guy over you.

So, "first runner-up = first loser?" Nope, not necessarily. Her friends will very often make themselves available to your advances. They'll even do so assortatively based upon their own attractiveness vs. your perceived sociosexual status.

SirHamster said...

In your example, there was no horrible downside. He would either get the job or not. Failure wouldn't ruin his life. And he could just try again at another job. Do you think it is equivalent that if the family is shattered by divorce the man can just try again?

Guaranteeing failure because the chance of success AND failure will hurt is unwise.

Failures from what you tried seed future success when you retry, or try new things. Failure from doing nothing seeds nothing.

If you're a Christian, don't bury your talent. Do something, anything.

Jeff aka Orville said...

As a person occasionally involved on the other side of the hiring table, I can tell you that for all the applicants, we are lucky to get three worth looking at.

Jew613 said...

The couples that dont get divorced are the very rich and the very poor, because neither can afford to. I've also seen too many men who did everything right and still went through divorce to believe that putting in the effort is any guarantee. Yes, marriage and children are very good, but it is inexcusable to tell men to just go ahead and not warn them honestly about the enormous risks and decreased rewards.

John said...

Glad to see Vox has left the blog in good hands.

Aeoli said...

Dalrock has some good stats on this. There is gold to be found among the college grads, just stay away from the "some college" set.

Aeoli said...

See here for links: http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-odds-are-not-as-bad-as-they-look.html?showComment=1513123128932&m=1#c6739963334673841030

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS.