Guest Post by Jessica Fyles
“Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead” by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan clearly and simply outline how the Grateful Dead became THE Grateful Dead. Although the book is geared towards business success, I found myself thinking while reading of how I could apply some of these same lessons in my own quest for employment success. Recently laid off and transitioning careers, I’m hoping the Grateful Dead can help me in landing that next gig (and soon!).
Here are some of my favorite lessons from the book:
“Be Yourself” and “Do What You Love”
Scott and Halligan point out that the Grateful Dead were the complete opposite of many of their peers. Most bands of their time were glamorous and packaged whereas “the Grateful Dead were simply themselves-dope-smoking, music-loving San Francisco hippies.”
These are the most important lessons to remember, especially when job hunting. Be true to yourself, do what you love and the reward will come. It is tempting, and easy, for me to find another job in IT. I fell out of love with IT long ago and am now pursuing my new love with my graduate studies in Public Communication.
The Grateful Dead were always on the cutting edge of music technology to create the best concert experience possible for their fans. Per Scott and Halligan “…in the 1980s a $30,000 harmonic analyzer originally designed by NASA to evaluate the aerodynamic strength of metals was added to the live show equipment.”
I doubt NASA will help me in my job search but I have finally put my long ignored Twitter account to work for me. Many organizations post job openings via Twitter. I now follow multiple organizations and career resources and use HootSuite to help me curate all that content. My Twitter profile also indicates that I am a #jobseeker.
“Build a Following”
The Grateful Dead simply, and brilliantly, communicated directly with their fans in the early years via a mailing list and telephone hotline. Fans responded back with letters, postcards and artwork. As technology evolved, so did their methods of engaging with fans, as Scott and Halligan discuss throughout the book.
I’ve been an active LinkedIn user for years and on Facebook for some time now. I can’t imagine going into this job search without these super networking tools. I found my previous job through my offline network, which was much, much smaller back then. I am confident that I will find the right gig with the help of the much larger networks and functionality that LinkedIn and Facebook provide.
Scott and Halligan talk about how the Grateful Dead frequently held benefit concerts and invited charities to be part of their concert events. The Rex Foundation was later established to help better support the causes the band believed in. “The Grateful Dead was remarkably generous, a brand attribute that contributed to their growth and prosperity over many years,” note Scott and Halligan.
During this time of transition, I plan on volunteering to give back to the world that has given me so much already. Volunteering is a great way of exercising skills, networking and meeting new people, all of which could lead to a new opportunity. I hope to continue volunteering even after I land that new gig.