Do What Others Won't
When I was interviewing contractors to refinish the wood floors of my 70 year old house, they told me:
"This job is too dangerous.
Here's a card for the only guy crazy enough to do it."
I hired that guy and paid him twice as much as the others estimated.
When I was changing careers, I followed that contractor's lead:
Do what others won't.
"Shit work" is low-stakes way to showcase your dependability.
If things go well, you're a savior.
If things go sideways, well, you were the last hope anyway.
Career capital is measured in dependability.
It takes a lifetime to be trusted with work everyone wants.
But it only takes a few wins to be trusted with work nobody wants.
In my career, that leverage was CSS.
Nobody wanted to own CSS in 2010.
By becoming dependable, in a job nobody wanted, it was only a few months before I was in planning meetings with developers 10 years my senior.
There's always work to be found "beneath" others.
If you do your job right, you won't be "beneath" anyone for long.
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