The Karen Cheng Technique via Drake Baer in Fast Company (edited)
Three years ago, Karen Cheng wanted to work for Microsoft Excel, so she put 100 hours into prepping for the interview.
Note: She had tried that elsewhere and failed.
After 2 years she didn't want to be a product manager, so she became a designer. She taught herself the skills in one year.
To make yourself stand out to a recruiter, Cheng advocates the going super deep method -- showing that you can already do great work for the position which is the only thing that predicts on-the-job success.
"I decided to become a designer, but I had no design skills. I thought about going back to school for design, but the time and money commitment was too big a risk for a career choice I wasn’t totally sure of.
"So I taught myself--everyday I would do my day job in record time and rush home to learn design. Super talented people go to RISD for 4 years and learn design properly. I hacked together my piecemeal design education in 6 months--there was no way I was ready to become a designer. But I was so ready to leave Microsoft. So I started the job search and got rejected a few times. Then I got the job at Exec."
Then she learned to dance in a year.
"Here's my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work--Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don't have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry."
The daily practice, she says, doesn't come from discipline; it comes from being obsessed.
And, regular practice is the key to developing skills so she practices at least five minutes every day, and uses the Lift app to keep herself accountable.
This article doesn't say anything about it but in order to be obsessed you have to believe that you can make progress even when you are starting from scratch and you are so awful it seems hopeless.