Geek has become more chic the last few years. In fact, a recent Modis Geek Pride survey found more than 87 percent of Americans fly their geek flag proudly. If you’re one of these geeks, that’s great news. You have a lot to offer many companies.
Computer whizzes and tech nerds are no longer the only geeks in the game. The title “geek” now applies to anyone with a huge passion or interest of any sort, especially for comics, movies or video games.
This means most companies may already have several diehard geek employees on staff. And, since people enjoy working with colleagues who share similar interests, that also means companies are looking to hire ever more geeks.
If don’t consider yourself a geek, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon and start nerding out over what you’re truly passionate about. It could make or break your job hunt.
But simply announcing “Hey! I’m a geek!” won’t land you the job. You need to translate your geekiness into skills employers understand. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
During your interview, fly your geek flag high and focus on these aspects of your personality. You’ll be well on your way to showing your interviewer you’re one of the best employees the company could possibly hire.
1. Your geekiness makes you an obsessive problem-solver
There’s not a single company that doesn’t have problems to solve, whether it’s their own or their customers’ or both.
This is where geeks come in handy. They enjoy challenges and finding answers to problems. (More so with technical geeks, but also with the pop-culture-type ones.)
For this reason, your geeky self tends to give your all at work, which may not be as common in some of your non-geek coworkers. What company wouldn’t want to hire you for that?
2. You taught yourself more than you ever learned in school
No matter what your passion or hobby, geeks tend to be creative and experimental. Since you don’t learn via traditional methods or work via traditional processes, you tend to find ways to teach yourself.
Employers love creative self-starters, especially when you use that skill to solve their problems. For example, you might take a smartphone picture of your signed contract and send it via email instead of hunting down an envelope, stamp and mailing address. (It really does get there faster…)
If you’re looking to exercise your creativity, look for companies that are flexible and innovative. A more traditional setting might stifle this aspect of your geekiness.
3. You mastered work-life balance before it was even a “thing”
As a geek, you tend to want to make a make a life instead of a career. This means you’re less likely to be a workaholic who runs yourself down and reduces your quality of work.
But be careful of becoming too dedicated to your “life” instead of your job; realistic, optimistic geeks understand that to live a good life, a job is a necessary and welcome component.
4. You’re flexible to changes, diversity and new ways of learning
This mindset is tied closely to the geek desire to be creative. If an old model doesn’t work for you or the problem at hand, you’re willing to toss it out the door and try something new. You’d rather learn from what Joss Whedon can teach you about business than what the latest Wall Street guru has to say.
If a company’s looking for workers with a little bit of daring and open-mindedness, you’re their ideal candidate. A geek is more willing to help a company grow, adapt and develop through alternative methods than some of their older or non-geek counterparts.
5. You’ve got the drive to make a difference
It’s not all about just you and your life. You want to contribute something greater to the world and make it a better place, whether that be through the products you support or the way you live your life. (“Yep, this Superman shirt is 100 percent organic cotton!”)
It’s likely that if you’re a geek working for a company in the business of changing lives, you’ll feel passionate about that company’s goals, services and products.
Of course, not all geeks are created equal. And not all companies can handle having you work for them (and vice versa). As mentioned above, geeks work best in innovative companies.
But you’re also a huge force to be reckoned with in the workplace.
So when you’re applying for jobs, fly that geek flag high and make sure you apply to companies that not only provide professional growth, but also gladly accept your geeky character into their culture.
Bree Brouwer is a freelance blogger and content strategist who writes for FortressGeek.com, a Canadian-based online retailer full of nerdy goods. Bree and the staff at FG love helping geeks get paid to do what they’re passionate about.