Is this the most annoying question in the world?

Ramit Sethi

Who asks this question, one of the most annoying ones in the world?

“What are your credentials?”

Person 1: Someone who’s skeptical of your abilities, so they ask this as a prelude to condescendingly laughing at you.

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Person 2: YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF! How many times have you talked yourself out of applying for an opportunity because you didn’t have the right experience or credentials?

Today, I want to show you some of the nutcases who question my credentials, and how you can stop doing this to yourself (and stop settling for sub-standard jobs).

But before I do, if you haven’t already, take 2 seconds to sign up for my live presentation that I’m giving on finding a Dream Job this Wednesday, May 28th:

How to Finally Find a Job You Love (And Stop Settling).

If you’ve wondered how to get your dream job — even without the right credentials or experience — come and learn specific tactics you can use immediately. My presentation is free, but you have to register beforehand to reserve your spot.

So, why do I hate it so much when people ask, “What are your credentials?”

Maybe it comes from the snide people who asked me this in 2004 when I was starting IWT. “Are you rich?” they sneered. When I told them yes, especially since I’ve always said money is just a small part of living a rich life, they laughed dismissively.

Maybe it was the man who told me I should quit “this entrepreneurship nonsense” and get a job at the huge company he worked for. “That way, when you graduate, you’ll have $1mm in your bank account, like me!” Ugh.

Maybe it was the psychologist who asked what I did, then laced into me about my lack of credentials. Since I’d had years to hone my answers by this time, I calmly parried every point she made. She grew increasingly frustrated as I sipped my drink. I loved every minute of it.

I STILL get questions about my credentials, including deranged emails like this one, which I’ve excerpted below (note: the original is 3 pages long).

“You are not qualified to give career advice, just because someone bought your book or signed up to your website like your some career guidance guru and then you told them to do A to Z and they got a job. It takes way more to be a qualified career counselor. Do you have a counseling clinic with clients or do you have documented hours counseling folks, which is what the groups above require in order for you to have a designator after your name of Certified Career Counselor.

Even your idol, Suzie [sic] Orman, is a Certified Financial Planner, are you? don’t think you are pal.”

If you believe experience and credentials are the only ways to land a dream job, you’re missing out on the entire world of people who are simply sidestepping you.

I know. I’ve helped thousands of people land dream jobs that paid them more, gave them more responsibility, and even showed them what they wanted to do with their lives.

The truth is, we don’t need magical credentials to get ahead. Yes, experience matters, and in some jobs, credentials really matter.

But we all know people who defer finding a dream job until they have “all their ducks in a row” — typically $100K of grad school, maybe some worthless certification, only to find out that nobody really cares.


In my presentation on Wed 5/28, I’m going to show you how I beat out Stanford MBA students for a job at Sun Microsystems…as a sophomore in college.

And I’ll show you how to stop SETTLING for jobs — the place you spend 8+ hours a day — and find something that challenges you, pays you what you’re worth, and lets you do what you love.

Just remember this: We don’t need to wait for years, praying and hoping for our boss to swoop down and grace us with “success.” I’ll show you the exact, step-by-step process to do it NOW.

Tomorrow night, I want to show you how to stop being stagnant and find a job you LOVE. This works whether you’re at an “okay” job or starting out, and it also helped my students land jobs at top-tier firms like Apple, Google, and hedge funds.

But step one is taking action. JUST ONE THING TO DO: Sign up below.

Live presentation: How to Finally Find a Job You Love (And Stop Settling)Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.45.05 AM


Here are the details:

  • What: How to Finally Find a Job You Love (And Stop Settling)
  • When: Wednesday, May 28 9p.m Eastern/6p.m. Pacific (Find your timezone)
  • Where: Register here now

P.S. I don’t do recordings, but if tomorrow is not good for you, click here.

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