Don't know why I can't stop applying for jobs


One of the many humorous and foolish road signs in New Zealand

I should be focusing much more time on researching and building intelligence, instead (and I still hope I will).

So I wonder why I'm not making it. Why do I insist on "wasting" time trying to get a job?!

It certainly has something to do with money (or lack of it) but, other than that, I'm just not sure.

Before my latest job (best one I've had in my life for brief 2 years) back in 2011 I had tried applying for about 100 jobs in a few months. I can safely say that because only by email I know I've sent 70 applications, most of which are just ignored. In fact, I got the job through an indication and no application, just like 80 to 90% of my previous jobs. Granted, one of the best ones was without any indication and such isolated anecdotes really means nothing, but they're the most reliable data points I've got that work for myself.

For little more than 1 year now I do keep trying to apply, mostly for online jobs. I must have over 200 scattered applications. Some are dreadful and way too hard. They're probably missing the point, although most big companies do go through excruciating processes even tougher than that. But there are ones that are even fun, since they simply ask questions which eventually makes me reflect about myself.

Last fun one was Clevertech and I wanted to bring some of my answers here. Mostly because of this question and its hidden characters limit, which ended up not being the only one. I had to reduce 2 answers there (basically removing the negativity) and decided to keep the originals here.

A little foolish, I know, but so is life.

Why should we hire you?

Original version, shortened later to 300 characters.

Unless you're born in the underdeveloped world it will be really hard for you to grasp my "small" achievements. Although I was very lucky and financially fortunate around my 12th birthday, my parents were mostly very poor. I got my first job at 15 and started working hard at 17. By 19 I was supporting my parents, brothers and sister. I'm 34 now, a lot have happened since then, my family is shattered and I'm struggling to find a good job. I'm an explorer and a builder, I get things done. I also got a very creative mind and just in the past 2 weeks I finally decided on what to focus it for a few years to come. A.I. research. ASI, actually. If you want a dedicated developer, blind to the world, I'm not your guy. You should hire me only if you want to try really new things, get a different perspective from a skeptic philosopher who's constantly moving, and who have lots of potential to help growing something beautiful.

What is your desired salary per month?

Again, original version, shortened later to 100 characters.

U$ 8765.
That's actually a really tough question for me.
Everyone need about € 1k unconditional basic income.
But I've got my wife, insurances, needed hobbies, retirement, my own market value, etc.

Desired is a keyword. Unconditional basic income is another.

For context

Following there's the rest of the application

Who are you?

Be short. Tell us what your best achievements are.

I'm cregox, and my best achievement is yet to come. I've been in the limbo for so long I became very good at playing time-less puzzles, checkout

What are you good with?

Do NOT put too much stuff here.

basic: 20y+; javascript: 15y+; php: 10y+; asp: 10y+; c#: 5y+; gmail: 10y+; *nix: 15y+; bottom line: tech specialist for over 20 years.

What makes you unique?

You should shine here, in 140 characters or less.

Mostly self taught, can handle anything new very quickly. 26 yo virgin-never-even-kissed, got from zero to perfectly married in < 3 years.

Why should we hire you

I mean, we get a lot of applications by awesome people.

Unless you're born in the underdeveloped world it will be really hard for you to grasp my "small" achievements. (...) If you want a dedicated developer, blind to the world, I'm not your guy. Hire me only if you want to get a different perspective from a skeptic philosopher and science lover. (...)

What is your desired salary per month?

Remember, this is full-time, 160h/month (Corp-to-corp, if you're in the US).

U$ 8765.
Everyone need about € 1k unconditional basic income.
But I've got my own needs and value.

Cheap philosophical links about the financial rabbit hole
Need Help with Squarespace Full BG video

Now, after trying to read an article on the very compelling medium with the very compelling title How I went from underemployed waitress to the top 1% of millenials in 3 months, I ended up rather quickly giving up (as it is a lot of mumble jumble without ever mentioning she sure got lucky) and finding at least 1 rather interesting link:

It then brought me a pop up with another set of cool questions which helped me to think and focus a little bit more on my never ending job seeking quest.

Here are some relevant parts:

Pretend you could have any job you wanted. Copy and paste a link to a job post that best describes your dream job.

This is what took me the most time to answer because I had to go find that job. While I'm not sure deepmind is it, I loved their recruitment process:

And there's an email. That's all it takes to get started! And that is all it should take.

Also being in google and showing up when searching for "best company to work for, artificial intelligence", plus their publications being so aligned with my current goals...

The only thing I'd be missing there to be "my dream job" would be having freedom. Such as to work remotely from anywhere or to choose what I should be doing at any given time. Although if I had that choice I'd initially want to go in an office with a small group of people at least equally as excited about working in this as I would be, which could be nearly impossible to find I tell you.

Well, going on...

Complete this sentence:

I joined Freelanship because ___________.

I need a job.

Do you currently have a website with a professional domain name?

(i.e. - not*

(multiple choice) Yes

Why don't you have a LinkedIn account?

I don't use it actively because I've got no good experience with using any HR tools.

(the question before was if I had an account and used it actively)

Which tool(s) or software do you want to learn how to use or wish you could utilize but cannot afford to currently? Briefly tell me why for each one listed.

Maybe I should get the toughest certificate (oracle, red hat, sap / abap, whatever) there is out there, find a job in that field and capitalize. But I think I just learned on what I most want to focus in the past few weeks and probably a big reason I've been struggling for so long is just that: lack of focus.

Your client or boss gives you $100,000 to purchase anything that will help you do your job more successfully, how do you decide which tools, software, apps, etc. to buy? What influences your decision?

Depends a lot on the company goals and my arrangement for working there. But suppose I'm on my dream job over night and this is all about me doing my job more successfully, I would find 2 to 4 people most successful in my area who I never met and spend all money getting at least 2 of them into the team. That's because, right now, I need to learn from the best more than anything else.

Your client or boss asks you to research and decide between three tools that have exactly the same features. How do you decide which one to buy?

Grab the one from the most reliable source. For instance: google drive, dropbox or syncthing? Dropbox. They're pioneer and that's what they're number 1 product. They need it to be good and it is freaking great. The other 2 ones are also awesome, but not this much.

Which company/companies do you feel loyal to and why?

Sounds like a tricky political question, but I'll first take it from a technical aspect. I love McDonald's, for instance. Great customer service and delivery on their goals. Same for Google, not the same for Facebook. Also not so much for Apple or Coke, too much secrecy. I'm not all that loyal to any, though. The instant they screw up with my principles, I'll look at the other side. But I do wear the uniform of whatever company I choose to work for! stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye


Here's yet another good one! From buffer. Looks like I'll have to always keep on hoping...

Below is the email I've sent them (here updated), aggregating about 8 applications in one. You know what Mary told me? "Please, send each application separately, on our site". Ok dokey, but I still think there's some good in keeping them all in one place. Right here! stuck_out_tongue

Subject: excited progammer*

I'm an Artificial Super Intelligence enthusiast, researcher, artist and progammer* since 90's. Very recently started dedicating all my free time into

Found the many vacancies through @octabur because I decided to say "hi" to one of your emails and he answered it. So I've checked out his profile.

Now, I know what you're not thinking: "okaaay, and?!".

Well, and I love you!

I just started using buffer (so not "consistently for at least 3 months") and already fell in love with it. I knew about it for a quite long time, but never really cared about "postponing a post". To me it never made any sense, I rather release everything at once! I didn't really want to gather people in any artificial way, I hardly even wanted to post anything to any public... But, truth is, everyone actually do want it. And, on top of that, how great is having everything you want to share organized in one place with metrics! smile

Finding about how the company works just made me fall even more in love with such a well polished piece of SaaS.

So, I could of course easily see myself in a few journeys (8 of them, plus an extra one) and I hope you may agree with one where I could begin working with you (starting September). Below are my preferred ones and for each one I couldn't sincerely press on 2 buttons (the other one being about reading or watching something):

AI enthusiast

This one isn't on the list. Here's a plan: I'm moving to Portugal and I need about €23456 per year for survival, or probably even less, to study and (try to) develop ASI. My initial plan was to start by going for Hutter prize, with no guarantees. Instead, I could develop some ANI (a.k.a. regular or "weak" AI) to buff up buffer, such as making something cool to visualize data such as an improved version of this ForceAtlas.

And if needed, on the side, work on whatever else of those other 8 positions you'd like me to, with a fair proportional compensation of course. wink

Happiness Hero

Never heard of Dale Carnegie or Tony Hsieh before, but I love working with people, as long as you're okay with my not so conventional way!

Here, my latest work is all on the open:

And to answer the 3 customers, I like to keep it short for this email, at least:

  1. Hey Angry Am. Sure, here's your refund. We're really sorry to hear you go, though. Looking at your campaigns, I can see this one worked really well, don't you think? Also, we got plenty of tutorials on how you can use buffer for your advantage. Marketing is very hard, I personally gave up my own startup 3 times because I couldn't handle it myself. You'll be very welcomed back if you decide to give us another shot! wink

  2. Sup Lon? You definitely should start reading our stuff or watching our videos. They're very informative and will help you get on track on what you can do with buffer! Looking at your profile, I would also advise to focus on [whatever makes sense to London] learning about marketing first. Also we just released a free course with 20 daily lessons mailed to you on how to improve your online social presence with buffer. Hope to start reading awesome posts from you soon! smiley

  3. Hey Kon! I'm thrilled to know that! Thanks so much for sharing your contentment smile [look at his profile] Have you also tried [feature he seem to not have tried]? It probably could boost up your experience even more! And please, let us know if you do need any support, we'll be glad to help.

Community Champion

Not exactly "experienced" with buffer community, but I do feel like home already. This is a job I'd probably need to take as a kind of intern, but I do have experience managing communities (I was once a GM on Ragnarok, I've volunteer at Campus Party, I do have a ghost town forum right here, and few more), which can come in handy to help the other champions and to find novel ways of communiting.

Content Crafter

3 samples, you ask. I'll give you 3 different topics.

UX Researcher

Have watched all of "Reinventing Organizations" and it was awesome! I already got in touch with him to talk how he's wrong about the 3 brains, and he took the criticism so greatly. Just amazing! smile

And I'm already participating in their discourse forums, trying hard to wrap my mind around the whole concept. I do believe most of it made instantaneous sense to me, but I must admit it wasn't all of it, as I can't really figure out in my head how some details would work out exactly.

... Or even as almost any developer (if you, Sunil or Leo insist).

And since it looks like you prefer to know this straight away:

Other links you might want to see:

Above all,
Cheers! smile

To bufferapp team: promote categories!
My social unfair undervaluation and why the financial system is broken

Freelancing really isn't working (it never really did, for me)...

My plan now was to select 1 (I probably won't stick with just 1) company I want to work for, and insist in it... Obviously I first thought of going to Ai ones, which led me to think of TensorFlow above anything else. Because I wrote down I want it to be: Ai, opensource, remote and suddenly Google released it. "That's probably it", as any google lover would think.

But google has no email. No simple way of contact. Granted, that's a technical limitation... Still it is my point of view. It would be a huge challenge and hurdle to get in and position myself inside, I might get frustrated before long. Heck, yesterday I was just slacking over codenewbie#ai to start a very tinitiny small project together writing a chatbot and, despite not being able to move much on my own with Mariox yet, I still question if I should join them!

So just now, trying to find a way to suggest a feature for GitHub, I realised which company I should probably try the hardest. Github.

They're even more amazing than google, being such a huge online presence (sure not as much as google) and such a small team (ok, wikipedia also win in those two points, and Jimmy sure is likeable, but technically wikimedia is old and, like google, it's hard to get in touch with people). Also, I love git and I'm an expert in it! On top of it all, Github don't seen to have an Ai department (although there sure is some rather interesting cookie Ai going on in contact)... Who knows, maybe now it's the time? If it's not too hard to get in.

I'd probably start by implementing the feature I wanted to suggest: getting a discourse there (not just for atom) instead of the issue tracker! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And this, is my public email to them.

My social unfair undervaluation and why the financial system is broken
Feature suggestions - Insisting with GitHub

I've got some good feedback from my application, so far! Even while it was forwarded to a nice vacancy, and I was already denied the position, they insisted I shouldn't give up, were much nicer than the usual default answer and, well, someone in there forwarded me to it! And asked me for this clarification. "What position I had in mind, since I found none out of their big list that would be a match". A match.

I've had many positions in mind. Matches. Things I would love to do:

  • I could get in as an intern. Responsability free, earning enough money for living, finding out the next position from within. Just awesome! :smile: Except not. I'm not enrolled in any school, and that's against the selection laws, I've read.

  • I would love being an Ai / ML / ANN researcher more than anything. But I've got little hands on coding experience there (yet) and there are no vacancies.

  • CTO. Yes, I'm that ambitious. No, I'm not kidding. Okay, maybe I'm kidding a bit, of course I would never be given this opportunity before climbing up a big mountain... And I'm still at the beach. But that just means I may not be fit for any company, and would need to start one of my own.

  • Teal. Have you heard of Reinventing Organizations? Probably not. Well, in very, very short (and keep in mind that I'm trying to describe you with words what's the Mount Fuji, without using even pictures), there is this one dude, Frederic Laloux, who were researching about organizations and stumbled upon a realization of some patterns of organizing groups, from groups that nobody even heard about. Huge groups, at least one of them got 40 thousand people. About 20 groups. A few points in common he saw was: self management (choose your own salary), full transparency (knows about everyone's salary) and horizontality (nobody have much bigger salary than nobody). I'm not sure GitHub would fit in any, but it sure does look like it would! :smiley:

  • Anything, really. Maybe. I'm a progammer*, not a programmer, not a developer, not an engineer. Depending on too many variables, I'm willing to do literally anything to get me into a stable financial social position. So I can, at least, get "my 20%" to work on my goal. Coming from where I came, it have been a really really hard journey for me to get any kind of "financial freedom" or "basic income". I can really appreciate a good opportunity and make it worth for both of us.


My heart is still with github, but it has been a while I even try applying again there, and I really could use a job now. Maybe the main difference between "could use" and "need" there is I will live if I never get a job ever again.

So, while looking for a better buffer integration than IFTTT I quickly found zapier as an option on google. Then, whenever I see a great company with "we're hiring" I give it a shot (as it's hopefully evident by this very topic) and see what they're offering. Mostly I look for awesome "thinking out of the box" offers, so in fact I hardly ever apply nowadays (again, as it's hopefully evident by this very topic, as all my meaningful applications are here! :stuck_out_tongue:).

Now, when trying to apply for any job at Zapier, I'll have to be honest. I don't think I can fully abide by the Code of Conduct. Because of this 1 (one) rule I fully disagree with:

Be careful of the words that you choose.

Now, that's not to say I can't be careful within zapier at all, but I wouldn't be following all other guidelines if I didn't say what's real for me here. I hate being so careful with words and I advocate that people don't. I love taking free speech to a personal level and I never get offended by whatever any random person tells me. Ever. Really, never. But let me be more specific:

  • Discriminatory jokes and language. - I love it
  • Posting sexually explicit. - also love it
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. - no idea what this means
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior. - d'oh

It's easy to say "I don't discriminate", people love saying it. I say nobody can follow that. Discrimination is just a bad word for a core brain function: making patterns or creating labels or, as I like to put it, compressing data. We just humanly (i.e. intelligent machines) need to constantly do it, even after the singularity (although it's possible that by then "discrimination" may get ubiquitous).

As for sexual, well, I just hope it's suffice to say (and point) this is one of the reasons I was a huge fan of David Bowie's life (more than the songs) and never knew.

If you do read my online content or this very talk site you may quickly notice I deeply disregard those guidelines mostly everywhere. But I can try my best to, you know, "keep it clean" if you want to think like that, inside your organization. I could never call it my home, though.

That being said, I'd still like to apply. For all current 3 vacancies. So I'll follow each one steps.


  1. Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line Freelancing

  2. In a few sentences, tell us why you'd like to freelance for the Zapier blog
    I'd like to "freelance" for any awesome company's blog. Oh wait, you did as "a few sentences" so, I mean... Of course I also think Zapier could greatly benefit from having me on board. It's not always easy to financially assert this, but you can ask anyone out of at least a few dozen people who know me, friends or foes, that it's quite noticeable how much I can bring into conversations, relationships and stories.

  3. Link to three examples that show your ability to write thorough, engaging and helpful content
    That's a very tough question, given my audience reach is still so narrow. Else I could just grab all 3 of them from buffer with highest clicks or something, but even that's a tool I should have started to use longer ago (best one I'd have got just 20 clicks or so, and it goes down exponentially from there). So I'll get 1 from SEN, 1 from quora (I'm a most viewed writer there in a few awesomely distinct categories) and 1 of this amazing still ongoing story of my own (did I mention I also love writing stories?). Keep in mind all of the 3 categories there have a few more examples on their own if you want to keep digging:

  4. Suggest three posts for the Zapier blog—please no headlines that focus on Zapier, Zaps, automation, remote work, or marketing
    Now you're asking too much. Sorry. I'll give you one from the top of my head: What's the single most important aspect of a smartphone and why it shouldn't be - I could use some help coming up with better headlines, so I'll give you the answer to this: it's cameras. And Narrative Clip along with dedicated devices plus not-so-futuristic applications are basically the reasons why it shouldn't be.

  5. Link us to your favorite post on the Zapier blog and tell us why
    Luckily, I didn't have to look much for it: the second title I saw immediatly captured my attention. Once in a while my wife ask me to do some simple "inspect" tricks on some stupid websites that are not working or have some annoying ad disturbing its usage. So I can see me linking a post like this to her, eventually. And, if it works, to many more people. Only problem there is I can't see this zapier post working. Too big and too many ads. I honestly haven't proof-read it. It is still my favorite so far, because, at very least, it already gave me this good (yes, good, not great) idea! :wink:


  1. What should our goal be when replying to users?
    Is this a gotcha? Obviously it is reaching their satisfaction by paying very careful attention to what they need. You can see how I handle those here in the support category.

  2. A user requests an integration with a service that we don't support yet. How would you word your response?
    "That sounds like an awesome new service! We still can't support it as you can see in the zapbook, but it is on the works. Please, check back another day as we are constantly adding new apps. And if you want to read more about it, take a look at our support page , maybe you could even get in touch with other services you'd like to have and tell them about Zapier! :wink:"

  3. Set up a zap that takes new Gmail emails from a specific sender and adds them to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. Send us the link to the zap and a share link for the spreadsheet.
    I'll just ignore this one...

  4. Send us a link to an app's API docs that you think are well done, and explain why you think they are good. because I can find anything I need there through google and it even often ranks up along with stackoverflow. PHP also has good API. Such awesome docs are very rare.

  5. Look at this list and pick the 5 things that most excite you. Also pick the 5 things that least excite you. Don't pick by your opinion of importance, this is mostly to see interest/experience. Please put this answer somewhere like Gists or Pastebin and include a link in your email.
    Not doing Gist or Pastebin on purpose, of course. I do fear together with answer 3 this may declassify me, but it's either this application or no application and I'm still having fun filling this one... In no particular order, and of course I'm willing to do all (just to be sure):

    • Most
      • Work with the product team to develop a new feature based on feedback from customers
      • Act as a dedicated rep for a handful of key customers to ensure their success using Zapier
      • Find and recruit teammates for the support team
      • Manage a support team
      • Analyze thousands of support tickets to spot trends the product team can use
    • Least
      • Respond 60+ support requests via email every day;
      • Write and maintain thousands of pages of help documentation
      • Ghostwrite documentation for partners to publish on their own sites
      • Engage multiple users at once via chat to answer their questions and troubleshoot problems
      • Receive 20+ inbound phone calls per day and help them solve their issues
  6. How did you hear about Zapier?
    I was walking down the street and clouds start forming. The rain followed soon after, and I was without my umbrella so I ran into taking cover. As I was running, I saw that lightning strike right into a pole by my side and ZAP, I panicked, slipped on the slippery Lisbon streets but... Before falling on the ground ZAPIER, a car crashed and sonic boomed me into a standing position. Something almost like this:

Honestly, I don't remember how I heard about it. It was a long time ago! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



Why we need to stop looking for jobs and work on what matters