My Problem With Value Validation Models To “Show Your Value”. aka Giving Your Thinking For Free — Either As A Job Hunter or As A Consultant.

Rod Aparicio
3 min readMar 16, 2022

The dog and pony show.

You have to come up with your homework done. Do “research”, create strategies/deliverables and show us why you’re more hard-working than the rest. And don’t forget to send us a thank you note (it’ll make us consider you or ditch you). Our time is more valuable than you. And you gotta be thankful.

Who’s a good boy? Want a cookie? Who’s a good boy?

The Sale (and Recruitment) is the Sample

How they treat you at this stage is how you’ll be treated when you’re in.

Do they let you lead, give autonomy, leave space for conversations?

Do you go through long processes? “We need you to go through 9 meetings to “know” if we decide for you.”

Does it feel like an interrogation and demanding you to show why you’re better than the others? — when you don’t even know who the others are. (kinda stupid question to make, right?)

Fuck Validation

Stop giving your thinking away for free.

Why do a full case for ONE company just to “show your value”?

Break the cycle. Instead, do a full specific case for the kind of best client/company you want. Walk me through your thinking. How you make decisions. And do it in public. This is authority building.

Why not to do work for a specific case, especially for free.

You’re basing everything in assumptions. You have no clue of what’s going on inside the company. You don’t know how their office politics work. You know nothing, Jon Snow.

It might feel uplifting and exciting, but here’s the thing: it’s useless.

  1. Working on assumptions is like working on hopes. All wishful thinking in best case scenario.
  2. You can’t control the inputs nor the outcomes. Do you have a budget to work with? A real one, not a hypothetical one. Do you know how small or big is your team? Coming up with anything is unprofessional.
  3. Makes you reek of desperation. And when that happens, you only have power over one thing: nothing.
  4. You get too invested. As a result, you can’t walk away, even with red flags all over the place.

Turn the tables

Ask better questions. Lead.

  • Work your way out of the engagement. Part from this hypothesis: “Everyone is a bad fit till proven the contrary.”
    This way you’ll ask better questions and see if there is a good fit to work with/in/for this company.
  • Lead the conversation. Making good questions will set you apart because you’re not desperate to work there. Gain distance to make good decisions.
  • If they want your thinking, they must appreciate you and your time. (a way to appreciate it is by paying)

A simple approach to lead the conversation

Start with these 3 questions:

• Why this?

• Why now?

• Why me?

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