Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

How do you define “education?”

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column here on Inc. entitled Why Employers Should Stop Looking at Degrees (And 6 Things They Should Look for Instead). It argued that when considering potential prospects, companies should stop using college degrees and school performance as barriers of entry, because doing so removes qualified candidates from the search–and at times, keeps you from finding the best person for the job.

It all comes down to this:

Education is essential. But why do so many insist education means completing a degree program at an institution of higher learning?

Besides the facts that knowledge is more accessible than ever, and more and more people feel the current system of higher education is broken, there are so many great potential employees out there who have never graduated from university. (Even Google thinks so.)

Wouldn’t it be great to see more companies that value what a person has done over what school they went to, or what certification they have? What would that job description even look like?

You don’t have to use your imagination. I’ve found it.

Best Job Description Ever

Derek Sivers is hiring.

A serial entrepreneur best known for founding CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians, Sivers also bills himself a musician, producer, circus performer and book publisher. (I discovered Sivers through my favorite TED talk of all time–which he delivered.)

Here’s the job description:

I am hiring someone to be Chief Operating Officer — in other words: full-time long-term president — of my little one-person company.


Any age. Any gender. Anywhere.

Someone very experienced in project management and hiring.

(Don’t tell me what you can do. Show me what you have done.)

Perfect English required.


For context, see my list of projects.

I set up a New Zealand company that is really just an umbrella for all my projects. That’s what you would be president of.

What that really means is:

  • finding, interviewing, and hiring of freelancers and contractors
  • managing the people you hired
  • project management, which really means president of each of these projects

Employee or contractor? Either way could work. State your preference.

What does it pay? I’m happy to pay well. Let me know what you need.


I’m in New Zealand, but that doesn’t matter. You can be absolutely anywhere, and don’t have to be anywhere.

You decide your schedule. All work will be remote and online-only. I don’t give preferential treatment to any part of the world.


I have a tendency to try to do it all myself. I need to delegate it all to you — (which you then delegate to others) — so I can focus on writing and programming, mostly offline and disconnected.


I don’t know if I’m going to get 10 or 10,000 offers, so please be patient for my reply. I’m ready to hire immediately, though if you need a little while to get out of a situation, that’s OK. The sooner the better.


To apply, just email [email protected].

I answer all, so don’t sweat the subject header or intro. Just show me what you have done.

The job description is comprehensive, outlining what’s important to Sivers.

Did you notice what’s missing?

A degree requirement.

I know what you’re thinking…this is one guy, trying to fill one position.

But here’s the thing:

This one guy has almost 300,000 followers on Twitter. His articles elicit hundreds of comments. I’m also not exaggerating when I say many, many people would consider this a dream job.

So, although I can’t guarantee how many applicants Sivers will end up with, I’m confident it will be a lot.

And like he said, he answers every email.

Now, what if company recruiters and HR departments would quit following the status quo and begin focusing on things that really matter?

Maybe they’d actually find what they’re looking for–someone who can do the job well.

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