How to Solve Catch 22 Situations (Fake It Till You Become It)

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What is Catch 22?

Catch 22 (India, USA) is a very interesting book that’s been on my book recommendations page for many years now.

It describes the comical circular situation that is not so comical because it happens so often in real life.

  • You can’t find a job because you don’t have work experience. You can’t get work experience because you can’t find a job.
  • You can’t get the client because you “have never done this type of work before”. You can’t do it for the first time because clients keep rejecting you for that work because you haven’t do it before.
  • You feel like sad/depressed because you spend your entire day indoors. You spend your entire day indoors because you feel sad/depressed.
  • You spend more money on ads because your competitors are spending more money on ads. Your competitors spend more money on ads because you’re spending more money on ads.

Catch 22 is the cycle of pain that shows up often in life and it shows up all the time.

How to Break Catch 22 Situations? Fake it till you become it.

Fake it till you become it and NOT fake it till you make it because you don’t want to fake it forever.

You only want to fake it at first so that you get some experience and become the real deal.

I will give you some examples:

1) Getting Clients:

The Catch 22: You can’t find clients because you’re a newbie who doesn’t have a track record. You can’t build a track record because you can’t find clients.

The solution: Just act like you have a bunch of clients and that you know what you are doing.

When I accepted my first few clients back when I ran a tax/legal consulting firm (handled entirely by family now), I was nowhere near being an “expert”. I would just fake confidence, accept the client, and then figure out how to solve his problem.

A few projects and deals later, I legitimately knew everything I was doing and I did not need to fake it anymore. I became the real deal.

2) Getting a job:

The Catch 22: You can’t find a job because you don’t have work experience. You can’t get any work experience because you can’t find a job.

The solution: You have a few options.

  1. Lie on your resume. Make up some place that can’t be verified – like a place that recently went out of business. (High risk – be prepared to be grilled by the interviewer.)
  2. Make up a startup and claim it failed and went bankrupt. That’s your “work experience”. Obviously it needs to be plausible (have a website, logo, a full story, etc.).
  3. Ask for a favor from an entrepreneur friend or relative and claim you worked for them. List them as a reference so your potential new employer can call and confirm that you worked there.
  4. Change the past to give you “relevant experience”. Just claim you did different work than you actually did. For example, if you worked in the banking department, you can say you actually did wealth management projects.

I wouldn’t recommend doing any of these unless you’re really desperate. Go the legit way if that’s possible – get some internships.

Sometimes you just can’t get anything and lying on the resume can help. I don’t consider it unethical – companies lie on job descriptions all the time. Why can’t you lie on the resume?

If you want to be goody-two-shoes, I would recommend applying to the job anyway. Often times, they say they care about work experience, but they actually don’t.

If you decide to go the lying route, manage risk:

I’ve handled hiring for a bunch of companies – it is a service my consulting firm offers. We pretty much only verified the educational background (checking degrees) and only verified the immediate last employer.

Unless you’re looking for work at the CIA or RAW or another 3 letter agency, no one has the time and budget to go over everything with a fine-tooth comb.

People are looking for hire someone competent who can handle the work they need to get done. “Work experience” is just a proxy measure of skill/competence.

Most companies aren’t going to sit and verify the place you worked at 7 years ago. They just check the last employer’s records. You can keep that truthful and change stuff before that without a lot of risk.

I haven’t come across any company that verifies what projects you worked on with any of your past employers. You can claim anything you need for you to get the job. It’s low risk.

If you had to lie about your immediate last employer (eg. you claim you worked for a friend or a relative), your new potential employer will ask for pay-stubs. This is just a piece of paper so arrange it.

If they want your bank statements, say that they can call your “past employer and confirm” but you won’t provide personal banking details because it’s an “invasion of privacy”. If they insist on bank statements, then withdraw your application and try your luck elsewhere (Don’t push your luck and ruin your reputation and future prospects).

Further reading: How to Lie on Your Resume

3) Dating:

The Catch 22: Can’t get any girls because girls find it weird that you’ve never had a girlfriend before. Can’t get rid of the no-girlfriend-before disqualification because girls aren’t willing to date you. (More applicable to older guys.)

Sidenote: If you have dating issues, take out a few hours and read The Book of Pook. Easily one of the most life changing set of books out there.

The solution: Just lie though your teeth. Say you’re seeing other girls and act like you’re in high demand.

Women will like you much more if you are in demand by other women.

Women logic is simple – “If other girls like him, it must mean that he must be high value. Therefore I should check him out.” and “If other girls don’t like him, then he must be a loser and something must be wrong with him.”

That’s why women use “incel” as an insult. From their perspective, if you aren’t already having sex with other women, you are low value in their eyes.

Women want the social proof of you being desired by other women. Claim you’ve gone out with several women and women will be more open to you.

Date a few women this way and then you’ll have some actual real experience with women. You can build it up from there.

In Conclusion

Do whatever you need to do to break in and get your foot though the door.

Fake it, exaggerate facts, do whatever you need to do and get your foot through the door. This is how you break Catch-22.

Once you’re in, work 10x harder than everyone around you and become the real thing.

Remember, life is a video game. And all games can be hacked.

– Harsh Strongman

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