100 Jobs In One Year: Dave Herman Explains How To Get Hired

Dave Herman 100 jobs

A year ago, Dave Herman was just another one of the thousands of struggling actors in New York City, picking up odd jobs to make ends meet. Today, he's a master of productivity, a philosopher of motivation, a self-appointed self-help guru, and full-time brand ambassador (pictured above in one of his comedy videos). What happened in 2012? Herman had 100 jobs.

Millions of Americans would be thankful to find just one job right now, and Herman now knows how it's done. To complete his project -- 100 jobs in one year -- Herman was a night receptionist, an electrician, a script reader, a bartender, a newspaper boy, a dog walker, and a professional laugher. He also handed out a lot of fliers. With the help of a couple of temp agencies, the website TaskRabbit (where people advertise odd jobs), and friends, Herman completed the challenge, 20 minutes before midnight, as a correspondent on "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly."

More: How I Survived Nearly 2 Years Of Unemployment

The 27-year-old New Jersey native now has a full-time job at a marketing company, as well as tons of exposure (including on the "Today" show, and in a newspaper in Croatia), which is obviously good for an aspiring actor. And he's picked up some good tricks for finding work.


1. Temping isn't always temporary. A lot of Herman's work came through temp agencies, which was perfect for his assignment. The gigs would last just a day or two or three, and then he'd move on to the next one. But sometimes those companies would keep hiring him back for different assignments. (For Herman's purposes, they had to be different, or it would violate his self-imposed rule.) And through networking on those jobs he found more jobs. Herman even had to quit one, because it became so full-time that he didn't have the time to do other random jobs.

2. Expand your options. For Herman's first job as a street musician, he stood on the cold January streets of Midtown Manhattan and played the saxophone -- an instrument that he'd been learning for approximately eight months. "I know a lot of people were judging me, critiquing me, and that's scary," he said. But people stood and listened, they smiled, they waved, and they gave him a few coins.

"The best way to overcome fear," he realized, "is to keep doing the things you're afraid of."

3. Sometimes you have to take a hit at the beginning. With just a hodgepodge of tasks and errands, Herman at first went into debt. After months of networking though, Herman was finally able to sustain himself.

More: Why The Unemployed Are Better Workers

Herman doesn't consider his temporary foray in the red any kind of failure though. "Anyone who wants to make a sustainable income as a freelancer, it's an investment," he says. "Just like college is an investment of time and money, just like starting a small business."

4. It's all about networking. Herman had one receptionist gig, and a co-worker there turned him on to another receptionist gig. At that receptionist gig, somebody called up, liked the sound of his voice, and hired him for another receptionist gig. That kind of opportunity-begat-opportunity happened a lot over the course of the year.

"I'd much rather it worked that way," says Herman. "Rather then saying "I can do it! I can do it! Hey look at me, I can do it!"

More: How To Use Your Friends To Get A Job

5. Put in the hours. "The reason we love heroes in movies is because these people are accomplishing things that we think are impossible or improbable," Herman muses. But nothing is really that improbable, he says, if you're willing to put in the work. Hours and hours and hours of work. Herman admits that he has so many projects on his plate right now that they're cutting into his sleep time.

"The New York spirit has taken me over," he says. "The New York spirit is: If you're not working on something big, you're worth nothing."

6. Set goals, with numbers and deadlines. Herman believes that he was able to accomplish his goal because it had a number (100) and a deadline (Jan. 1, 2013). This year, he has several goals, with similarly defined parameters: to work out three times a week; memorize the Gospel of John; come out with one YouTube sketch video a week; and complete the 10,000 Kevins Project.

The 10,000 Kevins Project (which debuted March 1) is Herman's scheme to get 10,000 people named Kevin to sign an online petition to get Kevin Bacon to take him out for dinner. And also raise $1 million for Kevin Bacon's charity. You know, no big deal.
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Max Lilly

Not everybody has to work a meaningless, no future, badge wearing, clock punching JOB. Go to your local Waste Treatment Plant and ask if they need help working on pipes, pumps, valves, hangers, sludge tanks, clarifiers, anarobic chambers. Be proud, because you are number 1 in number 2. OMG I have had over 100 jobs like this and they just get better, Benzene Chemical Plant that blew up like a nuclear bomb and I had the pleasure to climb on pipes, take measurements, because they never bothered to make drawings. I worked in both active and under construction Nuclear Power Plants just outsiide of the biologial shield wall, Acidic acid, two weapons grade nuclear waste Plants (ironically each time I was granted a Top Secret Q) clearance a week later they would shoe me away. I was never in trouble, no jail, no drugs, no alcohol, I did my work sometimes around the clock to meet deadlines (oops, sorry no pun intended) I worked for all of the big Design Build Firms and and an equal number of small Plants, I helped design some large food Industry Plants, Petrochemical Plants, have been overseas on training missions, I am not a devil worshiper, I have a College Degree in Construction Management, I raised 3 kids and a good old dog Polly. I would love to go back to work, except now I have an incurable disease from my Military Service in a WAR that lost 58,122. My Honorable Service got me the education. So basically I'm not the only one out of work, and thanks to our elected Officials who endorced NAFTA and GATT some 18 years ago, allowed H1B Visas to come and take our work. I wish that the Congressmen and Senators were "outsourced". to a low cost center in China or wherever and revoke their passports. The good old USA aint what she used to be, a land of EQUAL opportunity. 22 Veteran suicides a day, 24 X 7, because they can't get jobs or training. Our Government is a cancerous disease,
A bow to all of you millionaires, it's funny how these PAC's ask me for $3, now what in the Sam hell can you do with $3? That's like a whisp of JP4 fuel for Air Force One that goes to Hawaii and Florida, while there are 900 homeless children in the Streets of Washington DC. The NRA contributed $27 million to Obamas reelction campaign, now tell me more about yappin about gun control. Well gotta go

March 13 2013 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hugo Chavez

You could be a substitute teacher knowing less than zero about anything and being borderline schizophrenic. And you could work every single day.

March 09 2013 at 2:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hugo Chavez's comment
scottt456

And basically pop in dvds and videos all day long because the teacher probably won't be leaving you much in the way of any real work to give and teach. Plus, you can enjoy the time off during teacher planning since obviously you have nothing to plan. In my area of the country, it's possible for a person with a 4-year degree to make anywhere from $14-$17+ an hour substituting depending on the length of the gig. This is not a bad way to go while still trying to find a job in your chosen field.

March 09 2013 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PLW

Hey! I think that's my SIL!!!!

March 09 2013 at 6:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
welcome timothy

His main downfall will most likely be his fame. The smartest people on this Earth are those who can make their wealth and nobody knows who they are. That's true brilliance. To be rich and famous is a trade off many people are forced to make. However, to be poor and famous is the worst of all worlds and that would be a true fool.

March 09 2013 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

You are so adorable in that get up! Thanks for your advice and congratulations on meeting your goal.

March 09 2013 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
El Presidente

Geez, just what we need more of in NY - a professional self-promoter.

March 09 2013 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dude

See, America doesn't have an unemployment problem. We have an "I don't want to work" problem. If you want a job, you can find a job.

March 09 2013 at 12:16 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dude's comment
scottt456

In part, because the government freebies far out weigh that of entry-level jobs. the way to solve that, of course, is not by raising the minimum wage, but rather cutting back on free stuff. The Bible says if a man not provide for his family, he is worse than an infidel.

March 09 2013 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NORMA R MAYBERRY

hay whats up/

March 08 2013 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scottt456

At the age of 44, I took the hobby of juggling & magic and turned it into a PT gig. Neighbors thought I had gone mad. My first gig was at a daycare center where I got $50. I had to spend $37 of that to buy a traveling bag with wheels to put my stuff in. Today, seven years later, having survived a bad economy and a heck of a lot of other problems, I perform over 100 shows a year. That PT gig is now my main source of income. I always let people know that we all have talents and abilities. The last chapter has yet to be written on any person reading this. Find out your GOD-given special gifts and go out there and make the world a better place.

March 08 2013 at 11:19 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
highskiesdrifter

I tried a lot of different jobs in my younger days & seriously thought how cool it would be to somehow line up a different job to go to every day of the week, it'd never get boring.
Counting each of the receipts & work tickets for various things performed on vehicles wouldn't exactly qualify as having different jobs. LOL

March 08 2013 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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