Opportunity Creator: Helping Others

Opportunity Creator: Helping Others
Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Last week I was lucky enough to attend High Tech Connect's Celebrating Independents event where Peter Shankman was the keynote speaker. Peter's talk focused on the principle "Nice Finishes First." The thing that really struck me was when he said:

YOU SHOULDN’T FOCUS ON GETTING A JOB.
YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. 
— Peter Shankman

Now whether or not you believe in karma or good vibes, you can trust that when you spend most of your time doing good things for other people, good things will happen to you. Not because of some cosmic balance but because people like to help people they like. If you help someone, it's hard for them not to like you. This isn't a revolutionary idea but I think it can help in the pursuit of a j-o-b and other opportunities.

I saw a perfect example of this principle in a post by Kevin Donlin for the Undercover Recruiter. In his post he talks about how to prove that you're the perfect candidate by providing value to the company you want to work for before you're hired.

Imagine walking into an interview with a list of 100 clients ready to buy the product of the company you're interviewing with. What do you think your chances of getting hired would be? Pretty high, to say the least. But why? Because you helped the company by providing real value.

Don't go and think that because you're not in sales you have no way of providing value for a potential employer. Here's a few ideas to get you going:

  • Find the company's clients wherever they are online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and find out how they feel about the company. This type of information can provide insight to problems the company may or may not be aware of. Bring some proposed solutions to these problems with you and blow them away.

  • Read the company's blog posts for the last 6 months and understand the voice of the company. Then take a look at what they're missing that their clients might love to read about and write a sample blog post. Use your writing to show how well your voice and style can blend with the company's goals.

  • Put together a mini event where people who like the company's products come together. Take pictures, videos and comments then find an interesting way of posting them online. Walk into the interview with the website already up on your computer and walk out with a few new fans.

Regardless of what position you want, figure out what the company needs and then show them how you can fill that need. Provide value upfront. 

While this approach may not work 100% of the time in landing an immediate job or opportunity, it will pay off in helping you:

  • Provide value and prove yourself in a real way

  • Practice identifying problems and proposing solutions

  • Leave a lasting, positive impression with those you meet

All of that with no cosmic power required. 

What could you do this week to help someone?