Adopt the "How Can I Help?" Attitude

job search Feb 23, 2021

Looking for a job using traditional methods frequently leads to isolation, despair, and rejection. Traditional methods dictate spending hours alone scanning online job boards and online postings of job opportunities. Then, people spend additional time working on resumes and submitting online applications only to receive automatic rejections indicating they do not meet the requirements.

The focus of those methods create an environment of constantly putting yourself on display only to suffer rejection. Consistent messages that you do not meet requirements sows doubt, frustration, and despair. Time spent in front of computers, rather than talking to people, contributes to a sense of isolation. The few personal connections lead to dead-end and closed-ended questions "Are you hiring?", "Do you know anyone who is hiring?", or "Would you look at my resume?" We advocate a different approach and attitude.

Instead of begging for a job, we suggest adopting the "how can I help?" attitude. The "how can I help?" attitude begins with the recognition that you possess skills, experiences, and successes that companies may need to achieve their goals and resolve their challenges. The altruistic, charitable desire to help others leads to wanting to discover which companies need your help. It replaces beginning conversations about yourself (which feels uncomfortable) with asking people about themselves, their goals, their needs, and their desires (which feels much more comfortable). The "how can I help?" attitude, when truly internalized, motivates you to contact people.

We need to state, however, that the self-centered job seeker identity reasserts itself throughout the search. Reevaluate your attitude when it begins to feel uncomfortable. Typically, you will find that you reverted to job seeker thinking that indicates "I can't just call people and talk to them. It's just not done." You will usually discover that your motivation shifted from "how can I help?" to the desperation and isolation of "I've got to get a job". "How can I help?" succeeds better. You will get a great job faster--and you will enjoy the journey. Try it.

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