Zig Ziglar—author and nationally renowned motivational speaker—has been known to say, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.” As a huge Zig fan, I couldn’t agree more. But, advocating giving-as-a-form-of-getting is not a new perspective, nor is it a relatively novel concept; in fact, it is just plain good karma – you do enough good things in this world, and the world is bound to listen.
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Generosity, on the other hand, has a bit of a different definition. Generosity means giving freely of yourself—your knowledge, expertise, time, or money—without expecting anything in return. Mastering generosity in the job search and truly expecting nothing in return is a challenge, particularly because the job search process is all about YOU in the first place, isn’t it?
No. A successful job search certainly is not.
In Keith Ferazzi’s bestselling book, Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, Keith announces, “the time of the Networking Jerk is over” and stresses we must “remember the number one key to success is generosity. Give your talents, give your contacts, and give your hard work to make others successful without keeping score.”
6 Ways To Implement A Generous Job Search
Here are six ways in which you can apply the generosity principle in your career/job search, without keeping score:
- End every networking conversation with, “How can I help you?”
- Refer a friend or colleague to a position for which you are not a fit.
- Send a relevant, timely, industry-specific article of interest to a colleague, mentor, hiring manager, or former colleague—just because.
- Launch an unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation campaign and find unique ways to endorse your most talented and trusted colleagues.
- Offer to mentor a job seeker trying to break into a new field, a graduating senior, or a new employee in your department and find ways to ease the career transition, or make a corporate culture feel less alienating.
- Follow the daily newsfeed on LinkedIn to stay abreast of promotions or job changes within your network; then send a personal, enthusiastic note of congratulations on the new venture in their career.
One fantastic outcome of social networking sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn is users are being generous in their online relationships: on Twitter in the form of a “Retweet” and on LinkedIn in the form of an “Answer.” Users are realizing the value of offering advice, sharing knowledge, and showcasing the talents of others, and are doing so generously and unselfishly.
In these relationships, both online and offline, it is essential to consider what’s in it for the other person, and the more generously you act without expecting anything in return (and suppress your inner “Networking Jerk”) the more successful you will be, especially in your job search.
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