I want to share with you a discovery that I made that has proven over and over again. It’s not really a new concept but people tend to forget about it.
The #1 tool to get job interviews is called initiative and whoever uses it right, will win, every time.
No matter how much you plan, think, educate yourself and talk about something, nothing is going to happen if you don’t act. Without actions there are no results.
If a top athlete plans his action, creates a strategy, reviews the track over and over again but does not take action when the starting signal appears, all his planning is useless.
If a job seeker creates a LinkedIn account, sends in his CV for advertised jobs but does not reach out to people and lead the process, it all goes to waste.
Doing always beats whining, thinking, complaining and worrying. Planning is important but never forget to act.
How to Take Initiative
Here are some examples of taking initiative:
The Business Development Director who calls his peer at the company he wants to work for, to get to know how he got into this job and what the “Dos” and “Don’ts” are.
The Scientist who goes for lunch with his former boss and asks him who he knows in the industry who could be hiring somebody like him.
The Finance Manager who reaches out to potential hiring managers on LinkedIn and explains why he is unique and how the company could benefit from his talents and attitude.
The Retail Executive who got referred to a CEO in his industry and sends him a book directly through Amazon with a note that says “I received your name from Johnny Walker and thought this could be interesting to you.”.
The IT Specialist who organizes small events to talk about the future of the niche expertise he is working in and invites potential hiring managers to participate and speak there.
The Economics Student who starts a blog on his first day at university and interviews a new industry expert every month to publish a video of the interview in his blog posts.
These are all examples of people who take initiative. I am certain that all of them have much higher chances of achieving Career Excellence than anybody who follows the beaten path.
If you think these examples are too risky for you or you don’t feel like a public speaker or a blogger, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What’s the worst thing that can happen from those actions?
2. What’s the best thing that can happen from those actions?
Now compare them and decide for yourself if you want to keep following the boring path of the mainstream or if you want to prove yourself that you can lead the process.
A Real Life Example
On Wednesday 20th March, some of you have met me in person at the Career Excellence Meetup in Zurich.
This meetup was not organized by me, I was invited to speak there from one of my readers. Diogo took initiative and took over an existing Meetup group that has been abandoned. He reached out to me and asked me if I would be willing to speak at the event and of course, I was thrilled. I invited the jordico community and over 50 people showed up in person.
What were the results for Diogo:
- I blog about him and thousands of people will read his story and some will reach out to him
- He was the main VIP of the event as the organizer and everybody wanted to get to know him
- He got in front of HR people, people from his industry and others he connected with at the event
- I met Diogo in person and saw his leadership abilities in action and would recommend him to anyone in my network whenever I see a benefit for both sides
Not so bad for the first event he organized with that group. Diogo has proven his leadership abilities because the main question for him was not “How can this event help me?” but “How can I connect people and create value?”.
Why Taking Initiative Works
Most people never take initiative. Most people will read this article and move on with whatever they do without changing anything. Most people will keep applying for advertised jobs as their only strategy. Don’t be most people.
I have talked to hundreds of English speaking job seekers in Switzerland and most of them keep applying for jobs even though they know it’s probably a wast of their time because reaching out to people would be much more effective.
That’s exactly why taking initiative works, because almost nobody else does it. Will you do it?
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