Pick your nose, please

I don’t actually mean pick your nose; I just mean, pick you. Pick yourself. Choose to be the one for the job. Be the solution.

I remember Earl Nightingale generously sharing a story about a friend of his who essentially sailed through the Great Depression. He was one of the few to get a job during the early 30’s, instead of losing one. The reason was simple: he saw a need and decided to be the solution. The story goes, as Earl’s friend looked around, he realized that the plight of the local business owner was just as severe as that of the lines of people outside asking “I’ll do anything, just give me a job.” Unfortunately, many business owners became so overwhelmed with applicants that they hung signs in the windows that read: “Not Hiring.” This was a negative form of advertising, and didn’t only turn away applicants, but potential customers also.

Earl’s friend took a path that not many took. First, he chose which industry he would like to make a living in; something that interested him in the first place. Then, he devoured the books in the local library that covered the topics related to the industry. Finally, he brainstormed potential solutions to the problems this particular industry faced. When he approached the owner of the company of choice, he said something like this: “I believe I know of several ways in which your business could be radically improved and I’d like to share them with you.” Here he was, offering the one thing on earth the owner was so desperately looking for. Needless to say, he got the job.

It’s incredible how far our economy is from fifteen years ago, much less since the Depression. The Industrial structure is crumbling, and Connection is taking its place. But the approach our Linchpin friend took still holds water today. It simply requires emotional labor. Seeing beyond the immediate. Looking from someone else’s point of view. A bit of caring within our work.

I’m an advocate of initiative. The interesting thing about initiative is that no one gives it to you; you have to take it. There is it. Take it. Taking it is picking yourself.

Maybe don’t pick your nose though. At least not during the interview.

Liked this post that had nothing to do with personal hygiene? You might like this one about standing out!


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