Clearly your experience, connections, skills, and education make you the right fit, so why aren’t the doors of opportunity swinging wide open? In fact, in some cases, the person hiring has seen you in action and knows what you’re capable of doing. So, what gives?

Why don’t you have a list of companies itching to hire you now? Is it because you need more education? Maybe, but unlikely. Is it because you need to network a little more? Probably not. Is it related to your lack of experience? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Several months ago, I met Mike, a traditional business development guy who recently parted ways with his employer. As part of his job search, he reached out to several people he had met over the last couple of years and asked to get together. I was one of the people he contacted.

Shortly after getting the skinny on what had happened and where he’s headed next, I asked a question many people struggle with when trying to achieve success:

“What’s your greatest challenge with yourself, Mike? Where do you get in your own way?”

Then I shared a few of my own personal opportunities for growth as an example. He nodded, and with that, he opened up a little and shared.

“It’s easy for me to help others make introductions, but talking about and selling myself is hard.”

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s just easier to sell other people or businesses than it is to sell myself. I just want to find a job so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

“Why is it hard to sell yourself? You have worked with dozens of CEOs in this area. You have a strong list of connections, and the kind of job you’re looking for needs someone with strong relationships. I don’t get, Mike. Help me out.”

After a bit of back and forth, he told me about a great opportunity that was set for the next morning at 11am. He was going to be introduced to a group of 100 CEOs, all with the potential to hire him.

“What do I say? ‘Hi, I’m Mike, and I’m looking for a job.’”

Mike’s persistent use of the words “I’m looking for a job” reminded me of a quote by one of my greatest mentors, the late Jim Rohn. “You don’t get paid by the hour in any job. You get paid by the value you put into the hour.”

After I shared that quote with Mike, I suggested that he stop looking for a job or trying to sell himself. Instead, I encouraged him to look for ways to add more value. Rather than talk about himself, focus on the value he can bring to the CEO’s and their companies.

Money and opportunity follow value every time. If you’re focused on finding a job, making more money, or getting sponsored, you’re focused on the same thing everyone else is focused on, and that’s why you’re not getting noticed.

The real reason you’re not landing the job, or the opportunity you want, is because you’re not communicating, or sharing, your value. Heck, most of us don’t even know our own value. How are we supposed to communicate our value when we don’t know what it is?

If you want to land your dream opportunity, start with this question: what value do I bring that is company really needs? How do I know they need the value I have to offer? Once you get clear on their needs, find ways to help them eliminate their challenges and get the outcomes that are the most important to them.

Ziglar is right—you can “have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

So, step one: Discover Your Value. When you leave your value in the hands of others to decide, you diminish your self-esteem. Self-worth comes from self-awareness, which comes from learning about yourself. Remember: there are no “good” or “bad” qualities, so simply focus on discovering the topics, industries, and jobs that interest you.

Step two: Share Your Value, Without Expectations. By all means, communicate your dreams/desires—the specific opportunities you want—and then give, because people hire hustlers who love their work so much that they’re willing to do what it takes to get it noticed.

Do these two steps over and over and watch as they line up to hire you now.


Join The Conversation: Have you ever noticed a need, and simply filled it? What was the outcome?