When all of your search efforts have gone by the way side, do you ever feel like holding up a sign across your chest with the words emblazoned in big red letters, “Try Me!” When all else fails there is nothing like bold advertising. But when you think about it, what harm would there really be if you let them try you for free?
I’m not an advocate of giving your talents away under any circumstances. But there comes a time in anyone’s job search attempts to compromise and offer up creative opportunities to get a foot in the door. This is probably as important for those starting out in their careers as it is for those who’ve been at it for a while and who believe they have something coming to them. Living up to your potential is great, but letting someone know what you are capable of is not only a smart move but could help move your career along the right path.
When you are not faced with too many options, you might want to think about offering up your services on a “try me” basis. Think of projects, events or promotions that the company you are interviewing with is handing and come up with some ideas on how you might be able to offer up some advice, suggestions or free resources. Even if it’s making a referral to someone else that could help them for a project opens yourself to opportunities even though you may not know where they may lead. Holding yourself back because you think it’s not smart to help someone else out is not going to land you any allies in your job search.
Reaching out in an effort to expose yourself to new and interesting opportunities that can hopefully advance your career is the best way to go without thinking about, “What’s in it for me?” Of course, your goal is to make things happen for yourself but you can’t do that if you are busy worrying why no one is calling you back and kicking yourself for not getting the job offer your colleague just got.
The “try me” method helps you think creatively about ways to expand your skill set to meet the needs of a company or potential client when they might not have the available resources to hire you full time. Just because the job isn’t posted, doesn’t mean there isn’t a job! You need to think outside your normal way of approaching your job search and offer yourself up to help when there is a need and no resources. I’m not saying to work for free for months at a time, but maybe offer yourself up for a couple of hours to help out at an event, or sit in on a meeting to offer some ideas on a new project the company is launching. The point is if you want people to notice you and offer you a job, offering yourself up first is a good way to approach that. Besides, not many people get married after the first date, so the try me method offers you both a way to test the waters before committing.