Monday, I start a new job, but I wasn’t actively looking for a new job.
In fact, over the last month, while I wasn’t actively looking for a new job, I’ve had 5 job offers. Solid job offers. Some of them came after I announced I was leaving.
How does that happen?
First, I’m good at what I do. At my last job, the company that developed the software system I managed would refer other customers to me if they wanted to do something the software wasn’t designed to do. I had a reputation for doing the impossible.
Second, I give it away. When somebody asks me for help, I do. When I can, I try to share as much of my knowledge as possible. I don’t hoard what I know, scared that somebody will steal it. That has led to a number of people who make it a habit to call me before pitching an idea or moving forward on a new strategy. “Jason, is this possible? What would it take?” If I can, I answer those questions, even if I’m not going to be doing the work.
Third, I’m not afraid of my limits. If I don’t know the answer, I say so. If I don’t know how to find the answer, I say that, too. Admitting you don’t know something automatically makes everything else you say sound more credible.
In the case of the job I’ve accepted, I was available for my new supervisor for more than a year before he started with the company. I helped him plan the websites and social media strategies around his book. When he accepted his job, our next conversation progressed from “Let me ask you something” to “I’d like to hire you” over the course of a lunch because of the long foundation we had together. At every step of the interview process, I continued to share. As we discussed the website, the social media, the marketing plans, I gave my feedback as thoroughly as possible, before I had a job offer.
Giving away my knowledge and experience with no expectations has consistently helped me to improve myself and my situation. It helps that I enjoy being helpful. I kind of dig being treated like an expert, too.
How about you? Do you share selflessly, or do you keep what you know to yourself?