Most people apply for jobs the conventional way – sitting behind a computer and adopting the spray-and-pray approach to sending out resumes/applications. Here’s how Alex, an international student, got a job without going through the formal application process.

My friend’s colleague, Gerard, who is the CEO of an online educational disruptor,, met Alex at a networking event.

Alex ended up taking the tram part of the way home with Gerard.

Along the way, Alex just asked straight out if there was anything he could do to help with the business.

Alex then followed up with Gerard twice over the next couple of weeks.

Eventually, Gerard got Alex to work on a small project which led to him working for

Amazing right?

Let’s break it down to see how this works and how you can learn from this approach.

1. Get out there and put yourself out there

Don’t just stick to applying for work at home. Most of the jobs aren’t even advertised online. Job opportunities are usually spread internally and by word-of-mouth even before a job advertisement is being posted.

So get out there, attend events and meet new people.

This way, you would be building up your self-confidence and professional network.

For Alex, he didn’t just go through the formalities of networking events. He made the deliberate effort to reach out to Gerard, the CEO of the company he’s interested in, and engaged in meaningful conversations.

2. Add value

Honestly, no one cares about what you want. Seriously.

The marketplace doesn’t care about your jobless desperation, your need to pay rent, your anxiety about your career, etc.

However, the marketplace cares about how much value you can bring. What you can offer. What you can contribute. What you can bring to the table.

Notice that Alex didn’t ask Gerard “Do you have a job for me?” or even “Would your company be hiring at the moment?”

He simply asked Gerard “How can I help you with your business?”

And when Gerard saw that Alex could bring real and good value to the company, a project was presented to Alex. And eventually, a work opportunity.

3. Take action

Like mentioned in the first point, you’ve got to be proactive and take action.

It’s not easy and sometimes it’s inconvenient – that’s why it is outside of your comfort zone. However, your success lies outside of your comfort zone.

If you want to get to where you haven’t been before, you’ve got to do things you have never done before.

Albert Einstein said this “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So many people are insane – wanting their outcome and prospects to change while not being willing to change their action/strategy.

So take appropriate action.

If you want massive success, you’ve got to take massive action.

If you never ask, you would never know.

Alex made the effort to reach out and connect with Gerard, and was willing to offer his time and energy to work on a project which didn’t guarantee a job outcome.

But that didn’t stop Alex because he was interested in the company and was keen to add value.

Sometimes you’ve got to give first, before you receive.


What are you going to do differently about your current career situation?

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