I ALWAYS find it quite disturbing when someone asks me to help them get a job and when I inquire what kind of job they want they say, “Any job will do for me”. To dramatically express my disappointment I always shoot back: “Are you are ready to do any job including prostitution and killing people for money?” It’s then that they always realise that actually they are not looking for ‘any’ job, but rather a certain kind of job.
It’s so hard for a person to get a job if they have no specific area of skill and interest because that makes the employer doubt what value they can actually add to the organisation. At least someone desperate for a job would rather say: “I am looking for a job in accounts or marketing because that’s where I am most skilled and passionate, but I am also willing to take up new challenges in case of any other opportunities.” That would interest the employer and would possibly raise his/her curiosity as to what this jobseeker can do and thus give him/her a chance.
Being specific in what we want reduces the time and efforts that we spend to achieve our dreams. If you come to me and say “Bake, help me write a business plan for any business”, I won’t help you. I can only come in to help when I have an idea of your interest and passion and then help you build a business that suits your abilities. If I just plan for you ‘any’ business I may think of, but which you are not passionate about, when it fails you might have me to blame. Let’s get this principle today; to achieve anything you must first know what you want.
This principle of knowing what you want applies in various other fields, but allow me single out networking because it has become essential for success in this age. So whenever you are going to network with people, always make sure you are certain about what you want. When going to meet someone who has something significant that he/she can do for you, always go with a clear agenda. Don’t expect such a person to be the one to figure out what you need.
If you don’t know what you want someone else will not think for you. A friend of mine shared with me how she got an opportunity to meet a certain tycoon who is so social and helpful to many people. She arrived in time for the appointment, but when she reached his office she started asking how his family is, how business is, how work is and many other questions that were not really crucial. So after about 10 minutes, the tycoon said: “Thanks for visiting me. Can I now attend to the next person please?” So she left without asking for advice about her business idea, which is what had taken her there. Beware!
Robert Bake Tumuhaise is the MD, World of Inspiration, and Founder of the Authors’ Forum in Uganda.