How to Get the Job You Want

The service you perform in your daily work is a commodity and you must try to market it to the best advantage.  Notice, please, that I did not say “at the highest possible price.”  The best job offered you may not always be the one with the biggest pay.  Others may hold greater chances for advancement or more opportunity to learn, to gain experience, and to prepare yourself for higher positions.
Always take the long range view in job-hunting.  Look for opportunities rather than a mere immediate subsistence.  Here’s the way one man went hunting for opportunity rather than waiting for it to knock on his door:
When he graduated from an Eastern engineering college, John Wesley Ashton decided to market his services with the same skill a businessman puts into marketing his products.  First he decided what kind of position he wanted and the amount of salary he desired.  Then he inserted the following advertisement in all the daily newspapers he could afford:
“Mr. Top Executive in the engineering field:  Are you willing to let a graduate engineer demonstrate what he can be worth to you by working for one month without pay?  I can bring you loyalty, dependability, patience, ability to get along with others harmoniously, a power house of enthusiasm a pleasing personality, punctuality and an enduring passion to learn as I earn as well as a scholastic record as summa cum laude graduate in engineering.”
The advertisement drew more than 300 replies!  And an executive of United States Steel Corp. wrote:  “Meet me at our headquarters in New York next Wednesday and, if you are as good as you say, you may as well bring your baggage and be prepared to go with me to one of our plants.”
Ashton’s approach was so unique it was certain to attract attention.  The offer to work a month without pay was a challenge to business executives.  It proved he was more interested in demonstrating what he had to give than in what he hoped to get out of the job.  And the personal traits he listed, instead of sounding boastful, told the prospective employer what he hoped to prove about himself in the month of gratis work.
At his interview with the steel executive, Ashton handed over a neatly-typed leatherbound brochure telling everything about himself–education, church and club affiliations, hobbies, news items about himself from his college paper, and personal data.  It also included a late picture and a list of references including the pastor of his church and the president of his bank.
Ashton got the job and he didn’t have to work the month without pay.  It was agreed that his salary would be fixed by mutual agreement at the end of the first month after he had demonstrated his ability.  Even so, John Wesley Ashton took the job at $100 a month lass that he was offered by another employer–because he recognized that the post has almost unlimited opportunities for promotion.
This account of Ashton’s approach should stimulate your ingenuity in applying for work in any field of endeavor.  Use your imagination.  Ask yourself these questions:
How can I attract a busy executive’s attention? How can I offer to demonstrate the value of my services?
Be sure not to oversell yourself.  Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.  Exaggeration is at best a shaky foundation on which to build a career.  Instead, let the boss be pleasantly surprised to discover that you are giving him even more than you said you would–and it may push you another rung up the ladder.
Source:  Success Unlimited.  February 1963.  Pages 28 & 29. Napoleon Hill

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