The little known trick to getting your foot in the door is to step up, raise your hand, and add value by picking up the tasks that no one else seems to want to do.
When I transition from football and entered the entrepreneurship arena at OSU, I made it a goal to put myself out there and meet many people. This created many opportunities, one of which came in the form of CoStartOSU.
I’d gotten connected to Krystal Geyer as a result of attending several TCO/CoStart events. She noticed my desire to be a part of the startup scene and brought to my attention that CoStart needed new leadership.
The past leaders were only lasting a year before moving on or graduating. And no one else had stepped up nor was there a succession plan already in place.
Without hesitation, I threw my name into the hat and soon after took up the daunting task of reviving CoStart.
This little move, of raising my hand and providing value to Krystal by eliminating the stress/worry of having to spend more time trying to find someone to do the volunteer job, really opened up doors for me.
I can’t count the number of priceless connections I was able to make as a student leader involved with the TCO. That one move was also the cornerstone to Krystal and I’s continued friendship and mentoring.
When you step up and provide value/offer to help by solving a problem for someone, some group, some company, (and deliver on that offer!) without being obsessed about what’s in it for you, you foster a relationship of trust and accountability.
They then become more willing to send greater opportunities your way as a result of the goodwill you’ve developed.
So if you’re trying to get your foot in the door of, say, your dream company, think about how you can first provide value even before being hired.
Take for example the story of Stefan Stokic.
This drew Sacca’s attention on twitter when it was shared on ProductHunt and landed Stokic an internship at the firm as well as a close relationship with Sacca.
You don’t have to do exactly as he did, but think about what you can uniquely offer as value, then go do it and let them know what you did.
It helps to be creative in your value-offer. But most importantly, you need to provide value that reduces stress or relieves a problem for them.