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Daily Job Search Advice from the CEO of Preferred Resumes

Take Small Actions and Meet Others
By Harrison Barnes  

When I was in law school, I was standing in a bar one day and the most beautiful girl I’d seen around campus walked up to me and said:

“I’m just wondering why you never come up to me and try to talk to me. Every other guy I see around at parties does.”

Five years later, we were married. She was right, I might have never walked up to her and introduced myself had she not taken this action herself. Imagine for a moment if she hadn’t walked up to me. The course of both of our lives would have been radically different. The idea that our lives can literally be transformed by these small actions is something that amazes me because it happens all the time and everywhere. Who we become, what we do, and what happens with our lives is often controlled by small actions of stepping up and meeting various individuals we normally might not choose to meet.

Your greatest successes will come from taking some of the smallest actions in terms of meeting people. In meeting one person, you can literally change the course of your career and life. It’s the small action of meeting new people and introducing yourself to others that’s going to transform your destiny. It’s almost impossible for any one person to shape the outcome of their life without the assistance of others. We need others to reach our full potential. The more people you can meet and connect with, the more of a “stacking effect” this is going to have. People are something you need to really reach your full potential in anything.

I’ve hired hundreds of people throughout my career. I have also gotten thousands of people jobs. There have been several occasions in my career when someone has walked up to me and said something such as: “Hello Harrison. I’m really familiar with your work and would love to work with you. I want nothing more that to work with you, and would love to sit down with you and discuss a future with you.”

This has happened before; however, it’s not happened that often. When this has happened, the people who have simply approached me with profound interest in working for me, have more often than not been hired. I hire them because I know they are committed and they’ve gone out of their way to meet me and speak with me about working for me. This is a huge risk people take. Sometimes, it’s not rewarded and others times it is. Most of the time it is.

You simply cannot take it personally if people do not react positively to you when you walk up to them. You just keep moving on. The best people socially do this because they know the rewards for meeting people and forming friendships and connections far outweigh the drawbacks of not making connections.

I remember several months ago, my wife and I were at my daughter’s preschool and she started talking to a woman who seemed quite aloof and had a lot of confidence. My wife was being extremely nice to her and doing everything within her power to make a connection. As we were leaving, my wife told the woman she would love to get together shortly and tried to exchange contact information with the woman. To my astonishment, the woman blew off my wife, and didn’t provide any information. She also avoided the invitation to get together.

“Sure!  I understand!” my wife said smiling. My wife has tons of friends and is an extremely happy person. She didn’t appear to care one bit that the woman blew her off. My wife makes friends wherever she goes, and she understands that some people are simply going to be rude.

A few weeks later, I was looking through a magazine and saw the woman who had blown her off in the society section of the magazine together with various celebrities and others. This woman apparently moved in some “important” circles, and felt like she needed to be “aloof” with my wife. Who cares? It’s not something to worry about.

When I was in high school, I went out of my way to meet the admissions officer of the college I wanted to go to and spent time getting to know him. This paid off and I got into my first choice of college.

Something I’ve noticed is many people are clammed up. They are afraid to go outside of the shell they are in. I can think of many times in my own life where I’ve been like this. However, it is the times when I haven’t been clammed up and have allowed myself to open up and introduce myself to new people, places, and things that my life and career have been transformed. Thinking back on this, the occasions where I’ve opened up have been more rare and infrequent than the times where I’ve been withdrawn.

What you need to realize is that when you are withdrawn, nothing is going to happen. People cannot approach you when you are withdrawn, and you cannot connect with people, either. Nothing happens to people who are withdrawn.

How many people have you walked up to in your life and introduced yourself to, only to find years later that they are a part of your life? People are something that can transform us and bring a tremendous amount of depth to our lives. We need to make the extra call. Go the extra distance to meet people. Make the extra contact. You need to do everything within your power to connect with as many people as possible. This is the key to really making things happen in your life. This is what is going to change who you become and where you go.

Much of life and what we do is controlled by and occurs in small moments. Many of the smallest moments out there are something that can have a profound impact on the course of our lives. It is the small things we do and the small risks we take that often have the largest impact on our lives and what happens to us. In our lives, it is incredibly important that we create these small moments that are going to impact our lives. I have so many small moments in my life that have changed the course of my life and career. So many small decisions that have changed the course of my destiny. You, too, likely have many of these small moments in your life, and it is these small moments that you have created in the past and will create in the future that will shape your destiny.

I want you to think about some of the small moments in your life that have shaped who you are and who you have become:

  • Introducing yourself to a spouse
  • Meeting someone for the first time
  • Sending an application to an employer
  • Deciding to go somewhere
  • Deciding to take or not take a job
These small actions can all change who you become and what happens to your life. One simple act of introducing yourself to someone can make a massive difference. Get outside of your shell and meet others.


Your greatest successes will come from some of the smallest actions in terms of meeting people. You will cause a “stacking effect” the more you meet and connect with people; conversely, people cannot connect with you when you are withdrawn and nothing will happen. You must do everything in your power to connect with as many people as possible.

Read More About Always Try and Accept Invitations to Spend Time Outside of Work With Colleagues:

The post Take Small Actions and Meet Others first appeared on Harrison Barnes.

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