How to Elevate Your Employability, Part 2

Approachability is about increasing the probability.

Of getting noticed.
Of getting remembered.
Of getting what matters most.

And for millions of people right now, that means getting and keeping a job.

According to this month’s report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has reached a staggering level of nine and half percent.


Fortunately, there is way to increase the probability of employment.

No, I’m not talking about bringing a handgun to your interview.

That doesn’t work. Just ask my ex-girlfriend.

The real secret is to make yourself more employable.My name is Scott, and I’ve never had a real job.

I started my company the day I graduated college and never looked back.

But I have dedicated every waking hour of the past decade to experimenting, experiencing and educating on approachability.

And if you do it right, approachability converts into employability.

Tired of watching Law & Order reruns all day? Here’s part two (read part one here!) of a collection of employability skills to help you increase the probability of getting – and keeping – a job:

1. Assertive trumps aggressive. Assertion is based on respect for yourself without justifying, claiming or withholding. It’s about becoming a public spokesperson for your values. It’s about engaging your backbone to solidify your boundaries. And it’s about being proactive instead of lapsing into passivity.

If you want to rock the boat without sinking the ship, try this: Don’t accept passively what is happening as the only way. Good naturedly test the limits. Become known as someone who takes action quickly, but without tramping people along the way.

Remember: Companies keep people who initiate. People who can travel without a map. After all: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. What is the cost of nonassertiveness?

2. Intellect trumps smarts. Any idiot can be smart. Real job security comes from being an intellectual. Here’s the difference: Smart people have all the answers; intellectuals ask all the questions. Smart people study content for the purposes of memorization; intellectuals entertain ideas for the purpose of democratization.

And smart people accumulate facts; intellectuals explore ideas, extract universal truths from their experiences – then use those lessons to make other people better.

That’s the kind of person companies want to hire: Someone whose mind can plug itself a variety of workplace equations. Someone who can step back from the corporate canvas and say, “Wait a minute. Does anyone else smell that?”

Think of it this way: Companies, much like baseball teams, pay the most money to hire athletes – not shortstops. How many positions do you play?

3. Why trumps how. Anyone can learn how to do anything. But if they’re not in touch with why they’re doing it, the lack of vision will stain every part of the process. That’s what employers are looking for: People who are plastered with purpose. People who are the walking translation of their vision.

If you want to tap into the reservoir of whypower and pinpoint the deepest motivations behind what you do, try this exercise: Make a list of a hundred reasons why you do what you do. Keep a copy in your wallet. And on your next interview, pull it out and read it. I’m serious.

People won’t just pay attention – they’ll pay money.

The point is: You can teach a monkey how to email, but you can’t teach it why the message important. Will overrides skill. Demonstrate a deep enough purpose behind your work and you can invent the technique of your work. Are you at war with how when you need to be in love with why?

4. Commitment trumps talent. I’m not saying competence is overrated – I’m saying competence is commonplace. What differentiates you is your dedication. What keeps you around is your commitment.

Those are the people that companies retain and promote: The ones with a proven history consistent commitment. Period. Talent is so last century. Now it’s merely an assumption. A commodity. And if it’s the only thing you bring to the table, you will be ignored.

On the other hand, if you compound talent with commitment – and communicate to the people who matter most that you’re fully committed – they won’t just pay attention, they’ll pay dividends. All you need is a commitment device. Because if your commitment isn’t symbolized, memorialized and personified in a tangible way, you’re just winking in the dark. Which of your fears are diminishing your commitment?

5. Passion trumps leadership. To make yourself more employable, you don’t need a title on the outside – you need a burning fire on the inside. That’s the thing about employability: It doesn’t matter who you know, it matters whose life is better because they know you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader, it matters is how many people are warming their hands by your fire.

Here’s how to ignite the flame: The word “passion” comes from the Latin passio, which means, “to suffer.” Therefore, the two questions you have to ask yourself are: What would you suffer to do? What would cause you suffering if you did not do it?

That’s passion. And if you can uniquely infect people with that fire every time you interact with them, they won’t even care what title you hold. True power comes from personhood. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

REMEMBER: You can’t make anybody hire you.

What you can do is increase the probability of getting a job by making yourself more employable.

And you won’t even need a handgun.

How employable are you?

For the list called, “37 Things Not To Do This Year,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

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