Taking Initiative with Trash

by Joe Lavelle on September 20, 2009

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garbage can

In this current economy, it is not likely that you are going to have employers lining up to offer you a dream job.  In fact, more often than not, you will find that hundreds of qualified applicants are vying for the same position.  Now more than ever, the demonstration of initiative, work ethic, and aggressive networking are essential to your professional advancement.  You cannot send out a few resumes and then sit back with your feet up and wait for the big paycheck.  This may mean putting yourself out there in ways that you never expected, but that just might provide that single moment that a potential employer may remember.

I was reading through JibberJobber.com recently, which is one of the blogs that I visit regularly.  Last week featured a post with an inspiring story that teaches some important lessons.  It links to an article in which a writer shares his encounter with a stranger who knocked on his door.  The man at the door explained that he had recently lost his job in sales and was tired of being unemployed.  He then offered to scrub the writer’s garbage can for $10, or two cans for $15.  After further conversation, this door-to-door entrepreneur revealed that he often makes $300 to $400 a day cleaning trash cans.  Is this his ideal job?  Probably not.  But, he spotted the need for an unmet service and seized the opportunity.

With his background and his willingness to market himself as a scrubber of trash cans, this man just may arrive at the doorstep of a business owner who is looking for someone with drive and ingenuity to join his company.  I certainly would be interested in learning more about someone who was not willing to accept being unemployed and not too proud to fill a need that some would think to be beneath them.  He thought of a unique service, determined the most effective way to market this service, and has found success from his efforts.  Sounds like a great job candidate to me!

In my upcoming book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, I detail many of the characteristics that are appealing in a job applicant, and the entrepreneur who cleans garbage cans embodies many of them.  I hope you will check out my book when it is released.  In the meantime, spend a few moments thinking about untapped markets that you might be able to reach!

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