Give Others the Opportunity to Help You

I was in Rhode Island last Friday giving a workshop on Promoting Your Brand to Rhode Island Networking to Open Doors to Jobs. I arrived early and was, therefore, able to sit in on the facilitated networking exercise at one table. All of the people at the table were highly qualified and competent individuals who held director or executive level positions before being laid off.

The facilitator at the table asked each person to give a little information about their background, their strengths and expertise, and what kind of position they were seeking. I was impressed how well each person articulated their strengths and what types of companies and jobs they were targeting for employment. Everyone around the table responded enthusiastically with potential contacts and leads for their colleagues.

We worked our way around the table to one woman who told the group that she was an architect and was now in limbo and trying to decide what she wanted to do going forward. She told the group that at this time she was looking for any type of job. Interestingly enough, the group who had previously been so helpful to others, now remained quiet. They simply did not know how to respond.

The lesson from this is: People really want to help. In fact, most people are eager to assist you in getting a new job or getting clients, but YOU need to give them enough information so that they CAN help. When we are vague and unclear about what we want ourselves, we cannot expect others to come up with the answers for us.

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, the more specific you can be about who is your target audience, the easier it is for people to refer business.

If you are looking for new employment, be clear about what type of company you want to work for and what kind of position you are seeking.

People sincerely want to help. Give them the opportunity to be helpful.

Bonnie Marcus

Bonnie Marcus is a Certified Executive Coach. With 25 years of sales and management experience, Bonnie has an extensive business background that includes VP of Sales at several national companies as well as CEO of a national healthcare company. She has held executive positions in startup companies and Fortune 500 companies. As the founder and principal of Women’s Success Coaching, Bonnie’s specialty is helping women in business achieve success and maximize their potential. She assists women with promoting themselves effectively in order to advance their careers and grow their businesses. Bonnie is well known for her motivational speaking and innovative workshops.

More Posts - Website


  1. says

    Hi Bonnie,

    Great post! I agree–people do want to help…but we have to first be clear on what we want. When I initially started out as a coach, I got very specific on what my ideal client looked like (a professional woman wanting to go from good to great!), and would you believe that that is now the only type of prospective client referred to me? Perfect! But I believe it’s because I’ve said loudly to the world: “I love working with business women who want to shine!” Pretty cool stuff. And the Law of Attraction certainly comes into play as well.

    Thanks for this great reminder!

  2. says

    Michelle and Pixie,
    thank you for your comments! Pixie, I did spend some time coaching this woman after the presentation and she is very resourceful and will knows what she needs to do.
    Michelle, I agree that the more specific you can be about what clients you want to attract, the more you will attract those clients!