It’s all about the Little Pink Spoon.
One of my all-time favorite summertime pleasures is going to Baskin-Robbins and trying out a few new flavors with those little pink spoons of theirs. Ninety percent of the time I just end up getting Rocky Road, but I always enjoy tasting a few other flavors before ordering my cone.
Why is Baskin-Robbins so willing to give away their product for free? It’s obvious: they hope that by giving us a free taste, we’ll end up buying a cup or a cone or a pint or a gallon. So they gladly give away millions of little pink spoonfuls in order to make many millions of dollars more in return. It’s the same reason movies show trailers, cosmetics companies offer samples, and car dealers offer test drives: people want to try before they buy.
So, how do you bring the Little Pink Spoon Principle into play in your job search? By giving a prospective employer a “free sample” of what you have to offer, you’ll dramatically improve your chances of success. Here are three ways to do it …
Show & Tell. Bring stuff in to the interview! Samples of work you’ve produced, reports or PowerPoint presentations you’ve created, photos of completed projects, great customer feedback you’ve received, an article or blog post you wrote are all great things to show off. Just because you are not an artist doesn’t mean that you can’t put together a “portfolio” of your work. Make sure that the samples you show are of high quality and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Because so few people outside the design world do this, your proactivity and creativity will help you stand out from the crowd.
Show What You Can Do. Rather than just sitting there passively answering the interviewer’s questions, demonstrate your ability to do the job as if you’ve already started! Ask about a real-world business challenge they’re currently facing, put on your “consultant hat,” and explore possible solutions. You may not solve the puzzle right then and there, but you’ll show that you can think on your feet, that you understand their business and the position at hand, and that you are ready, willing, and able to hit the ground running. You might even email them your ideas after the interview along with your thank-you note. It will show that you really care about the job and, again, give them a taste of what you’re capable of.
Show Them That You Really Want the Job. Are you willing to work for free? Well, maybe not – you do have to earn a living, and don’t want to undervalue yourself. But, just as you would want to taste a new flavor before purchasing a whole cone, the prospective employer might be on the fence about taking the plunge and hiring you. Might there be some way for you to get your foot in the door and prove yourself in a lower-risk/lower-commitment way? It’s not always possible, but what if you could start out as a volunteer or intern, or in a temp-to-perm situation? Could you possibly come in as a consultant to work on a project, or on a no-risk, 90-day trial basis? Be creative and open to out-of-the-box possibilities!
It’s one thing to say you are qualified to do the job; it’s a whole lot more powerful to show that you can do it! These three suggestions will enable you to bring your past experience to life in the present, in the form of a little “taste”, so that your prospective employers can envision you working for them.
OK, blog post done … ice cream time!
Got any success stories about how the “pink spoon” approach helped you in your career? Share in the comments!