Monday, March 30, 2009

FREE 8-Hour Work Day...

Call me crazy, but you've got to do whatever it takes in this day and age to pull yourself from the dregs of unemployment. I'll never forget what happened when Chipotle was opening a new location in College Park, Maryland, and ran a promotion giving away FREE burritos from open-to-close. There was a line out the door the entire day, and salivating burrito-lovers "sneezed" (courtesy of Seth Godin) the restaurant to all of their friends. Did they get repeat customers from this promotion? You'd better believe it. They proved just how delicious their burritos were by giving them away for FREE, and the business came back ten-fold (probably much, much more!).

What can we learn from this? If you truly are exceptional at what you do, offer prospective employers the opportunity to "test your services" free-of-charge for an entire 8-hour workday. Then, go in and blow them out of the water. Do more than just "work." Look for segments of the business where they could streamline processes, cut costs, or even grow revenue (i.e. missed opportunities). Make it clear ahead of time, that if you prove yourself as an asset to the company, they'll give you an offer in writing within 72 hours. This approach probably isn't feasible for your larger, more bureaucratic organizations, but for smaller, dynamic companies/start-ups, it's a real opportunity for you to prove yourself as a value-add employee, and get out of the unemployment line.

Have you tried offering your services free-of-charge yet?

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