How to Turn Service into Opportunity

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One of my favorite quotes about service comes from the late Muhammad Ali, who said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Service is an obligation, not just something you do as a stepping stone. Learn to take joy in serving well and giving your best.

Serving to the best of your ability should become your primary goal because when you help other people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.

Here are a few other strategies that can help you turn service into opportunity:

1.Be positive 

People want to work with people they want to be around.

So, don’t serve begrudgingly. The Bible says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV). And so does everybody else.

When you have a positive disposition, when you are easy to work with, when people like being around you, they’re going to give you more opportunity. It’s important to really look at your personality and the vibe you’re giving off.

I have seen so many people get opportunities not because they were the smartest or most qualified person in the room, but because people liked working with them.

This one piece of advice could help unlock the power of your entire life! Smile!

2.Take care of the gatekeepers

Take care of and pay respect to the people who make the machine run: assistants, receptionists, secretaries, appointment bookers. They’re the people who provide the most valuable of commodities: access.

Gatekeepers control the time and calendars of the most powerful people in every industry, so if you want to get to the guy in the corner office, you have to go through his assistant.

These people work hard, and they tend to be terribly unappreciated, so be the person who appreciates them. Be kind, compliment their work, and send thank-you notes, things like that. Treat them with the respect they deserve.

3.Know when it’s time to end your term of service 

I’ve counseled you to focus on service for its own sake, and that’s still my advice. However, service is not a blank check.

You are carrying that other person’s crown for a reason because it’s key to your advancement.  But if you’re in that position long enough, there will come a time when you’ve learned everything you can at that level and need to move up or move on.

After you’ve put in the work and earned your keep, it’s okay to be clear and honest: you’d like a new opportunity. If one isn’t forthcoming, or if you’re told to wait indefinitely, declare that term of service over. Don’t worry about it, but know when that moment has arrived and what you’ll do next.

4.If things aren’t working out, ask how you can be of better service 

If your career feels stalled and stagnant, don’t panic.

But also, don’t go sending out a thousand resumes or spending a fortune on grad school, not just yet.  Instead, ask those you work with and for a simple question: “How can I be of better service?”

Remember, it’s the quality of your service that creates your value, and when you create value, you get valuable opportunities in return. Be open to honest feedback on the quality of your service and bury your ego when it comes to making the necessary adjustments to do a better job.

Now that you have tips on how to turn service into opportunity, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know which tip you are going to apply TODAY!


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