When you let people know–what you need, what you have, what you would like to do–you increase your chances of getting what you are trying to accomplish done exponentially.
I’m writing this just after doing some volunteer work at the local library–where I didn’t work much because no one knew about what I was there to do. Not promoting my availability to do one-on-one job search counseling was a conscious decision. They were worried too many people would want help and that many wouldn’t get it because I was only there for two hours. But not telling anyone before the period when I was actually there meant I had a lot of time to read magazines I don’t ordinarily get to see.
It also made me stop and think about how many ways there are to benefit from “letting people know.”
The obvious one is if you are job hunting. Letting every person who knows your name know what you are looking for is essential. There really are only a few steps between you and what you need–just as the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon party game suggests. (Microsoft actually tested the premise–that any two people in the world are connected by way of no more than six intermediate people–and found it to be very close to that.) So “let people know” if you are looking for work, projects, internship opportunities, whatever.
Last week, my brother called asking if I needed a new dishwasher. He had just purchased one he could not return, and it didn’t work in his kitchen. I did (need a new dishwasher). Desperately. One friend described mine as sounding like I was washing bowling balls. But I had just purchased one as part of a major kitchen remodel and was within days of getting it installed. I did, however, know of someone else who needed a new dishwasher. So I called him…and now his family has a nice new dishwasher.
I have a wonderful hiking group that I go out with on Wednesday mornings. I would still be yearning for the chance to get up in the mountains if I hadn’t “let someone know” that I was looking for a way to hike.
Three very different examples of the same principle: Good things happen when you “let people know.” This isn’t a case of “expecting” people to give you what you need. It’s more like getting your name on the list for the Universe to work with.
Let people know…if you’d like to meet some new members of the opposite sex…if you need a handyman….if you want to wallpaper your dining room with tinfoil and are wondering just how to do that.
The power of community is one of the sweetest things about being human. You tap into it by “letting people know.”