How being “open to anything” can actually keep you from everything

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We’ve all heard the common phrase,

“Well, I’m just pretty much open to anything.”

It’s most common among seniors launching off from college who are on the job search. And we all understand the good sentiment behind it. Really what folks are trying to say is, “Hey, I’m not picky! I’ll work hard at anything!”

Unfortunately here’s what comes through…

*crickets  *crickets

When people ask you what you’re looking for after college, you want to have “go to” statements. You want to be able to share a little about who you are in just a few sentences. Really, if you’re meeting someone at a party, or if it’s an informational interview with a friend of a friend they want to know where to “put” you. Think about it; we all have a running Rolodex (does everyone know what that is?) in our head. It doesn’t have to be a used car salesman pitch, just honest, brief, descriptors of who you are, what you care about, and what you do well. Things like,

“I have a communications background. I’m great meeting new people and know I would succeed in a role where I could represent an organization to newcomers or volunteers.”

“I have a marketing background. I have this intuitive ability to identify patterns quickly and analyze how they affect a whole project. I’d love to be working at a marketing firm where I could hone that skill.”

“I’m a puzzle solver. I have a history and philosophy background. I liked those fields so much because I had the ability to analyze groups of people and the implications of their decisions. I do the same thing today on any team project.”

So next time someone asks, don’t just “be open to anything.” Instead be open to SOMEthing, and let the networking do the rest.open-1315639

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