I got this question that other day about how to ask people for help when you are in job search.

“People tend to avoid you when you need help the most. And when you get back on track then people want to be around you again. So needless to say I’m hoping there are ways to “help yourself” or to tactfully get people to help you. “Thoughts and prayers” is nice to hear but doesn’t offer any practical help.”

The index card method to getting people to help you in a job search

The secret is quite easy actually, instead of trying techniques to get help, determine how you will help others.

Get a stack of index cards and write out your favorite ways to help others on each card.

I like to:

  • give advice
  • bake
  • listen
  • share a resource
  • overwhelm people with detailed compliments.

On the same index card, write when and who are you going to help this week, using your favorite skills.



In a job search, one of the worst stances to take is just being in need of others.

Help others. It builds your confidence up, is great networking, can sometimes lead to an additional bullet point on your resume, and karma.

Who and how will you help this week?


#1 of #66careercards: How do identify work that makes you happy.

66 ways to use index cards to land a job


#2 of #66careercards: How do I know what questions they’ll ask at the job interview?

How do I know what the interviewer will ask me at a job interview?