How you look and how you act can attract jobs. I'm not talking about how you look and act at a job interview. Or, even when you go into a place and ask about work or turn in a job application. I'm referring to your general appearance and behavior as you go about your normal day's activities. Several times I've been offered jobs when I wasn't looking for one.
I was in a hardware store getting some plumbing parts to alter the piping in our travel trailer. I had an everyday button up shirt and reasonably decent jeans on. A lady walked up to me and asked about some fittings she thought she needed. I helped her find them, and then suggested another way to solve her problem. She then asked for help getting the correct parts to do her project that way. I helped her out with that, and she was on her way. Another customer asked for help finding parts for his project. I explained, "I don’t work here, but sure I’ll help you." As I later headed toward the cash register with my purchases, I was approached by another woman. She asked me a few questions: was I a plumber, did I work around here, and did I want a job in her store? At the checkout, the first lady had told her how I made her job so simple and saved her so much money. The gentleman behind, apparently piped up, "You should hire that guy!" so on her customers recommendations, she tried to hire me.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and I needed some propane in my motor home. The first place I tried was closed for the season. I couldn’t find the next place. The third place had two women working, neither of which wanted to fill my tank. I suggested I could do it, while one of them watched. After a lot of umming and ahhing around, one gal said OK she would try, but regulations wouldn’t let me do it. She set to the task, but didn’t get far before I was explaining, step-by-step what to do. Soon I was filling my tank, while I explained what I was doing. When I was paying, she explained she was the manager, and asked if I wanted a job. She had taken the official course on filling propane, and had gotten certified. But, she didn’t know what she was doing until I had explained it. She needed someone like me.
Coleen and I usually start the day together by having breakfast. Sometimes it is in the RV, sometimes it is at a local restaurant. We were in a small community in Oklahoma, and had found a very reasonably priced restaurant. It was a small place where the locals solved the problems of the world before they started their days farming, selling plumbing fittings, raising chickens, driving truck, collecting scrap metal, or just fishing and bumming around. It was fun to sit near the discussion, but not be a full part of it. After a week or so the local crowd would ask our opinion to settle a point. We always said, "Good morning," and were often let in on their jokes. One day we walked in and I was greeted with, "Do you want a job?" The ringleader explained someone’s brother-in-law had a gravel operation. He had gotten a contract and needed a dozer operator. The dozer would be a new D-6 Cat rental, and they would teach me to run it, if I didn’t know how. The job would last about 45 days.
All these offers came out of the blue. I wasn’t looking for work. People saw me as a person who could work. That is what attracted the jobs. I was dressed in my usual attire: traditional jeans, long sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up, reasonable shoes or medium duty work boots, and a cap. I wasn’t wearing flips, shorts, and a sleeveless shirt. I didn’t look like a bum. I didn't look like I was on vacation. I acted reasonable and was polite. If I hadn’t been amiable and helped other customers in the hardware store, I wouldn’t have been offered a job there. If I had been aggressive and demanding, I wouldn't have gotten propane or a job offer. If I had been dressed in shorts and a golf shirt, no one would have considered suggesting the dozer job.
I’m not suggesting this is all you need to do and people will be clamoring to hire you. But, these things make positive impression on people who are looking for help. Sometimes impressions that lead them to seek you out as a person they want to work for them.
Coleen's comments: My husband, Bob Nilles, wrote this article about how a person's appearance and behavior attract jobs. He is kind. He is helpful. He is friendly. Those basic, positive behaviors naturally attract good things, including job offers.