Several times over the last month I have been asked for advice, help, guidance, brainpower; whatever you want to call it. Of course I agreed. These are people I care about and want to see succeed. In a few cases I even blocked out/scheduled times to talk with people.
They never called.
The nonprofit I founded has internship openings. Yep, The Double D Diner: The World’s Only Virtual Diner Fighting Hunger is looking for college interns. 4 students reached out to me and sent their resume. I set appointments up with all 4 of these people to have a Skype conversation. I didn’t want to call it an interview and to be really honest I had no intention of reading their resume until after we talked. There were few enough people who responded and it offered me the luxury to really learn about them; not the glorification that resume folks and career counselors suggest to make you look god-like.
I ”met” with one. The other three either didn’t show up or offered excuses like Internet was down in their house for 24 hours. Or they woke up with a head cold. Sorry, pathetic reasons. In this day and age I can find free wi-fi in a porta-potty. And “sorry for the last minute cancel” email 3 minutes before your appointment doesn’t fly.
So while asking for the job, the position, the interview or for help is the first step; it really isn’t a step at all. And while it might make someone feel proud that they moved forward; in the right direction, asking is pointless if you’re not going to follow through.
So if you really want the help, the meeting or the position, go beyond the ask. Follow through.
Or don’t waste people’s time.