Nice Guys Finish Last, Volunteers Finish First

Mark Horoszowski

Mark is the Co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

We all know that there is a truth in the age-old saying, “nice guys finish last“.

And this is primarily because being “nice” doesn’t actually move the needle – it just maintains the status quo. It means you do things like this:

  • Say yes, a lot
  • Smile and nod
  • Never ask tough questions
  • Let other people always go first
  • Get out of the way

Sure, the world needs nice people, and nice work is good work, but positive change happens when people push.  When people stop opening doors and instead bust down walls and create new ones.

Interviews are perfect examples of where nice people finish last, a lot. This happens for three reasons:

  1. Nice isn’t a trait that you put on your resume
  2. Employers don’t measure your “niceness” and reward you for it
  3. Being nice in an interview doesn’t win anybody over because nobody is asked to judge it

So what does stand out on your resume? Beyond your education and work history, volunteering stands out. In a recent article from Forbes:

Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.

Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

If you want to stand out, don’t be nice. Be a doer. And do things that help other people on your own time and money, that way interviewers know you are the real thing.

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