On different occasions I’m asked to point a bunch of posts from Software Project Management: either the best ones or the most popular ones or ones I like the most. I’m always tempted to smuggle this post to those lists even though it’s hardly popular and far from by best writings.
At least it tops “the shortest post on the blog” category. That’s something.
Then, I think it is a piece of damn good advice.
When we do something selflessly we don’t expect to gain anything in exchange. Well, that was the definition of the word “selfless” last time I checked. But it doesn’t really work that way. In vast majority of cases you get your reward. And usually it’s more significant than you’d get if you did the task for requital.
Let me give you an example. I run an informal IT community in Krakow (for Polish speaking readers: feel free to join Krakow OpenBeer). I don’t expect to be paid for that. Heck, I don’t even expect to get a free beer (anyone?). I’m just trying to organize a platform for some great discussions for IT geeks.
But then I helped a friend to find a freelancer to his project via contacts I have thanks to the community. This made me thinking that my selfless effort suddenly has real value. Especially that local job market is pretty competitive for employers. Of course I don’t think about selling the list of attendees, but it’s not that impossible that I will be looking for some great engineers to hire soon. Now, how much a good hiring is worth? Head hunters usually take quarterly salary…
I could probably build on that to the point where you should be good for other so others would be good for you too but, well, I’m not that naive. Sometimes if you choose to do selfless job others will just use your work for their own gain. But more often than not it won’t be fruitless effort for you even if you don’t see, or plan, any reward on the day 0.
What can I tell you more? Go, do something selflessly.