Nice Guys Finish First: The Importance of Generosity when Hunting a Career

Happy at Last:We’ve been told all of our lives that nice guys (and girls) finish last.

That if we’re polite, smile and think about others we’ll never amount to anything. We’ll be the lovable loser. The broke, trodden-over joke that never gets what he deserves, and nobody cares.

Like most things that get taken as gospel, the opposite is true.

Especially when you’re starting out after university or looking for a new career, generosity and general ‘niceness’ is the foolproof road to happiness and success. The generous one is unbeatable in the end. They become the value player, the captain, the indispensable one.

Here are three simple ways you can start right now:

Be generous with your time

It doesn’t matter if you have to make the tea or file papers for a while. Being generous with your time allows you to learn the processes of a project or business and acclimatise yourself to the situation. It’s also one of the first signs of real value for an employer. If you show yourself as one of the guys who will put in the hours and go that extra mile, you’ll win loyalty and favour, opening up the potential to rise fast.

Be generous with your ideas

Ideas can be currency or a nuisance. Nothing in the world is more valuable or worthless than an idea. It just depends on what category you put it in. Train yourself to share your ideas and to act on them. The more you do this the more the momentum will build. You’ll be come a ‘doer’, someone people respect and take notice of, because they know you see things others don’t, and can get the results that no one else can. Being generous with your ideas can be the difference between happiness and misery.

Be generous with your resources

Though these may be limited right now don’t hoard them. People who lay up their treasures with the mindset that people want to them away from them will not get very far, or will fall quickly if they were on the rise. In my book we talk about the meaning and implications of the biblical quotation ‘he who has gets’, how the right understanding can send you skyrocketing towards happiness and prosperity (of spirit and money).

Instilling these principles in your life doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you. You can be generous while saying ‘no’, or telling someone what you think of them. When people realise that you’re honest and speak from the heart they’ll start to trust you. And trust unites people and ideas -gets things moving. Trust can move mountains.

Sam Beddall is a professional writer and author of Happy at Last: The Miraculous Power of Generosity of Life, Love and Success.

He lives in Bristol and writes regularly on

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