Send the email.

I can’t tell you how many great jobs and great careers start with this simple act.

An offer to help. A few genuine questions. A project. A pitch. A request for a podcast interview. An offer to intern or work for free or part time. Whatever it is, the key is to send the email!

If you start scanning the landscape for cool opportunities, products, and companies, you’ll find some. (Check out Angel List, Product Hunt, Crunchbase, Twitter, or Hacker News for a few places to find great startups. Also check out the Career Hackers guide to startups).

Here’s the thing: most people don’t do anything with that knowledge. Maybe they wait to see if a job opening pops up and apply for it. That’s not how most jobs are won! Do a little digging and find the email address for the CEO, or team leader, or employee in an area you’re interested in (yes email is better than DMs if you can find it), and send them something!

The earlier the company, the more impactful. But even large companies have humans working there. And humans like genuine messages from eager people!

Don’t get stuck or afraid. Put together something thoughtful and genuine and hit ‘send’.