It’s the scarcity principle—the less there is of something, the more valuable it becomes. It appears that this holds true to how you should approach your job as well. “What the scarcity principle says is that people are more attracted to those options or opportunities that are rare, unique or dwindling in availability,” says Dr. Robert Cialdini, a leading expert on influence and the author of Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.
What does that have to do with your work? Your best strategy may not be to seem overly zealous or eager about every opportunity that comes across your desk.
Being over-eager for any opportunity may communicate that you are desperate for work. On the other hand, if you approach things with a touch less enthusiasm, you may be perceived as being in high demand, which increases your value. It may even help to point out that you already have a number of projects that you’re working on, but you might be persuaded to help out with this new opportunity.
How do you communicate that attitude without seeming, well, lazy? First, exude confidence. Show people that you know what you’re doing. Second, take a walk. If you’re feeling anxious, walking can lower stress and boost your well-being. Finally, recognise that there are plenty of opportunities out there.
You don’t have to jump on every single one that comes along. Being selective will improve your market value.