We all like to bitch and moan occasionally about how hard we’re working and how little time we have. It’s partly the Overachieving American way, and partly the fact that everything just keeps moving faster and more furiously, and we’re all doing more in less time than we ever imagined possible.
But there you are, working. You have a job. Hopefully, it’s a job you like. And almost surely, someone --- or several someones --- helped you get there.
Have you ever thanked that person? Thanking someone who helped you along the way is a beautiful expression of gratitude. As I get older, I try to do this more often, but you needn’t wait to begin.
One Moment, Please (Pause to make phone call)
OK, I’m back. Before I went any further, I had to call Sandy Wade just to say Thank You one more time (there have been many). Sandy used to recruit creative professionals for ad agencies when I was starting my first career at 22. I used to call her my Fairy Godmother because in the middle of our first meeting, Sandy got on the phone and started setting up interviews and suddenly, I had three offers in one week.
Later (much later) when I changed careers to become a Career Coach and Resume Writer, Linda Wolfe welcomed me with open arms to become part of her team. She trusted me and supported me all the way. Thank you, Linda.
Certainly thanking those who’ve helped you directly or indirectly is one way to express gratitude for whatever help you’ve received. But there’s another way, too.
I’m not big on acronyms, but I want to hold your attention. And since Hey There is an easy, friendly, casual way to say hello, consider it my way of saying hi and asking you to think about this: one way to thank those who’ve helped you is to help someone else. Yes, pass it on. It’s good for everyone. And I made an acronym out of it just to tell you why and show you how.
H is for HELP, HUMANHOOD, HEART
It feels good to help someone else. What else is there, really? If the current political situation has you in a tizzy, step out of the cyclone for a moment and agree to do a brief informational interview with someone interested in the kind of work you do. It doesn’t take long to listen well and kindly answer questions. And it can help someone make more informed choices on their professional next steps. No downside! All good for all parties involved.
E is for ENCOURAGE, EMPOWER
It can be lonely and discouraging for jobseekers. If you’ve ever been there, you’re nodding right now. If you haven’t been there, you might be one day. Agreeing to meet someone in your office, at a Starbucks for coffee, or even over the phone can be hugely encouraging in a world of frequently unreturned calls and emails. It's an easy act of kindness you can do.
Y is for YES
Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s that easy. Just say yes when asked if you’re available to talk to someone for an informational interview or networking opportunity. Think of it as a deposit in your karmic bank account, collecting interest that will serve you later. Yes. It will.
T is for TRUTH
Reading job descriptions and websites is one thing. Talking to people who are actually doing the type of work under consideration is another… and at a company where someone might really like to work, even better. People want to know about culture---what’s it like to work there? What’s a typical day in your life like? What advice would you give someone trying to get in there? What do you wish someone had told you? There’s nothing like the truth, even if it’s just one person’s truth. Be brave and share.
H is for HIRE
While applying for jobs online is still often necessary, it is not the express lane to a job. Current studies and polls indicate that networking is still responsible for 70-80% of hires. It’s the way it’s always been, and the way it always will be: people connecting through people. Who knows, maybe the person you agree to chat with will be a person you want on your team, not someone else’s, even if there’s no position listed. Crazier things have happened.
E is for EXPERIENCE
How does one get experience, without someone giving them a chance? Whether we’re talking about a recent grad right out of school, or an accomplished adult who decides to do something completely different (and we greatly applaud and encourage this), there’s always a beginning. How did you get your experience? What suggestions can you offer to help someone else get theirs?
R is for REFLECT, REMEMBER, RESPOND
None of us get through this life alone. Think back to a time when you needed help and got it. Remember when you asked someone for their time, just a little of it, and sought advice, inspiration, referrals. Sooner or later, you got hired. You can “thank” that person, or those persons, by responding to someone else going through it now.
E is for EXPLORE
Making yourself available to connect with someone else professionally is a wonderful thing to do. Through the course of your conversation, while thinking you are helping someone else on their career path, a wonderful exchange often happens. You may discover many interesting things, from a mutual acquaintance you never knew you had, to hearing about a great book you must now read, to thinking to yourself, “Hmmm, maybe I should be doing some exploring, too.”
If so, whether it’s continuing the work you’ve done, changing careers, or returning to work after taking some time out, consider reaching out to LifeWorking®. We’ll help you get there.
If you're already "there," and you'd like to help someone else, please email us with Hey There in the message box, and your preferred form of contact by us (phone or email). We promise not to stalk you, but if we have a client who just wants a brief convo with someone doing your kind of work, we'll reach out to you first. And may we say: THANK YOU.