Over the past few months, I’ve had to rely a bit on others. I emailed contacts for job leads, asked to have my resume sent out, asked for people’s time and understanding, and for recommendations. During all these favors, the majority of people have been beyond willing to help. Sure, you get a few here and there who can’t be bothered, but by and large, people want to help.
One of the jobs I am waiting to hear back from was never posted online. I only knew about it from person A, who put me in touch with an old co-worker, person B (the job). Person A has never met me and only knows me through a mutual connection. When I was first laid off, I contacted everyone I knew for help. A got back to me and said A’s ears would be open. Two weeks later, A had a job lead for me, and I had an interview and new prospect. Even people you’ve never met before can answer your questions and offer advice and connections.
You should never, ever be shy about asking for help, but you shouldn’t just keep taking it without paying it back, or forward. I might never be able to help person A (or maybe one day I will), but whenever you wonderful readers ask me questions or students get in touch with me for advice, I take the time to help them. It makes the world go round, it’s good karma and it really brightens that person’s day.
This holiday season, make sure you carve out time to help others and thank those who helped you. The holidays are a great excuse to network, too. Be sure to send cheerful notes to your contacts and wish them a happy and healthy New Year. A little note like that can go a long way.