The kindness of strangers

smiling coffeeAfter ranting about the silent treatment the universe decided to give me a little something back. I had coffee yesterday with a woman I met through the job hunt madness. She has more experience than I but our career aspirations are tangentially related. I have only met up with her once before, about two months ago for lunch, and I liked her energy so I decided to hit her up again to chat. She has recently found a job but she made time for me. And it was so nice to hear her encouragement, her affirmation that the process is hard and tiring, even for someone with as much energy and experience as she has. She offered to put me in touch with a few people that might be useful and I was on my way, standing up a little straighter from her genuinely kind pep talk.

I suppose I should focus on and be thankful for those people who are open and willing to help, even if only on one small step, one connection, one piece of advice. I appreciate those that do put me in touch with their contacts even though my email is out of the blue and I haven’t spoken to them in years. I appreciate those alumni who answer my emails and are willing to chat. Sometimes people are willing to chat whom I just happened to find on Linkedin and I thought they could help me- no connections, no introductions. I appreciate those people who are encouraging of my career transition and give me tangible advice and a bit of encouragement. They tell me what was helpful to them in their job search or transition, they recognize some things they should have done but didn’t do because they understand its hard to do, they acknowledge the difficulties and encourage you to push through because they did it and they hope that I can too. Looking back, when job hunters “networked” me I might have been an average contact at best. It’s hard to know how to help sometimes but even just saying yes to a call and giving fifteen minutes of your time breaks the cold shoulder pattern that makes the job hunting process so difficult.

 

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