All in this
February 4, 2000
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Often when you are starting or building a technology
career you can feel alone. You can feel as if no one is helping you, no
one is looking out for you and no one has any interest in helping you
succeed. The truth, though, is much less gloomy a scenario. While you
are certainly the driving force in your career there are those around
you who are willing to help. Sometimes, though, we have to help these
people help us.
Have you helped someone today?
One of the best ways to help your own career is to reach out and help
others with theirs. You will often find that helping others opens door
for you in the process. Have you helped someone prepare or re-design a
resume lately? Have you passed on a job opportunity or invited a friend
to interview for an open position in your company? Have you merely sat
and listened to someone who recently lost their job and needs to vent?
All these activities encourage others to do the same for you. People are
much more willing to reciprocate good actions then start them on their
own. Sometimes you have to make the first move.
There are others around you that are probably feeling as lonely as you
are. Extend a hand in friendship, just as you wish someone would extend
to you. You can sit back and deepen the loneliness you feel or reach out
and realize that we are all in this together. We are all trying to make
our mark on the world and suffer the same setbacks and failures.
I want everyone to take a few minutes this week to help out someone else
with their career. Help them find a training class. Teach them something
about computers or a new piece of software yourself. I can guarantee that
you will find yourself re-energized and ready to face your own job search
or career change. If you have questions about careers, post a message
to the Career-Op mailing list. (See http://www.welchwrite.com/dewelch/ce/
for info on subscribing) Myself and others will be more than willing to
offer a few words of advice, encouragement or optimism.
For those of you who are already stable in a good career why not reach
out from your place of stability and give others the benefit of your experience?
Whether you volunteer through an established mentor program or just help
out someone you know, take someone new under your wing. Invite them into
your world. You will both benefit greatly.
Others can learn from your experience when they are confronting problems
for the first time. From each of these people you will gain a new, fresh
insight on issues you may not have considered. We can all use a “Whack
on the side of the head” every so often and mentoring is one way
to be assured of an ongoing supply. When you add the joys of making new
friends and enjoying their company the benefits of mentoring expand even
Writing this column, in fact, all of my writing, is an attempt to engage
and assist others. I hope to pass on a little of what I have learned.
I find that the letters and emails I receive in return are well worth
the investment. These messages force me to deepen my thinking and consider
issues more clearly than I have ever done before. You keep me on my toes
and force me to grow, even when I might be perfectly happy where I am.
I would be a poorer writer if I did not reach out to you each week.
If you haven’t assisted someone in their career this week, go out
and do it now. Call a friend. Send an email. Write a letter. We all have
a responsibility to help each other in all aspects of our lives. If your
career or job search seems stalled perhaps it is because you have fallen
victim to the loneliness we all feel in hard times. An external focus
can help you from spiraling deeper and deeper into worry. Action begets
action. Help others to help yourself.