The holiday months of November and December represent times of giving. We give thanks, we give gifts, we give of our time and treasures to help those in need. Recently finding myself in the over-crowded post office, trying to stuff too many hastily wrapped gifts into too-tight packages in order to keep the over-inflated shipping costs to a minimum while watching the line grow out the door, I locked eyes with another stressed out gift giver and we abruptly shared our frustrations with this time of year. I couldn’t help but make note of the irony of the situation… those of us preparing to send gifts of goodwill while not spreading much of it in our immediate surroundings. I was in danger of losing out on one of the best parts of the season…giving.
As a recruiter and long-time veteran of the career management world, I would say that the season of job search is typically not associated with giving. Especially if you’ve been suddenly displaced, you would recognize it as more of a time of grabbing and focusing on self and any help you can get. You find yourself in a mini-crisis (however non-mini it may seem), and grab for anything that offers hope or a quick resolution. Leaning on family and friends for support and encouragement while battening down the hatches, it’s easy to forget what’s happening all around us. It’s easy to overlook the goodness and the blessings this time can bring.
As you walk through this season of uncertainty, take note of those who help. Those who offer to put in a good word, forward your resume, or make an introduction. Those who listen to your story, help you build and perfect your 30 second pitch. The ones in your home who ambush you with interview questions, help you pick out your interview clothes and don’t judge when you throw out apparel that has only brought bad luck. Take note of who these people are, remember to give them thanks, and then remember most of all to pay it forward by giving in turn when the time comes. This season will not last forever, but the goodwill that has come from it can. Give thanks when you receive, and when the time comes, remember to give of your time and wisdom from experience to those in need.