While we live in a culture that prizes individuals and individual action, I’m reminded that rarely do we something completely alone.
I realized a few years ago that every job I’d ever been offered, someone who was part of the hiring process already knew me: a trusted colleague recommended me from my work or my reputation.
From babysitting my neighbors’ kids in high school, to administrative work for my friend’s Dad one summer during college, to my first jobs after college and graduate school (and everything else during, in between and afterwords, including my current coaching and consulting work), I know it wasn’t just my skills or experience, but other people’s experience with me, their trust or good word that helped me land the job.
While I’m a crazy networker (I moved back to Minnesota after
graduate school in a crummy economy with only two contacts in my profession, and found work
in my field within three months), I know that most of these
type of recommendations come not from one time or superficial interactions, but from
relationships developed over time.
More than the much maligned list of references that many employers express skepticism about, these are real endorsements. They came from experiences not just with what I could do as a worker, but who I am as a person. I owe a great deal of thanks for the professional opportunities
I’ve had to the people who gave me a chance, or put in a good word for
me. I wouldn’t be doing the work I’m doing today without their efforts.
Who’s on your team, in your corner?
Who’s helped you make a difference?