If you're like me in the world of HR and recruiting, you get asked for career help as a normal rite of passage. For me, it's tough because there's only so much you can do to help people find opportunities outside of the company you work for.
That process can make you jaded in the world of HR. People think you're more connected than you are, and as a result, you're going to get more of these inquiries than the average person.
But you matter more than you realize, even when you can't help as much as you'd like. I recently caught up with another HR leader I ran into by chance in our community. A few years back, she was down but I had references that said she was talented. I introduced her to 5 people I thought might be able to help her in her career. None of those contacts generated the lead she needed, but she eventually landed on her feet. Flash forward to our chance meeting a month or two ago - we caught up, and she was borderline emotional about how I helped her, even if it didn't result in the lead that got her the current role.
It's the long tail of career assistance for you and me as HR and recruiting pros. Treat all with respect, do what you can, and underpromise and overdeliver. The results don't matter as much as your empathy and intent.
I've been fortunate to have had a role in helping to start/build some great careers across the direct reports I've had over the years.
Then I get this note yesterday. Take a look and see you below:
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 6:02 PM
To: Kris Dunn
Subject: Hey old friend
Hope all is well in your world. I was at lunch with some customers today and we all told our stories of how we wound up in the wireless industry.
SO... I got to tell them the story one more time about you "lighting me up" in that pickup basketball game in early 1995. Who would ever think a chance thrashing on the basketball court would lead to a new friend and a great career?
Thanks for all you did to help me get started. I learned so much from you and have tried to replicate as much as possible by helping as many people as possible network and find jobs, especially when they find themselves without one.
I hope things are going good for you and yours! God Bless!
I was just starting my career when I met Kevin. Like you, I have a great bullshit filter, and he was a real person with humility and ambition. So I referred him into the company I worked for and we became co-workers.
The rest is history. Kevin's built a career in that industry long after I left. And I get this random email on a Thursday evening, 23 years later.
You have a lot more impact than you know. The next time someone reaches out to you for career help, be patient. They need you and their expectations are managed.
Be empathetic and do what you can. There but for the grace of god, go I.
They need you. Remember the long tail that exists with this part of your job and identity. Every time you push away the voice in your head that says you don't have time or can't help and provide an ear, everyone wins.