This post’s title is usually reserved for the fact that it takes a village to raise kids. Family, friends, community and schools all contribute to raising happy, successful children. Well, I would expand that to, “It takes a village to make it in this world.”
I recently took a big risk in leaving a lucrative sales position to find a career path where I can better fulfill my purpose in life. With close to twenty years of experience in the business world, I honestly wasn’t sure if my skills would translate to the non-profit space. When you read job descriptions and see things like “must have five years of non-profit development experience,” you can get a bit deflated and wonder if you did the right thing.
Over the years, I have helped many, many people find jobs themselves. Resume reviews, practice interviews, and connecting people were my forte. I would like to say that all of the goodwill I had built up over time is helping me now. But, honestly, I think there are just really good people in this world, constantly willing to help.
My heart is so full now to experience an outpouring of support. From friends and family to total strangers, I am making connections at the very places in which I am interested in working. Meetings with CEOs, Executive Directors, Foundation experts and entrepreneurs are leading to job opportunities where I can make a bigger impact in the world.
I am paying as close attention as possible to each and every lead, and then following up with a thank you to those that offered support. Most importantly, I am keeping those that have helped informed of the process. I know when I have helped others find jobs, I really appreciated getting updates. It is especially rewarding to find out that someone landed a great job, where they are happy and making a difference.
If I can share anything with you throughout this experience, I would say the following:
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you have never met before. You would be amazed at how many people are willing to help others.
- Thank those that are helping you, repeatedly.
- Follow-up with your supporters to share where you are, and where you land.
- Offer to help your supporters at the same time, and then follow-up with whatever that person needs.
As my good friend Rodd Wagner always says, the reciprocity in relationships is the key to human interaction. While giving without expectation of getting anything in return is a great way to operate, sometimes you need help. And others get the opportunity to give – and that can be a real gift!