A weird thing happens when successful professionals become unemployed. Suddenly, former colleagues and long-time contacts don’t return their calls so quickly. More and more of their emails drift unanswered to the bottom of their friends’ inboxes.
In our business culture, professionals tout networking as a useful way to connect with people who can further our careers. But as members of our business communities, we also have a responsibility to be the ones who help advance the careers of others.
You’ll find several benefits to helping others find jobs. For one, it feels great. You will almost always find your happiness level heightened after performing even the smallest good deed. It also helps you build stronger relationships in your world of business contacts. You might think of it as an investment in your industry, your city, the economy in general, or even in your karma.
Last but not least, unemployment is generally a temporary condition. A month or a year down the road, that poor sap you helped find a job may be in a postion to help you land that big contract.
That’s why it’s worth making an effort to help whenever you can. Here are three quick and easy ways you can lend a helping hand without breaking a sweat:
1. Offer to make an introduction. Connecting a jobseeker to the right person can make all the difference — and can be accomplished in the 90 seconds it takes to introduce both parties via email.
2. Reply to that email. Hiring practices have grown so discourteous that job seekers now find the most common response to their inquiries to be no response at all. When strangers send their resume, hoping for a job with your company, a very brief but personal reply can make their day. Direct them to someone in charge of hiring, or if you know there aren’t any openings in their area, just let them know you’ll hang onto their resume in case you hear of anything.
3. Take time to answer their calls. Instead of letting those calls roll to voicemail, pick up the phone. A two-minute conversation with you might be just the thing to lift the spirits and raise the confidence of someone struggling with the enormous challenge of finding a job in this economy.