There but for the grace of God, go I

And so the first question that the priest asked — the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That was a quote in Martin Luther King speech, I’ve Been to the Mountaintop“.

A few weeks ago, I came across a listing in one of my HR groups on LinkedIn.  The status update read, “I need a job bad, please hire me.  When I read that, I thought that nobody should be this needy to write this type of post.  My god, what was on his mind?  My thought was that nobody even if they had a job would hire this person.

As I thought about this young man, I could not get it out of my mind.  Should I reach out or should I not.  At the end of the day it was still there.

When I got home, I had decided that yes, I had to help.

I reached out to him and introduced myself.  I then told him about his status update and why it was so detrimental.  We had a very good conversation.  I said, “I don’t have a job for you but I want to help you get closer to one.”

No company hires you because of YOUR needs. You are hired because of their needs.  No company hires you because of your desperation of needing a job.

Yes, he was desperate and he knew that he would be laid off in about a month with no severance.

After a thorough discussion we laid out a plan to hopefully move him towards employment.

The first step was that he would remove the status of desperation, rewrite his summary.  I reviewed his resume and decided that yes, it needed a makeover.   We covered other techniques that would get him started

  • Aggregator websites such as 
  • Setting up daily alerts
  • Building and growing his network
  • Letting everyone that he knows in his sector that he is looking for work. 
  • Building a “2 minute pitch”
  • Concentrating on the job that he really wants.

Over a period of a month he was back on track and had 2 interviews.  Most of all he did not feel desperate to the point of posting.

Now back to the MLK speech.  There are so many times that we come across people that we know are in desperate straits with their career.  And there are so many times that we continue on our journey unabated.  There is a word that I use to describe folks today and it is what I call “non-responders”

My definition of a non-responder is a person who does not return your phone call or emails.  The NR is the person who is not going to lift a thumb to reach out.  The NR is that same person who would have seen that notice on LinkedIn and proceeded on.

As the economy begins to dawn, it is imperative that  we all reach out and try as much as we can to help as many people as we can.  You do not need to be an HR professional to help.  Sometimes people just want someone to listen.  That we can all do.

So next time you receive a call or message from someone, return the call.  If you see something that you may be able to help, say something.

Remember the quote:  “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

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