One of the best parts of managing a lot of people over the years has been watching them develop, even after our places of employment diverge. I am still in contact with quite a few of the folks with whom I worked and from time to time they’ll reach out to say hi.
Once in a while, one of them will need career advice or maybe even help in getting a job. Sometimes I can provide nothing more than a shoulder to lean on, a sounding board and a few words to provide prospective. Other times I can be more active since they may be interviewing with someone I know.
Why I bring this up today is exactly that happened recently. A kid I hired as an intern many years ago grew into a competent professional and through a series of circumstance he was out of work for a bit. He heard of a job working with another person whom I had also started in the business. I was happy to put them together since I think they’re both good at what they do and would enjoy a good working relationship. One thing led to another and the job was his.
Here is the thing. Did I find that out from the guy I’d helped? Nope. I heard it from his new boss. Have I heard from the guy I helped? Nope, although he did post his new gig on social media, thanking all of the people who had put up with him while he was unemployed. Am I angry? Not a bit, perhaps other than at myself for not having done a better job of training him. So let me use the opportunity to do so here since I believe he reads the screed once in a while.
One of the last things anyone wants to be is the person who only calls when they need something. Even worse is the person who fails to express their appreciation for the effort you made on their behalf and who fails to keep you in the loop. Each of those can be written off as bad manners but that’s way too simple. Asking for help – which every one of us does from time to time – is a withdrawal from our karmic bank accounts. Saying thanks is making a deposit back into the account and without them our accounts become overdrawn fairly quickly.
I hope the new gig works out for a number of reasons. First, I endorsed the candidacy. Second, I like both of the guys involved. Third, if it doesn’t for whatever reason, I’m going to have to tell someone who may come back for more help that their account is overdrawn. Maybe that’s harsh on my part. So be it.