No kindness too small

By Kate Dalton

I’m looking for a new job.

I could write numerous columns about the job seeker journey but for now I want to share about the big impact that small acts of kindness can have on those who do them and those who receive them.   

When I resigned my last position it was a decision I considered carefully. It is unnerving to leave what is familiar and to step into the unknown. As I wrapped up my final two weeks with my employer, a beautiful display of succulent plants was delivered to my desk.

I thought maybe my husband was feeling romantic that day but when I looked at the card attached it was from a vendor I had worked with on a few projects who wished me luck as I sought a new opportunity.

I was blown away by the thoughtfulness.   

As I began to share the news of my resignation with my circle, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the responses I received from both close and distant friends and peers.

They sent me job postings they thought I might be interested in. They offered to provide glowing references for me. They suggested people they could connect me to or volunteered to pass along my resume.

They offered gigs to help provide income while I worked towards finding permanent work. They gave me words of encouragement and pointed out my strengths. Furthermore, the new connections I made through my circle of contacts took the time to meet with me, share advice, and brainstorm other people they knew who may be of assistance.

Many of these people had nothing tangible to gain by offering to help me. They did it with no strings attached, much of the time without me even asking for their help.

One person who really stands out was a former employer who went out of his way to find out what type of role I was looking for and to immediately send emails to people he knew who may be good connections for me — all because he noticed on LinkedIn I was looking for a new opportunity.

That type of kindness is refreshing.

The level of support I have received in this season of change has been a lifesaver and I have immense gratitude for the people in my life who have rallied around me.

In the same token, I strive to be this type of person myself. It’s easy to focus on yourself and get wrapped up in your own needs, but it is so important to continually look beyond yourself and find ways to serve others. And it’s rewarding. It takes the laser focus from what you hope to obtain for yourself and it brings balance to your life.

Kindness ideally comes without ulterior motives or expectations but I have found that many times when I do something good for others, it still ends up benefiting me.

As I continue to apply and interview for jobs, I try to consider those in a similar situation and what I can do to help them. If a job posting is not a fit for me, I pass it along to someone else who may be interested.

I did this for someone I came across online. I had never met her but noticed she was job hunting and gave her a tip on a job that was not yet publicly posted.

She was shocked yet pleased that I would reach out to help someone I didn’t even know.

The point of this is not to brag about what a great person I am, it’s to underscore how a simple kindness can make a difference.

As one of my favourite quotes states:

“If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you are overdressed.”

Kate Dalton believes in the power of investing in people. She has a growth-mindset that drives her to continually pursue personal and professional development, hoping to encourage others along the way.
Email: [email protected]

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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