My boys went to camp recently and as I engaged with the counselors I heard them say things to me like "I would rather spend my summer here with the kids than anywhere in the world" and I watched one of them take my 8 year old son’s hand and make the experience of being away from home for a week for the first time in his life a truly awesome experience.
I witnessed a local weather personality taking her personal time on a Sunday morning, (after her own sleepless night due to thunderstorm tracking) to demonstrate to my son how she tracks the weather so he did not need to spend every rainy day analyzing the clouds, tracking the radar and shuddering with fear. She made him feel like he did not need to worry because she was taking care of watching the weather for him and would let him know if he needed to "go to the basement" or not.
Not sure how I can pay it forward on true acts of kindness and expression such as these, but I am sure going to try.
How does paying it forward apply to the staffing industry or your Indianapolis job search? Recently, I posted a blog titled "What People Say about You" that highlights the importance of having solid business and personal references – people who will say great things about you. What it did not talk about, however, is the equal amount of importance you should put on making sure that those who stand up for you know how much you appreciate it. Social networking sites are a great example of how important it is not only to stay engaged and network with others, but also to support, thank and shout out for those in your network who are most important to you.
Twitter is based upon a mutual exchange of support and encouragement. I post something interesting and cool, you retweet it and credit me and I thank you for doing that. You post something interesting and cool and I then do the same for you. You write a great blog post, I tell all of my Facebook friends to read it. I did a great job working on a project for you and you endorse me on Linkedin. Look for opportunities to support your friends and those in your network who do great things – don’t wait for someone to do that for you first.
One word of warning: All of these acts of kindness must be genuine, however, because social networkers have become very savvy about false accolades and your endorsements will quickly go from credible to crap if you appear to only be a shallow opportunist vs a true fan.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find a reason to pay it forward, or just pay it forward for no reason at all!