In Helping Others, I Help Myself

As anyone who looks at my About Me page will know, I’m looking for work.  Though employed full-time at present, I am seeking a FT engineering job in Product Design (with a focus in plastics to leverage my strength in that field), New Product Introduction, and Cost Reduction.  I’m also open to a Manufacturing Engineering role as I view production problem-solving like a good mystery novel, unraveling the clues to get to “Who dunnit?”.

Given my work, adjunct teaching on top of that, and job searching on top of that, why spend time – significant time – compiling articles, posting on LinkedIn, sharing job leads in networking group email listservs, etc., when I also need to be searching for openings, networking in, applying, and all the things that a person who is looking for work needs to do?

First and foremost, as a Conservative Jew, I believe in Tikkun Olam – literally, “healing the world”.  If an article I post helps someone, if an essay of mine touches a someone in a positive way, if a lead that I forward results in someone landing a job… then I have done a small, small thing in helping make the world a better place.  Even if I never hear about it specifically.

Second, it’s an insight into my character for possible hiring managers and HR people to see: I help people.  More importantly, I help people without hope of direct reward because it’s the right thing to do.

Lastly, I like to write. This gives me a venue to do so and hopefully help people at the same time.  This has the added benefit of not only showing that I can write engagingly – unlike many engineers – but that I have a mind that quests beyond engineering to other things… showing intellectual breadth.

One of my essays, The Hairs-Breadth Challenge, has resulted in multiple positive comments and shares.  And based on that essay, I coined a quote that, again, many people have told me they like:

Life is about helping people; if you aren’t elevating others, you’re diminishing yourself.

Lastly, in a presentation I have developed about networking to find work, “Hard-Won Lessons in Networking”, and which I’ve presented to Acton Networkers and more recently to the Boston-chapter of the AIChE,  I challenged people to help others in a pay-it-forward way:

  • If you’re on a company’s website anyway – copy-and-post/forward the leads to groups you are in, or individuals you know who could use the info.
  • If you pass by an industrial park, write down the names of the companies there and post/forward them.
  • If you find a useful article, ditto.
  • If you know someone searching for a specific kind of job, and see a lead, share it with them.

All these things are not just good things to do, but they put credits in your networking “bank account” against which you can draw when you have a specific need.

Take a few minutes from your day, every day, to help heal the world.

Shalom.  (Peace.)

16 thoughts on “In Helping Others, I Help Myself

  1. David, I just found your blog and really enjoyed it! It’s wonderful to hear about your willingness to help others. I wanted to let you know about a great organization called Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors USA that shares your “pay it forward” philosophy. It’s a cost-free job search and support group that started in NJ, but also has locations in Boston and DC. The founder John Fugazzie is a great advocate of the unemployed. Please feel free to check out their website: http://www.nhnusa.org . Good luck with your job search!

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