The Rewards of Serving Others

By April 4, 2014Leadership

I don’t know about you, but sometimes an entire week goes by, and I wonder what I really accomplished. The to-do list is always there with tasks waiting to be checked off so I can say, “Look at everything I did this week!” But how much of that is meaningful? Yesterday I spent time on the phone with a candidate just talking…or rather listening to her tell me about her experience and her career objectives. I don’t presently have a concrete job opportunity for her, but she was a referral from another candidate and called me based on her friend’s suggestion. It strikes me every time I speak with someone how interconnected we all are…many times just a phone call away from encountering someone who can change your life. Make no mistake—I didn’t change hers, she changed mine. It wasn’t what she said on the phone that impacted me; it was the exchange that occurred afterward. I e-mailed her thanking her for her time and told her that even if we don’t get a chance to work together that I would be interested in hearing about the progress of her search. Her response to me was all-telling. She thanked me for my note and said, “I don’t feel so invisible anymore.” That comment hit me and made me wonder how many people in today’s environment have had similar feelings. I also realized how much courage it takes to admit to a practical stranger such a vulnerable position. I wonder what all is behind that simple stark statement. This experience reinforced to me the importance of taking time to serve others merely by listening and offering support in a difficult time. For all of the tasks that I checked off my list this week, this was not on the “to-do’s” but yet turned out to be the greatest reward of my week.

Author Ellen Decker

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