The holidays are a time to remember the needy–those who are struggling to pay for basic necessities. We are all compelled to do what we can to help those less fortunate than us and the holiday season is a good reminder to act. Whether that means volunteering in a homeless shelter or simply writing a check to our favorite causes, there is a lot we can do to help others.

But what about the professionals in our lives who have a different kind of need. What about the many individuals who won’t go hungry or homeless because they have family resources to fall back on. Instead, these are the people who are unemployed, underemployed or simply unhappy professionally.  Are you doing everything we can to help those individuals?

It is easy to ignore networking requests from people who we don’t think we can help.  If we are busy in our own lives and jobs, then those obligations need to take priority.  On the other hand, people who are out of work are feeling particularly vulnerable this time of year.  And with minimal effort, we can all do our share to help elevate the spirits of these individuals.  Maybe we can actually offer valuable feedback or other contacts who might be able to help that individual.

I have to remind myself to do this because it is the right thing to do. But the truth is that at different times, we all need help. As Mark Knopfler of the 80’s and 90’s band Dire Straits once sang “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes  you’re the bug”.

So in the holiday season, make time to help those in professional need.  Your willingness to give your time will be greatly appreciated and some day, you may be on the other side of the desk.

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