Recently, something affirming happened which exemplified to me the power of connecting the dots; especially in lives that aren’t always symmetrical. Sometimes they zig-zag, sometimes they take a right turn instead of left, and sometimes the dots line up to create beautiful symmetry.
Then once in a while, we get to help the dots connect for someone else; and during the process, we may even learn something also. Listening to our internal radio frequencies as well as the external ones can often lead us to the power of connectivity – not just with others but within ourselves too.
It is one of the reasons why it is essential to pay attention, to listen, and to help if we can – a lesson taught to me by some fantastic teachers over the years – and one that I try to keep in mind as I navigate each day.
If you have ever been on the giving end or the receiving end of a kind gesture, then you probably understand the impact it can have; not only for the person doing the giving but also for the person on the receiving end. At least, this is what happened to me.
Recently, I had the opportunity to help someone who reached out to me on Linkedin. With a personal message that was genuine and professional, she explained why she was contacting me and that we shared a common link.
So, when her message came through, there are several ways I could have responded:
- Read it
- Ignore it
- Read it but never respond
- Read it and respond
I chose the latter because regardless of whether I could assist her or not, she took the time to research the company, and she found a common link. Without knowing whether her efforts would pay off, she reached out anyway.
I could tell she had moxie, and her courage impressed me. She was reaching out to a stranger, after all, with no guarantee of response. It may not seem like a big deal for some people. However, for those of us who have ever had that trepidation before doing so will understand. It can take a lot of gumption to get past that anxiety and press send.
Her desire to be a part of a creative growth culture where mentorship exists was evident. She recognized her level of professional experience and was open to an internship or mentorship program where she could learn the ropes and immerse herself in a thriving culture and business.
Therein, was the connector in the sea of dots: It just so happens, I work for the company that is on her radar.
Our common link is that we are alumni from the same college; albeit many years in between our graduation dates. But the time makes no difference; although timing often does. I remember being that recent graduate trying to find my first real post-college job and the challenges therein. I could have wallpapered my room with rejection letters.
Most of all, however, I remembered what it felt like to have someone extend an act of kindness to me when I was pursuing employment. So, paying forward when and if I can is important to me. And besides, you had me at “fellow Laker.”
For me, what she did, how she did it, and why she did it holds weight. It demonstrated her determination and dedication to her goals and aspirations. There is merit in her efforts, and even if I couldn’t help her, I still would have taken the time to correspond with her.
I sent her back a reply, thanking her for reaching out and striking up a conversation. What followed were several lovely exchanges back and forth, and we created an excellent rapport with one another; which further validated my instincts about her.
I couldn’t promise anything to her, but I was happy to champion her and share her information. So, I reached out to the hiring manager in the respective functional area of the company, shared the story of how we connected, and passed along her information. I knew that there was an open position; and although it is out of my functional area, I hoped that the dots would connect for her.
As timing and fate would have it, the dots began to connect even further. The hiring manager was extremely interested, and a member of her team reached out right away. So, imagine my excitement when I found out a few days later that she was coming in for an interview!
The bonus: I got to meet this lovely young woman in person. It was like we had known each other for years. I was thrilled to give her a big hug and chat with her in person.
It was exciting and fun for both of us to meet in person, and I am so glad that I took the time to invest in getting to know her.
My initial instinct was right. This young woman will be happily joining our team soon and starting her career in her desired field!
I am so excited for her and the new chapter she is about to start. It’s funny. She is so gracious, kind, and thankful for what I did. But I didn’t do much other than to help open the door. She still had to walk through it and do what she does best: shine. And that’s just what she did. As for me, I am happy I was able to play a small role in all of this.
It is a prime example of how the power of connectivity can open doors – even unexpected ones. After all, we live in a world of millions of scenarios, and all this could have played several ways. However, as fate, timing, and the dots would have it, I believe that it worked out exactly as it was meant to be.