Time to bring back a feature I haven’t done on here in a while, “Allison’s Word.” Sorry, no disembodied voice in this entry (last I checked, they’re getting their nails done), but there will be a word representing a beautiful trait of human emotion I’ve encountered so far during my job search:
Compassion is a human trait that allows people who are moved by someone’s physical, mental, or emotional pain to want to alleviate or ease that person’s pain. Compassion is that feeling that prompts a person to reach out to someone in their time of need as if to say, “Don’t worry, things will be all right for a little while.”
This week, during my job search, I took time between sending lots of resumés and practicing for phone interviews to have lunch with someone who showed a lot of compassion my way — the first supervisor at my now-former place of employment. She’s still employed at that company, and that allowed the two of us to keep in touch rather easily during my time there (she was just one floor below me in our building). Since I departed the company, she has shown quite a bit of compassion in her e-mail conversations with me. And on Thursday, for the first time since I left, she offered to meet up with me for lunch. I thought, why not? I’ve got all the time in the world for lunch at the moment. We had a pretty nice conversation at that lunch, and she offered nothing but lots of encouragement, including a few statements of “be confident” and more than a few mentions of “there’s a job out there that will be perfect for you.” And, yes, the lunch was her treat.
My old boss’ lunch wasn’t the only form of compassion from someone at work. Another person who’s still at that company and was also my supervisor (albeit for a brief time) learned of my departure from my supervisor. And, yes, she’s reached out to me via e-mail with nothing but support and compassion and advice. (It goes without saying that both are among my list of personal references during my job search.) One of my first supervisor’s current colleagues also learned about my job search, and she asked for a copy of my resumé. I’m not sure who or where she planned to send my resumé to, nor have I noticed any results from it. But I’m appreciative of her efforts.
Compassion allows one to identify themselves in others and motivates them to do something for the sake of making that other person feel okay for at least a little while. That thing can be a word or two of support, a lunch with a good friend, a forwarding of a resumé… or perhaps even that next new job opportunity. No doubt about it, I am very, very appreciative of all this compassion.