You’ve got a friend

You’ve heard the saying… “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”  It’s meant to put a sarcastic spin on the idea that friends will call you for help, but ONLY call when they need help.  Now the definition of the word “friend” has been stretched even more broadly by Facebook to include people you may have only called “acquaintances” in the past.  Heck, it’s not even a noun anymore… you probably got friended twice in the time it took you to read this sentence.

I digress.  Let’s get back to the “friend in need” part.  Friendship, like love, is more about giving than taking, but what’s wrong with taking when you’re in need?  I think far too many people let pride get in the way of asking for help, especially during hard times.  I understand.  I’ve been there before.  I was twice laid off from good jobs that I was good at.  And I remember feeling embarrassed to tell my friends, as if it would imply that I was weak in some way.  Yet both times, I was lifted out of my unemployment by referrals from friends.

That’s right.  When I was finally able to ask for help, it came quickly.  Neither friend who helped me would be considered “close,” but I had worked with each of them in the past, and treated them with respect… enough to be remembered and recommended.  And it meant the world to me and my family at the time to get that assistance.

To pay it forward, I am jumping at the chance to help anyone who is looking for a new job these days.  We’re coming out of the recession very slowly and I know many people are still hurting.  If you’ve got the ability to mentor, edit resumes or cover letters, role play interviews or just give general pep talks to your friends, do it.  Choose whichever definition of friend you like.  And let’s agree to shorten the old saying…  “A friend in need… is a friend.”

I’ve done a fair bit of business writing in my day, and have been happy to help coach those who ask.  Fitting it into my busy life is not easy, but worth it. I just ask “How can I help?” and then do my best.  Even providing the email address of a key contact is valuable to a job seeker.

Is it time to check in on your old buddy?  You’ve got more to offer than you think you do.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, Motivation

6 Comments on “You’ve got a friend”

  1. Jan Sysmans Says:

    A friend indeed.

  2. kellye Says:

    Good stuff David. The law of sowing and reaping is eternal, so graciously helping others always puts our lives in line for a great harvest, be it at home, in the workplace, or in the world. Thanks for challenging us to serve others in such a practical way.

  3. Karen Says:

    Very, very nice David! I appreciate your REAL friendship and your ability to role model all kinds of noteworthy characteristics.

    I’m sure I’ll call on you in the next few months. For me, I’m just getting through the next 5-weeks at the office — a bit challenging if you know what I mean. I’m looking forward to some time off to discover my next passion in life… or figure out where I am supposed to be. I am truly grateful for the time to do this and I know I will need to count on friends along the way! We don’t make it alone!!

    Thanks for always sharing GOOD STUFF! Your friend, Karen

  4. Ron Says:

    I’ve always thought that expression could be interpreted in two subtly different ways:

    The usual reading is “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.

    That means, to me, that someone who needs my help is a true friend.

    However, another, somewhat more selfish way to look at it, though it recognizes someone else’s assistance:

    “A friend [when I’m] in need is a friend IN DEED [i.e. one who does a good deed to help me].”

    I’m pretty sure the original meaning intended was the first one, but your words above are wise in either case.

    If you chase away your friends, either by deed or by ignoring them, they won’t be there for you to help, nor to help you.

    However one chooses to interpret it, if I’m in a position to help someone, I can hardly call myself a friend if I don’t do that.

  5. Pam Says:

    Hey there David,
    Having just gone through a 10 month job hunt, I can’t tell you how thankful I am of people who helped me along the way – it lead to a great marketing job. Words can’t express the level of anxiety I had not knowing what was to come, and wondering how I would make ends meet financially month to month. I was touched by the number of people who gladly went out of their way, whether by offering a pep talk, providing a recruiter’s phone number, suggesting a job lead, etc. I definitely believe in paying it forward, so if you’re reading this and are looking for a job, please be sure to let me know if I can help. Looking for a job is a full time job in itself, and incredibly stressful. I learned that it’s okay to lean on others, and it makes them feel good to be able to help you.


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