A Reader Writes:
In the past two years, I helped two past co-workers get really good positions at different companies by making introductions and providing referrals. Neither of them contacted me that they actually got the job – I only found out on LinkedIn some time after. I am so angry that I no longer want to help people who ask me for referrals. People seem to be so self-absorbed that they don’t even say thank you for really big favors. Am I expecting too much from people?
The Navigator receives a sizable amount of inquiries about the lack of gratitude exhibited by those in mid- to large size organizations – everything from those not reciprocating for being treated to coffee, to no acknowledgement of a mentor for helping them catapult their career trajectory. Are things worse now than they have been in the past? Those who say yes point to two main reasons: First, fewer organizations have in-tact teams spanning years in which trust and loyalty are built. People change roles with more frequency than in the past and are less connected to the organization and co-workers. Second, in our digital world of social media and peer-to-peer networks, so many components of a job have been reduced to anonymous transactions. A quick referral for your co-worker via email, as you may have done, may not feel to them like you did all that much heavy lifting. What they fail to realize is that there is a genuine person behind these small acts of kindness that can make all the difference in their career.
The Navigator urges you to reconsider your temptation to not help people in the future. Help others because you feel it is the right thing to do, not because you expect repayment. The next person you help may be the one who will change the world for the better.