About a year and a half ago, I accepted a speaking engagement that put me in front of 60 unemployed professionals from the Princeton regional area.  I had spoken to this group several times before and wasn’t sure about another speaking engagement with no fee.   However, knowing that speaking in person is the best way to market my business, I accepted.

When my talk was over, a few people came up to me to share their circumstances, ask additional questions and inquire about resources.  Bob told me he had been a senior executive at a Fortune 500 company, had lost his job as a result of a merger, and was contemplating transitioning from the private sector to working with non-profitsHe asked if I had any ideas.  Not having a work history in this area, I referred him to the CEO of a local non-profit I had only met twice.  This referral was a long shot for sure, but I felt it might energize Bob’s job search and, at the very least, act as a heartfelt gesture that would reinforce his staying the course.

Fast-forward eighteen months… I receive an email from Bob apologizing for not having been in touch sooner.  He told me that he followed through with my recommendation and that it took three months to get an appointment with the CEO.  Since there were no job openings at the time, he was asked if he would volunteer his services for an initiative that would greatly benefit the community.  Volunteering was the farthest thing from Bob’s mind, but he said yes to the request and donated his time and talent while continuing his job search.   After three months of volunteer work, the CFO of the non-profit retired.  Bob was offered, and accepted, the position!

When we first spoke after my talk over a year ago, I did not feel I had much to offer Bob, but I wanted to help.  He now has employment and I’m happy I took the time to listen and care.  More importantly, I feel empowered by Bob’s appreciation, and, I have another non-profit C-Suite connection!  While I can’t be certain, I feel somehow, I will be rewarded financially down the road.

Sometimes monetary compensation validates success.  Other times good intentions are sufficient.  This time around, feeling like a participant in someone else’s success is payment enough!

GIVE UP EXPECTATIONS AND JUST GIVE!  I’m happy I did!