Professional Women Helping Each Other
Depending on which industry you’re connected with, the atmosphere may be one of competition or collaboration. It’s always exciting for me when it’s the latter and that’s especially the case when it comes to professional women.
I have an acquaintance who was at the top of her game after 25 years in the industry. She knew everybody who was anybody, and was the nicest, most competent and professional person you could imagine, willing to share her knowledge and expertise. And then one day she was fired.
Out of the clear blue.
Nobody could understand it.
I was attending a professional conference when a young man rising in the same field came to me. He confidentially shared with me what had happened and asked if I could contact her. I guess he felt that we were about the same age, our paths had crossed a few times and possibly I would know what to say or do. In many ways, she far outranked me in her chosen expertise.
Still, a professional woman in need was a sister. How could I look the other way?
So I reached out to her and we developed an even-closer connection. It was a very heart-warming scenario, for her to know that someone cared. I had nothing much to offer except encouragement, her own contacts and network in her milieu being much more expansive than mine. When I heard of a remotely-possible job, I shot her a note, all the while realizing that she had probably known of the opening even before I did.
The 5-minute e-mail or telephone call, the 50-minute lunch or strategy session might mean the world to someone’s job search or even morale. In a day when some count others as easily expendable, a little empathy goes a long way.
And hey, I’d do the same for a guy, even if Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem wouldn’t approve.
—————Tags: assisting a fired acquaintance, contacts and networking among women, developing contacts, encouraging other professionals, is it competitive or collaborative in your industry?, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, professional women helping each other