Reasons Why Giving Career Help is Good Karma
A career has a long shelf life. Its journey often begins in nervous days of rejection but can wind up in the comfort of a Herman Miller desk chair. Some days are long, and some years are hard. Business is competitive. It can even seem like businesses are in a Darwin-esque survival of the fittest.
Offering help in this environment means losing your edge. Lifting someone else up risks dropping down a couple of rungs on your own career ladder.
But let’s say one day you decide to take the risk. Someone asks you for help and you give it, even if though it benefits you in no real way. You do it because you have been in their shoes. You do it because you feel like it is good karma.
Besides feeling great, being altruistic (even in a competitive business environment) can help you more than you realize.
Helping Others as a Leader
Business leaders want their employees to look good because it reflects on their own leadership. But what if the reason a leader wants employees to “look good” is to benefit the employee him/herself? There is a subtle difference. Author Brigette Hyacinth explains: “True leaders do not create more followers. They create more leaders.” What does this mean?
It’s about empowering employees, even at the cost of your own advancement. “To elevate your employees takes strength, as helping them reach their full potential may mean preparing them to replace you or leave the company for better opportunities elsewhere. Only true leaders can do this,” Hyacinth explains.
Practically speaking, this might mean putting employees in positions that suit their natural strengths, teaching/ mentoring employees, and helping employees seek future opportunities for career advancement.
There is some risk in this kind of altruistic leading, but a major benefit is a stronger employee who will contribute more to the company during their tenure. And a giving, trusting relationship means mutual respect and great networking throughout the lifespan of both careers.
Helping Someone Land a Job
One of the biggest asks within a career is the ask for help landing a job. It seems that almost every business professional will be asked at some point. The degree of the ask can range from simply listing your name as a reference to making a personal phone call or beyond.
Let’s face it. It’s easy to “ghost” someone when they send you a LinkedIn message asking for help. You’re too busy. You don’t really need to go out of your way. But consider these benefits:
- What goes around comes around (you are banking a favor that may help you in a similar situation someday).
- The person asking could be a great addition to your company and reflect well on you.
- You can help in varying degrees based on the relationship (even the smallest offer of help goes a long way).
- The person you helped will always be grateful and good praise travels fast.
Every time you engage with someone in your network, it strengthens your network. A five-minute phone call offering insight or direction on career next steps could be all the direction someone else needs.
Helping Others Increases Personal Happiness
Science shows that helping others provides physical and mental benefits. Time Magazine reports scientific research using fMRI technology shows that giving activates the same parts of the brain as food and sex (Santi, Time). It turns out that altruism is pleasurable.
There is freedom in realizing that the world may not be one big competition, says Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. “Another’s success does not mean that I have less opportunity. In fact, another’s success can actually be my success if I had the opportunity to enable, encourage, and promote them along the way!”
Artemis Consultants ask you to consider this question: if you flipped your mindset and sought out opportunities to help others, would the favor come back to you?