Sometimes people's generosity astounds me.
When people open up their networks to you, writing kind and thoughtful introductions to friends, family, and former colleagues.
When strangers take time out of their very busy lives for you, meeting you in coffee shops and patiently repeating the story of their own career path.
These people are a good and true gift. These people are your champions.
I am fortunate to have some kick-ass champions in my corner and I'm sure each of you reading can picture your own. But the best thing about champions is this: anyone can be one. And guess what? It feels fantastic. I promise.
Spending hours of your life on the phone or in coffee shops with strangers might not sound like super happy fun times, but think about how much it means to those friends-of-friends and recent grads from your alma mater. It means the world to them. Sure, there are a few duds now and again who don't send a thank you email or clearly haven't done their homework.
But the rest! The bright-eyed and optimistic ones with big dreams and lots of good questions and are just grateful for your time, encouragement, and maybe a piece of advice. Those are the best.
Some of the best advice, most valuable job leads, and super encouraging words I have received in my career have come from champions who didn't have anything to gain except for that warm fuzzy feeling you get after doing something kind for another human.
So go be someone's champion! Because goodness knows we could all use more warm fuzzy feelings in our lives.