The holiday season is upon us and it is something to look forward to every year. In fact, I love every holiday! This is the time of year to enjoy the decorations, the music, the hustle and bustle of Boston, and take time and rejoice in the good will and good cheer of humanity while preparing for celebrations with friends and family.
Another thing I am particularly fond of this time of year are the movies. Yes, I admit, a bit “old fashioned” and quite sentimental at times, some of my favorites include “A Christmas Carol”, “Holiday Inn” and “Christmas in Connecticut”. But my all-time favorite is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Although I’ve always loved this movie, truth be told, I have come to appreciate it more and more over the years.
Remember George Bailey as a child having big dreams of travelling the world and becoming an important architect? Well, when I was young I had big dreams of marrying someone like Warren Buffett, (only he looked like Brad Pitt, of course, and he had the heart of Paul Newman- well, actually, I would have taken someone just like Paul Neman without Warren Buffett’s wallet) having swarms of kids, and yet being able to volunteer my time to causes that I cared about. In short, I wanted to be very important and make a major impact on this world!
So back to George- for those of you who are not familiar with the story, George’s father passes away and he forgoes his dreams of college. He gets caught up in his busy work schedule. He gets married, has kids and devotes his whole life to keeping the Building and Loan, the business that his dad started, intact. The Building and Loan helps people gain access to a very basic need: having a nice place to call home. The joy he brings to people is priceless and he has built a solid reputation in his hometown of Bedford Falls. Although he doesn’t fully appreciate it, he lives for the Building and Loan because of the good he is doing for his community. Unfortunately, a silly mistake made by his uncle wreaks havoc on his business and George, in despair, contemplates jumping off a bridge. George is truly discouraged. With the help of Clarence, his angel, he is able to see what other people’s lives would have been without him. At the end of the movie what George learns is that he has a whole community that loves and cares about him because of the privilege he had in touching people’s lives. What a great movie!
We all can relate to George at some point. As working Americans we are busy! Years pass quickly and it’s easy to get caught up in obligations: work, paying bills, raising families, and being good friends. It’s also easy to get caught up in “stuff”- buying new cars, going on expensive vacations, gaining more possessions than we can possibly use, but wanting them all the same. Suddenly, at some point, most of us look back on whether the choices we made in our life were good ones. And sometimes, we can even become discouraged.
The trick is to remember the impact that you have made on so many lives. Generosity, kindness and believing in someone will bring joy back into your life tenfold. For example, earlier this year I had a temporary call me who I hadn’t spoken to in over 10 years. The voice said “do you know who this is?”….the voice was familiar but, the name escaped me. She said “Jennifer- I just turned 50 and I want to thank you.” I said “for what?” And she said “you gave me my start 25 years ago when nobody else was able to get me working. You gave me a chance and now look, I am a major success!”
Every week I have client companies and client candidates placing their trust in me by referring their friends, colleagues, neighbors and yes, kids to me in order to help them find good jobs. And every week I receive a “thank you” from people who are appreciative of the work we do at JOHNLEONARD. This is what keeps me going in an industry that is notoriously high stress and high burn out.
I want to say THANK YOU to my friends, temporary staff, colleagues and clients for the opportunity to make a difference in people's’ lives. In my opinion, having a good job is a basic necessity in life and I have the privilege of helping people find one.
So no, I didn’t marry Warren Buffett/Brad Pitt/Paul Newman in order to save the world. But guess what? I have found that I am just as important to quite a few people whose careers were impacted by my hand.
Remember how in “It’s a Wonderful Life” every time a bell rings that means an angel gets his wings? At JOHNLEONARD, every time the bell rings in our office we have placed someone in a new job!
Happy Holidays and Warmest Wishes to you all!photo credit: twm1340 via photopin cc