How to get a job: whose back do you have?

by Salpeter, Miriam Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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Last night, President Obama delivered the State of the Union address. He spoke a lot about jobs and getting people back to work, but that is not what inspired this post. The President spoke about a mission — and about being able to get something — something BIG — done, because you know someone has your back. This was the end of the speech:

“One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.”


So true, I thought, when I heard those words. Who could imagine charging into that situation — putting yourself into harm’s way, with the weight of the world on your shoulders? What an amazing group of people who made their country proud that day. Hopefully, your problems and challenges don’t seem as huge as that mission…You may be looking for a job, or you want to start a business. It’s tough — very tough. You may be going it alone. That is tough, too.

I’d like to suggest you think not only about who has YOUR back, but whose back YOU have as you face your daily challenges. Are you spending so much time trying to find a job that you are not thinking about the people around you and what they need? It’s easy to be overwhelmed with your own stuff, but if you open your eyes, there is probably someone else you can help; someone whose back you can have. It could make all the difference.

And, don’t go it alone. It’s tough to find a job, but it’s not impossible. Learn what you need to know to look for a new job. Don’t ignore the writing on the wall: if you haven’t landed an interview with your current materials, you probably need a new resume and strong, online profiles. Find some help for your job search — someone who has YOUR back, too.