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Being Thankful for the People in Your Neighborhood

By Guest Blogger Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager for Talent Acquisition at Sodexo. Originally posted on the Student Branding Blog on Thanksgiving Day.

Normally I fill this space with tips and information about finding a job or advancing your career. Today, however, I thought this space would be better served with reflection. There are many things for which I’m thankful for this year – but as I look at my career, I’m thankful for the people who have helped guide my path.

This might age me … but as I was thinking about this post, a classic song from Sesame Street came into my mind: “We are the people in your neighborhood.” For a quick trip down memory lane and a catchy tune, you can watch one of the segments here.

While the people in our neighborhoods fill the spaces around our careers, there are many individuals who become more than just coexisting professionals and bosses. Along the way, some become mentors, guides, cheerleaders and friends.

My first job after college was with a temp agency. One particular assignment found me at a large medical clinic collecting on overdue bills and assisting with insurance filing corrections. As a graduate student working on a communications degree, the job was far from ideal. But it provided me with a tremendous opportunity to learn and build my administrative and leadership skills.

It wasn’t long before my supervisor, Angela, took notice of my work ethic and potential. She then arranged for me to meet with the President of the company when she heard about a receptionist job in the Marketing department. Things moved quickly and before I knew it, I had a new job in a department that would help build a foundation for my future career.

My new boss, Theresa, became an incredible mentor as she provided me with tasks outside of my job description to help build my communications skills. In fact, I even designed the company’s first website back in 1997 … using PowerPoint slides. Boy, have times changed!

Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time. But other times, it’s about having the right people around you and giving them reasons to be your champion, to be the person to push you towards your destiny.

I will forever be thankful to Angela for seeing my potential and taking the initiative to get me to the right place. And to Theresa … she was an incredible role model who helped me set a vision for my future, and that is a debt that can never be repaid.

Who are the people in your neighborhood right now? Is there someone helping to guide you towards your future? If so, don’t forget to take a moment to thank them. A phone call, a hand-written note or even a quick e-mail may be enough to let them how much you appreciate their role in your career.

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