The first time I was turned down for a job I wanted, it was for a reason I could not comprehend.
The owner of the business didn’t like my answer to a question he thought was the be-all, end-all of interview questions. His question, “What do you expect from this job?” My answer, “An opportunity.” He wanted to hear more concrete things and was rather undone at my answer. I felt awful. I thought I blew it.
In hindsight, I was lucky to have been turned down.
The memory of that conversation usually reappears at this time of year. A secular holiday, Thanksgiving, is a reason to gather with people we love, friends, and even an annoying relative or two. Reflecting on what we are thankful for, some common themes emerge: food, relationships, successes, and things that comfort us.
This year, I find myself thankful for opportunity.
Not at all the sort of opportunity I was seeking all those years ago when I didn’t get a particular job. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. The sort of serving I refer to is not my consulting work, although that is truly a way to serve that has deep meaning for me. This holiday I am thinking about a different type of service, that which we offer purely for the opportunity to be of use to another.This year, I find myself thankful for opportunity. Click To Tweet
The Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) is an Atlanta based organization that helps survivors of intimate partner violence and provides education for prevention and public policy advocacy to make important changes to legislation. I am the chairperson of the board and in that role, I have the opportunity to lead the governance function of PADV and to connect others to the opportunity to serve those whose very lives depend upon our help.
This year, I feel especially thankful for the opportunity to serve those who need support to be safe, to escape the terror of violence in their own homes and to heal. I am thankful for the many volunteers, professional staff, legions of attorneys who provide pro-bono advice, and corporations who donate money and time to make a life-saving impact.
I hope you will think about what opportunity you have to serve and how many opportunities you have to bring an attitude of service to others.