Although the economy is still in the early stage of recovery, the return to improved levels of employment is at a snail's pace. Unemployment is more than 10% in the US and rising in nations around the world. Many of these executives in transition could use a helping hand from those luckily enough to not have been effected by the recession. This phenomena or moral obligation is what I call "Pay it Back" and "Pay it Forward."

In just the last six months, I have responded to more than 100 requests about job search and landing the ideal position. The topics have ranged from cold calling, search techniques, bad bosses, jumping ship, jumping fences, compelling resumes, coaching references, and building networks. I have seen or heard the good bad and the downright ugly. Consistently what strikes me as I look back is the lack of knowing or understanding “the art of doing well by doing good.” I am talking about paying it back and paying it forward.
 Senior Executives

While it may be a generalization, so many of the “gainfully employed” are woefully ignorant of the nature of the executive job search and the incredible frustration endured by job seekers as they pursue their next executive position. Sometimes it bears remembering that the shoe can be on the other foot. With this in mind, here are a few do’s for those working stiffs who may be contacted by people looking to get out of the unemployment queue and into a paying gig.

1. Respond to your friends’ requests for advice, connections or referrals! Sure you are busy. But take some time to consider helping a friend and even someone who could be a potential friend or colleague.

2. Remember to heed the past! Consider those times when you were in the job hunt. Do you recall how disappointing it was to get no response from anyone? Why not shave 15 minutes off your lunch hour to make a couple of calls or emails to help folks connect.

3. Return the favor! Are there folks who have helped you in your job or during your career that are facing challenging career prospects? How about the supplier who saved your skin at the last minute or the client that kept you in business with more business? Reciprocity is a two way street. Get busy helping!

4. Be proactive! In the course of your day have you received a call from an executive recruiter looking for referrals? How much time could it take to provide names of friends and/or colleagues that might fit the job description? Helping executive search consultants source suitable senior executives and map the talent in your industry, will soon be rewarded as they begin a search that matches your executive profile.

5. Are there any executive jobs available in your own company? Why not reach out to friends that could be a good fit and get them into your firm for interviews?

6. Say a good word! If you have friends, colleagues or acquaintances looking for new executive opportunities, consider endorsing their capabilities. Web sites such as LinkedIn are a great platform to sing the praises of folks that have done a particularly spectacular job for you either as boss, employee, supplier, mentor or even nemesis.

7. Students are people too! Get involved in helping young people. Did you ever have a mentor that showed you the ropes or gave you disaster-avoiding advice? Sure you did! Take some time and be a mentor. Help others avoid pitfalls that may have challenged you. Spread your wings and take a couple people under them.

8. Please take this message and spread the word to your colleagues, friends and, yes, even family. Share this blog. Repost it on your own blog. Twitter it. Link it to Facebook and/or note it in your Linkedin status. If you can help someone land that much coveted executive job, no doubt it will one day help you take off.

Paying it back and paying it forward is just the moral thing to do. In this economy, or any economy, helping people always pays dividends. And in the end it sets a great example for others to follow.

BlueSteps Executive Guest Writer

Gerard F. Corbett is a strategic leader with proven ability to develop and execute marketing and communications programs that are aligned with and help accomplish business goals and objectives. He has worked in Fortune 200 firms managing and implementing programs to advance corporate culture, enhance brand understanding and trust, and enable organization harmony and effectiveness. Get in contact via linkedin or email.

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