Quid Pro Quo or No?
Can I ask a favor? I’ve heard that so many times throughout my career especially in the last 10 years when I’ve been senior enough to really deliver on the ask.
It’s been anything from helping people connect with the right people to shifting staff to make room for another to offering freelance work to advocating for someone’s transfer, advice, mentorship, serving up the right candidate for a job and so much more. Naturally, these are all things we do to help each other succeed in our jobs and with our careers…so I thought.
However, the hard lesson I’ve learned is those favors are seldom returned. Don’t get me wrong, I never did any of those favors expecting anything in return, but it still surprises me when they aren’t. I am upset by this because I believe strongly in helping one another. In helping others, you get to feel good about them achieving success. We should strive to lift others and hope they do the same in return. People often guard their connections. But I’ve found it more helpful to be generous with mine. When one rises, we all do.
My big question is what are your feelings about “favors?” Should favors be repaid and if you do a favor and need something later down the road, should this person feel obligated to help you? Should people feel obliged to help others and when they get help, should they pay it forward?
Truth is, I never really asked for favors much until I started my own business. I thought what better way to get advice, drum up new business and partner with the right people than to reach out to those I’ve helped in the past. Perhaps all of you who’ve gone out on your own before me already know this, and maybe you’re shaking your head along with me. The most shocking to me of all is when I don’t even get a response of any kind.
I recently reached out to someone I got in the door of an agency I used to work at. While it did not result in a job, it got him an interview. Fast forward to today, I reached out to congratulate him on his new job and offer my services should he need them and I did not even get a response. Not even a response. Mind you, when this person needed my help, he was emailing me every day and I responded to all those emails.
I guess that’s me. I respond to 99% of my emails. Vendors too. I believe people deserve a little common courtesy. A little bit of mutual respect. It only takes one minute, but that’s for another blog.
Point is, I think we should all strive to do good and be good. We should help each other whenever we can. As a woman, I believe it’s extremely important to stand by and stand up for other women. If there is one small thing you or I can do, let’s do it. It’s good Karma and simply the right thing to do.
I’ll continue helping people because I believe it is the right thing to do. I’ll continue to hope others do the same and if they are not repaying me – so to speak – maybe they are paying it forward. I sure hope so.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about favors. What has been your experience?