A Footprint in Wet Cement

Posted on February 5, 2010


I think we all want to leave some legacy behind. Some reminder we existed. That we did something that meant something to someone. We mattered. Maybe that is why kids feel compelled to put their hand or foot on wet cement. They can walk by the sidewalk and see it. A reminder they were there.

I know I’m getting philosophical here, but lately been thinking, and perhaps I can blame (and I mean that in the very best way) my coach Kat for helping me think about it. Am thinking that each of us look to put our foot or hand print on the wet cement of life’s journey. The irony? I’m thinking it is not until you find your true calling that you have the wet cement palette to put your print on.

Those who follow me know I spent 10 years in IT at a law firm. And you know I was laid off in April of last year. I truly believed I would be at the law firm for years. The universe had a different plan. One of the partners called me in the summer to ask if I was getting any leads from the resumes I was sending out. My response, I was more likely to get a phone call if I printed up hundreds of resumes, went to the top of the firm’s 18 floor building, and tossed the resumes off to the street below.

In the fall, I responded to an ad from a technical recruiting company, Workforce Services group. We set up a meeting where they would be interviewing me for possible consulting gigs. What happened? Well, I taught them about social media. It lead to an invite to an event for job seekers on how to leverage social media in their job search. The speaker? Me.

The night of the presentation I watched the attendees enter the room, sign in, get their materials and find a seat. The majority had been out in the unemployed world for a while. How could I tell? Shoulders slumped, trodding feet, dejected expressions. For some, hopelessness. I knew all so well how they felt.

The presentation began. The attendees were leaning back, pens next to the presentation materials. Some had arms crossed, expressions of “yeah, I’m here only because I’m out of ideas, but I really don’t think you are going to tell me anything that might help me.”

What ended up happening? Talking about social media to this room full of people ended up being a talk about hope, about being proactive in a process that you felt you had no control of, about looking at what your true path was meant to be. I had no idea. I had prepared to talk about social media, and found the evening was about putting your footprint in the wet cement of life.

At the end of the evening, a fellow came up to take my business card and tell me he was planning to start an online business. He said he had wanted to for some time and now knew he could with the social media tools. A woman who had been in IT for a while said she was planning on going into floral design and could transition with social media.

Was it me who made this into an evening of hope, opportunity? No. It was a collective group of people. A community in one room asking each other questions, encouraging each other, breathing life into each other. It was what social media is truly all about.

What the room full of people didn’t realize that night is they made me realize my footprint in the wet cement. Teaching, learning, sharing this social media journey. And for that, I’m very grateful.

Posted in: Social Media