Career Corner: Inspired by the Crocuses

Spring is a time of renewal and recommitment. Where I live, seeing crocuses is the first sign that good things are coming! In a few weeks, forsythia will be out and then spring will be in full bloom.

Like other mammals, we tend to hibernate somewhat in the winter. This is a natural reaction to the cold and darkness that the winter brings. We slow down, take it a bit easier, and disengage with others including colleagues and friends. If we are looking for work or seeking our next opportunity, the key will likely be found in those we know and have yet to meet. Reaching out through email, LinkedIn, telephone, or even in person is something we can do now to reengage ourselves and put our best foot forward.

Consider who in particular you have lost track with over the last few months (or maybe since the start of the pandemic). Then consider what you might share with them. The best approach would be to see how they are doing and managing, followed by sharing about your situation including your transition.

Asking for a favor such as reviewing your resume, looking for opportunities for you, or even making an introduction might be done. It will likely be received favorably for the person you reach out to is also looking to reengage and do something meaningful. Helping you out will provide them with a feeling of doing something purposeful. Many are reluctant to ask for a favor, but in fact, most of the people you reach out to will be anxious to lend a hand if they can.

As the crocuses peek through the grass, you should stir yourself and reach for spring and reconnect with others who can offer you their wisdom, advice, and encouragement.

—David J. Smith

David J. Smith (Fulbright Scholar, Estonia 2003-2004) is a career coach and the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (Information Age Publishing 2016). He is on the career advisory board of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network. David writes regularly on career issues at He can reached at

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