Staying connected with people is essential, both personally and professionally. As social beings, we need consistent personal interaction with each other to maintain our humanity. And I’m not referring to social media, but face-to-face encounters and/or phone calls. In business I regularly stay connected to my candidates and clients and am sensitive to their needs, whether confirming an interview, taking a search assignment or calming nerves. So, when one of my candidates—who is four months into a long-term contract with one of my best clients—left me a cryptic voice message last month, my hackles stood on end. Instead of thinking he may just have a human resource question or may want to wish me a great day, I immediately thought he had a problem. Perhaps he wasn’t happy at work and wanted to resign. Because, I reasoned, if he had something good or positive to tell me, he would have said so in his voicemail.

Nervous, I called him right back and after we exchanged a few pleasantries, he said he called to ask me a favor. “Of course,” I said. He’s one of the kindest, most patient gentlemen I have ever worked with.

“My daughter wrote a book, had it published, and I was wondering if you’d be so kind as to buy it on Amazon and then write a review.”

“Certainly,” I responded, delighted for him and his daughter and relieved he wasn’t seeking employment elsewhere. “I’d be happy to do so.”

“Thank you, Rochelle. I know you are an accomplished author so it would be wonderful to have you review her book.” His admiration for me was palpable and deeply appreciated.

Humanizing Taglines

To the best of my knowledge, my candidate, Alvin Santos, has never read any of my novels. But he said he knew I was a published author because the tagline on my work email signature indicates so. My boss thinks it’s witty to have a catchphrase or slogan alongside our signatures. Things, like “Air Force Veteran,” “Animal Lover,” and “Soccer Mom.” Phrases that humanize us and show our clients and candidates that we’re not merely pushy and obnoxious salespeople but regular folk, too. 

When my boss started adding these taglines a year and a half ago, he didn’t consult any of us before doing so and gave us ones he thought were appropriate. We all chuckled and eventually, some of my colleagues changed them to reflect newer activities or avocations. Some asked our boss to remove them altogether. I could have asked him for another one or had him remove it but decided to let my tagline remain. 

“Accomplished Author” follows my name, eliciting comments from nearly everyone who receives my emails. Many ask me what kind of genre I write, how many books I’ve written and where they can buy my books. Others, like Alvin, see it as an opportunity to network. To connect. I love that.

Hope for Future Generations

After we hung up, Alvin texted me his daughter’s name—Gabriella—and the title of her book but divulged nothing else about her or the genre. The book’s title, The Mindoryx Protecsy, conjured up fantasy or sci-fi, neither of which I typically read, but have enjoyed occasionally. When the book arrived a couple of days after ordering it on Amazon, I immediately flipped it to the back to read about the author. I was expecting a photo and bio of a young adult, a recent college graduate embarking on her career and was shocked to find out that Gabriella is in the 6th Grade! Not yet a teenager. Holy Smokes!

Impressed, I started reading it right away and indeed, it is exactly what I thought: A melding of fantasy and sci-fi. It has a clever and unique plot and Gabriella’s writing is impressive for a girl still in middle school. Clearly, Alvin, who is a mechanical design engineer working in the aerospace industry, raised a brilliant daughter to believe in herself and to go after her dreams. Even while still a “tweener.”

As promised, I will write a review and post it on Amazon. I cannot wait to hear more about Gabriella and read more of her writing. She undoubtedly doesn’t waste her time on social media like so many other youngsters her age do. I have nothing but high hopes for her future as a writer.