"I want to make a difference."
That is what I hear from college students when I speak at universities around the country. They have grand visions of mission work on other continents and non-profit careers. Those are certainly good ways to make a difference.
But no matter what profession you choose, it's possible to do good.
Here are simple ways to make a difference in your workplace:
Stay late and assist a co-worker with a big project.
Talk about an outstanding job by a colleague to that person's supervisor.
Invite someone sitting alone at lunch to join your table.
Offer encouragement to someone getting started in his/her career.
Send a thank you note to someone who has helped you in your career.
Listen to someone who needs someone to listen.
A friend of mine sent me a link to a tribute video of a life-long friend of his who had passed away. The video featured co-workers and friends giving testimony after testimony of how this man impacted their lives.
"His kindness and gentle dedication made him so beloved by his clients and colleagues."
"He had a relentless commitment to do the right thing."
"He was a selfless man with a huge heart."
"He was a guiding light that represents the absolute best of what is possible."
"He was a scholar, a gentleman, a mentor, and mostly, a good friend."
Although I did not know the man, I wish I had.
What will others say after we have gone away?
Etiquette is about being aware of the people around us and attentive to their needs. So look around you. You don't have to go far to make a difference.