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Career Coach: Impact

Don’t wait to let people know they’ve inspired or affected your life in positive ways.

Recently I have been reconnecting with family members via email. Alice, my mother’s cousin, recently wrote to me:

“I always thought that your parents had a remarkable marriage and your Mom was very close to my mother. In fact, I think it was because of your Mom that my mother became a school librarian, decades after she became a teacher.”

I wonder if my mom knew that.

Has someone affected you in a positive way, by example or inspiration or imparting wisdom?  If that person is still around, it may be time to let that person know how he or she changed your life.

My mom, Sue Kleibrink, believed in the goodness of people. She always started people out with 100% and they had to do something heinous to lower their score. She did not tolerate people who mistreated children. She encouraged all kids to be their best. Maybe that is why so many of my friends loved her. Because she loved them.

She was generous with her time and with her friendship. She treated everyone with dignity and had a sign over her door which read, “All are welcome here.” She lived that and believed it. She always believed that you can’t judge people by the way they look. I realize now that some of my friends almost lived at our house because they felt safe and welcome. Maybe even more so than at their own homes.

When I attended my high school reunion years ago, I met people I hadn't spoken with in years.  The first thing they asked was not about me, but rather, “How is your mom?” They all had such strong, positive memories of how my mother's attitude and character affected them. Luckily, I was able to relate this story to my mom. I miss her. I wish I could tell her about her Aunt Estelle becoming a school librarian. 

My mom, who was born on January 2, 1929, wanted to live to be 100 so she could be interviewed on television and written about. She made it to 88. While she was here, she made the world a better place.

If there are people who have made a positive difference in your life, tell them, thank them, let them know how much that means to you. They will appreciate it, I assure you. 

“To transform the world, help people, lift others up, change lives.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach specializing in helping creative people succeed.  She also recruits for companies in visual effects, animation, games and design. She speaks at schools and conferences about how to get jobs in animation and other creative fields.  To reach her for recruiting or speaking engagements or for a private consultation to learn how to create a career you love, email