After more than two decades in the Executive Search
business, I have learned a lot about what goes into a
successful hire. I try to impart my knowledge to both hiring
managers and candidates. Nevertheless, at many job
interviews I find myself listening to questions that make me
cringe and answers that make me want to cry.
Now it's my turn to talk.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Imerman Angels

It is summertime and outdoor activities are in high gear. Pools are open, street festivals pop up around the city, neighboring states invite us to experience their exclusive brands of serenity, and charity golf outings can cause dramatic work stoppages that threaten the economy.  I am frequently invited as a fourth to one or more of these outings for my ability to drive the ball off the tee.  I admit I am a blacksmith and my former hockey slap shot has left me with a good long ball.  I do notice, however, that I am advised to stay in the cart when short, touch shots are required. 

Many of these golf outings raise money for a good cause.  I have golfed my heart out for college scholarships, kidney foundations (dear to my heart as I do have a drink occasionally), politicians (did I say a good cause?), and most recently, a unique cancer-related organization.  I am taking a break from career comments this week to make you aware of Imerman Angels, the group that held last Friday’s golf outing. 

One of my professional beliefs is that having a mentor who has substantially more experience in your specific field is a huge benefit.  That mentor can guide you as you navigate the course of your career.  Someone who has “been there” can tell you what to expect and help you through the tough times.  Imerman Angels is a mentoring group for individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis.

My family and I have been fortunate to have had very little firsthand exposure to life-threatening cancer issues for many years.  A few friends have experienced glancing blows but nothing serious.  I pray that it stays that way.  Bottom line, I don’t know exactly what happens during the cancer treatment process. 

Several cancer survivors were present at Friday’s fundraiser.  They described in some detail their first moments after diagnosis, the gut-wrenching decision-making process, the experience of chemo/radiation sessions and the subsequent recuperation period.  It is hard to know how you would deal with that scenario, unprepared for what was awaiting you.

John Imerman established Imerman Angels after personally experiencing the assault of cancer.  In 2003, based upon his experience fighting testicular cancer, he founded the organization to link recently diagnosed cancer victims with survivors in a mentor relationship.  The Angels have developed and continue to expand a database of individuals who have survived a broad array of cancers.  These individuals then volunteer to mentor, one-on-one, individuals who have been recently diagnosed with a similar form of cancer.  The mentor serves as a voice of hope, who can describe the process of treatment and recovery because the mentor has beaten the exact same type of cancer.

Imerman Angels was unknown to me until last week.  I cannot tell you how much this group impressed me with its mission and enthusiasm for work being done.  I invite you to take a look at their website at  If you can help, do what you will.

As we go through our day-to-day stress-inducing activities at work or in the home, keep in perspective that whatever problems you have may pale in comparison to the issues faced by those who are fighting for their lives around the world. 

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