Within the last few weeks I’ve witnessed two young women trying to land a job. One has been successful; the other is still looking. These women don’t know each other and they live in different towns. But they share many of the same traits. Both were raised in Maine, left and have now returned. Both are in their 20s, well educated and bright. I’m thrilled for this state that they’re both back to stay!
What’s been interesting is how each has approached her job search. Both are hoping to work in their chosen field. Both have been networking and talking with people in their industry – a great strategy. But their expectations differ greatly. One has been unwilling to accept anything that she thinks is beneath her. She has passed on opportunities in her industry because they are part–time, not in her preferred community, don’t pay well enough or are too entry level. She is still looking. The other young woman interviewed for a number of positions and was even willing to accept an internship (not a job) with a company because she wanted to get her foot in the door. By the end of her first day as an intern, she was offered a permanent job!
As I walked through a newly-constructed post and beam house on Mount Desert Island, I was struck by two things: the incredible views of Frenchmans Bay from every window and the incredible craftsmanship. I would love to be able to tell you I was checking out this house to buy it. Unfortunately, my bank account can’t afford that view. But I was fortunate that the contractor who built the house reached out to me because he knows I’m committed to growing and supporting Maine’s business community and he wanted to tell me the story of this house.
Just down the hill from this new house lives a woman with a large bank account and an even larger heart. Through a series of unexpected twists and turns she found herself with a decision to make: to build or not to build that house on the lot that she owns. She doesn’t need a house, and she doesn’t need to sell it for money. She decided to build it for the sole purpose of providing jobs for people in her community. Five years later, I had the privilege of seeing the result of Maine workers who because of her generosity were able to put food on their tables in spite of the challenging economic times.
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