Lifestyle A Little Help From Our Friends

A Little Help From Our Friends

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC


Like most music lovers, I find certain songs resonate when I’m dealing with uncertainty. The Beatles song “With a Little Help From My Friends,” from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, has had an interesting twist for me. Sometimes the friends comforting and helping me the most are my animal friends.

According to the U.S. Humane Society, nearly 70 percent of households have a pet. A lot of evidence backs up what we pet owners know about how beneficial pets are to our mental, physi- cal, and social well-being. This can be especially true during peri- ods of hardship. Managing difficult experiences is easier with the unconditional love and loyalty of a pet.

My two dogs, a Black Labrador named Athena and a Great Pyrenees mix named Brodie, have filled my house with joy and allowed me to grow in ways I never knew I could. Every day, I work with people who are experiencing job losses, salary cuts, and physical and mental health concerns. You might think I’ve seen it all. And yet my dogs have taught me some valuable lessons that allow me to help my clients in new and innovative ways:

1. The Importance of Good Habits

My dogs help me stick to our regular routine. Taking them out on their long walks and feeding them on schedule gives us some together time to get exercise, soak up vitamin D outside, and exchange greetings with neighbors.

But good habits provide routines, structure, and discipline in all areas of life. When I’m speaking to a candidate who has justlost their job, I start by asking how they intend to begin their new job search. A written plan can help us move toward our goals, stay focused, and track our success. If they don’t have one, we quickly talk strategy and formulate that plan. My Revolutionary Reinvention Workbook asks a series of personalized questions to help people on their job quest.

2. Practicing Mindfulness

When my dogs have one of their toys, they are fully present with that toy. If my Lab lays her head on my foot under my computer as I’m working, she’s happy, and nothing else matters. When I pick up the leash to take my good boy out for a walk, he’s wagging his tail so much and jumping for joy to be with me, and he’s fully present. These dogs remind me that even the mundane is pretty special.

The practice of mindfulness, as spelled out in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, has not always come easily to me. I am the type of person who always stays busy or plans for what the future may bring — and who strategizes how I can make that future better through my activities. Since I started practicing mindful- ness, meditation, and yoga, I’ve given myself permission to slow down and enjoy the present moment. It’s given more meaning and purpose to my life. I’ve also noticed that, for example, when I’m talking to job candidates and hearing their stories, I am able to focus on what they are saying because my mind is not racing towards how I will have to explain to the next candidate they may have to take a pay cut in the current market. I still make that next client call or advise the candidate about salary restrictions in the New Work World, but I do it now in a much more relaxed way.

3. Showing Gratitude

My dogs are the epitome of expressing gratitude. Whenever I give them a treat, those wagging tails and excited gestures make me smile. When I walk in the door after a long day and am greeted by these happy dogs, I feel loved and appreciated.

It is important to show how much we value our relation- ships. Networking, keeping in touch with previous contacts, and demonstrating how much we have appreciated them proves to be a very important and rewarding experience these days. I’ve seen this firsthand in the professional arena: A job candidate who’d expressed to previous employers how much he appreci- ated what he learned from them went on to beat out another candidate with more industry experience because word of that attitude of gratitude made it to the new employer.

We can find inspiration with a little help from our friends. We can learn important lessons from our clients, co-workers, family, friends, and even our pets to become a better version of ourselves.

Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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