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Industry insights for employers and job seekers.

The Importance of Connection

Have you ever had a chance encounter in a completely unexpected moment that changed your life?

I got to experience this just a few weeks ago.

Several times a year, we travel to Germantown to visit family. When we go, I always enjoy walking their neighborhood. I had planned to walk one evening, but when the time came, it started raining. I considered staying in, but ultimately decided to lace up and hit the (wet) pavement.

I didn’t expect to encounter anyone else braving the elements; but, not too far into my walk, I crossed paths with another determined soul. To give her space on the sidewalk, I moved to the road. She expressed regret that I had changed my course for her, but I quickly assured her that it was fine – “I’ll just get more steps in this way.”

I could see that she was interested in chatting a little more, so I began to walk with her. I learned that her name was Varsha, and our conversation flowed from general weather discussions to professional interests. Varsha revealed that her expertise was in Data Analytics, and that she was hoping to move to Nashville to further her career.

I was stunned. It seemed impossible that, under such odd circumstances, I would meet someone so completely aligned with my professional expertise. I explained to Varsha that I lived in Nashville and would be happy to help her find what she was looking for. I handed her my card and encouraged her to reach out when she was ready.

I had no idea what, if anything, would come of this casual exchange. Then, a week later, Varsha contacted me with exciting news – she had done some digging and found open positions in Nashville she wanted to pursue. It just so happened that I had a history and strong rapport with the hiring manager for one of the roles she had sent. I informed Varsha of my connections, and we shared in the excitement at the possibilities.

I reached out to my contact on Varsha’s behalf and the process quickly took off. Her resume was impeccable, interviews went exceptionally well, and she received a job offer! We were both elated. After she received the offer, she called me and said: “I knew God had a plan that we should meet in the rain and then you would represent me with one of your clients. You are like my guardian angel. I can’t thank you enough for all your help with this opportunity.”

It was such a surreal experience. A chance encounter on a rainy evening that turned into a professional connection. One that forever changed the trajectory of Varsha’s career, and which underscored for me the importance of being willing to see and connect with those placed in my path. Even in the most unexpected circumstances.


-Chad Pankake, founder ASP