A few months into last year I made the difficult decision to leave a great job, feeling it was time for a change professionally. I spent most of the spring and summer volunteering with four different organizations and came away from these feeling rested, renewed and ready for heading down a new path professionally.

Conducting a job search is an odd thing—you find yourself in the necessary and awkward position of singing your own praises. It feels a bit like being a politician I suppose, trying to sell yourself in the most glowing terms while downplaying your deficits. Ugh. I don’t think there are many of us who enjoy this. I am truly tired of hearing my elevator speech and being in my own head.

On the flip side, it’s both humbling and empowering to learn how others see you. I’m lucky enough to have good friends who are honest about my skills and temperament. They ask me the hard questions and hold me accountable. And they also remind me I’m not only extremely competent in my work, but creative, helpful and kind. There are more days than I care to admit that I really need to hear this message from others I trust.

So here’s to the people in our lives who surround and support us, with honesty and positiveness, and give us resilience.