Are You Nurturing Your Networks?
Pick 3-5 people whose presence in your career you particularly value, even cherish. Take the time to send each of them a meaningful email, post an actual letter, make a phone call or, even better, schedule a lunch. Such people have proved vital to our success and happiness at work. The care and maintenance of them as people often gets pushed down the list of ‘to-do’s’. Tending to your network does others good in such grindingly tiring times. It can also do you good.
Strong networks include people from outside work, from clubs, schools, churches or local community groups. We’ve all been paddling hard for years now. Good news, especially unexpected good news in the form of concern, gratitude, or even just interest can make more of an impact in such times. To be in a strong network, tend to it. Members of strong networks can help in especially hard times and come to one another’s rescue when the river flips us upside down. They provide support, leads, and certify one another’s abilities, their respective ‘brands’. In short, they provide assistance in rolling upright.
In permanent white water, we live in a number of paradoxes, one being: we depend more intensely on ever more temporary relationships. Restated, your safety depends primarily on your own actions and don’t try to run the river alone-for your sake and the sake of others. Use the holidays as a special excuse; tend to your network. (For more on networks, see Chapter 5 in Your Job Survival Guide.)