As Tim’s professional journey continues in Season 2 of our work life comic strip, Dogged Decisions, we see how connections in the workplace may grow outside our individual place of business. Connections and relationships impact both our personal and professional lives. Though it may be tempting to keep the personal and the professional separate, often the best results for both worlds come when the two are combined.
My role as a connector goes far beyond the workplace. The extended network I’ve built and the deep relationships I’ve cultivated over a lifetime help me to be attuned to what friends and colleagues may need. That awareness puts me in the position to connect them with the people and resources that can meet those needs. A professional relationship may spark an opportunity to help a friend. Conversely, knowing what a friend is going through in their personal life may be the catalyst for a new professional opportunity.
I’d like to share an example from my own life. A college fraternity brother of mine was diagnosed with a serious, debilitating disease that deeply affected his family life. Unfortunately, his disease impacted his role as the sole provider for his wife and children. After many years as a stay-at-home mother, his wife found herself in the position of needing to go back to work to support my friend and their children during his illness. Though his wife had a background in the medical field, she had been out of the workforce for many years. Because I knew her background and the situation her family faced, I was able to connect her to several healthcare executives I knew from my network. As a result, she secured an excellent position in a large Maryland healthcare system. This amazing woman persevered through hardship, and her family continues to be well provided for.
As this story makes clear, connections go beyond filling a client’s open position or closing a business deal. Sometimes it’s as simple as connecting someone with a colleague outside of their specific industry who has insight or can help their professional growth. In other cases, putting a professional contact in touch with a personal mentor can help them grow both on and off the job. And in some rare cases, a deep connection and awareness of someone’s situation can have truly life-changing effects.
Connecting people through my network to help them grow, learn, and move forward is the heart of my mission. How might you reach beyond the workplace to make a personal or professional connection that has an impact for good?