NETWORKING HAS MANY FORMS
When I wrote about networking in Chapter 5 of Crafting a Successful Career, I wrote of the practice as a forward-leaning, career-enhancing activity. Earlier this year we published the book and I’ve since written some blogs about the subject, all from that same perspective. Readers have responded favorably to the thoughts shared, and I felt confident of my perspective.
Then, as I moved toward marketing the book, I had to stop the program to have a medical procedure—a heart ablation to correct a congenital condition. This was a surprise to me since I was generally asymptomatic, but we went ahead with the procedure and came out of it well, looking to get back to the book.
Well, not so fast. In the workup for the ablation, my medical team observed a more complex issue that called for major open heart work. We considered the options and chose to have the work done in June, leaving the summer open to recuperate.
I’ve just completed six weeks of rehabilitation, been cleared to begin cutting our lawn, found I can walk an hour a day at a pretty good pace, and begun again to work on my writing and the marketing of the book.
All that to say this: there’s a lot of “I” in those first four paragraphs, but nothing came about without a great big “we” involved. My wife has been my primary support and a blessing throughout this adventure—she’s made it a seamless transition. And the medical teams that did their work in marvelous fashion created a healing potential that has been actualized far more rapidly than I could have imagined. And our family has been there to help every step along the way where we’ve needed some support to negotiate new terrain. Now, a specific mention—our friend, the surgeon from another part of the hospital, who knocked on my door every morning at 6:45 to announce, “paper boy,” and return at the end of the day to see how I was doing—he brought humor, great reading, and real comfort every day; and I never asked him to do it.
Then there are the folks who stopped by at the hospital, those who called to stay close to the progress and express their concern and, in so many cases, to remind us that they were praying for us—it was touching, and I’m still awe-struck by the number of people who actually care, and are thoughtful enough to express it. Wow.
I guess my point is this: networks operate even when we aren’t trying to make them function. They exist. And because they exist, they function. Whether we turn the dials or not.
And I am/we are grateful.