Sunday, May 13, 2007

Networking with Virginia

Long before the word networking was ever bandied about, my mother, Virginia Dickinson, set the tone for how I would run my life.

When she and my dad married, she had not traveled far from her birth home of Newark, Ohio. My dad, Connecticut born, was at Ohio State University getting his PhD. I don't know why my mom was in Columbus, but I think she was working there. Little did she know that her small world would soon change.

She and my dad moved 11 times in 17 years.

Or was it 17 times in 11 eleven years. (And they were not in the military.)

After all, more than ten, who's counting! At their heyday, she and my dad sent out close to 700 Christmas cards all with a personal note from one or both of them.

How could this SHY woman; the ninth child in a family of ten; who as a child never got a word in edgewise; have so many friends?

She made a decision after a couple moves. I heard her explain herself many times. If the day she moved to the new place, she didn't start making friends that very day, six months later she would leave town without friends. And so she made friends immediately!

Talk about pushing out of a comfort zone.

But she looked at the end result and realized that a little discomfort along the way, would be far outweighed by those wonderful new friends.

Talk about a positive networking attitude.

She set the tone.

Did your parents help you to understand the value of networking?

1 comment:

Leasa Maxx said...

I'm late commenting on this post, but I must say that my mom, too, influenced my networking savvy.

Mom's 78 and still holds the record in our family for the most cards sent as well as the most cards received during the holidays...it's somewhere in the vicinity of 200. ;)

Another big networking influence: I watched in awe as this feisty mother with no college education used her skills (as a Welcome Wagon Lady, no less!) to learn from the Swanton Rotary Members where all of the college scholarship funds were. Little known awards were often uncovered by my mom. And her efforts paid off. Three kids. Three nearly full-ride scholarships to college.