I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends: Networking & MS

Birgit Bauer
Written by
Birgit Bauer

Are you familiar with the phrase “It’s a small world after all”? You’ve probably heard it, and understood it speaks to the interconnected nature of our world. What you might not have thought of is that it also speaks to an important topic—networking!

As both a patient and the owner of my own business, networks are particularly important to me. When I’m struggling to balance my MS and work, who do I rely on? My network! Having a solid network, built on personal and professional relationships, has been a pillar of strength for me. So now it’s time for me to share what I’ve learned with you…introducing my top lessons for the importance of strong network:

Recover with Ease

When you are your own boss and have MS, episodes and discomfort can interfere with your ability to work and earn your living. This is incredibly stressful and stress is not beneficial for the recovery process by any means. A well-structured network can ease that pressure – a circle of reliable partners and colleagues who can jump in to help if I cannot manage my workload anymore. Because I am a professional writer and social media expert, I reach out to peers within my field, or to my colleagues at my consultancy, to help me complete projects. My network is essential to my business and my health— it’s my backup plan, and ensures that I have time to get well, and deliver projects to my clients on time.

Learn for a Lifetime

Remember that your network is a great resource for support, but also for development—your connections are people you can learn from. Conversations or collaborations with peers in your profession are incredibly valuable and can also be fun! Trade stories about recent projects, swap professional advice, discuss successful strategies, and you will find yourself fostering positive working relationships for the future.

Stay in Touch!

Staying in touch with my network makes my work life much happier. A network requires care and maintenance, whether it means reaching out to your connections directly, or sharing an article with a connection on LinkedIn. Online interaction has become an important part of modern networking, and can help your professional circles grow exponentially.

A network takes time to cultivate and grow, and although it requires effort and commitment, it pays off in the end. When you have time to recover, when you can share and find new assignments, and when professional advice is only a phone call away, you will value your network!

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