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During a crisis I usually know what to do. I instinctively shift into auto-drive, act with purpose and work with tunnel vision to achieve the best outcome for those most in need. This pragmatism helped me through the death of my first husband, sole-parenthood and temporary career change on the search for clarity and meaning. However, at the end of 2017 I found myself in unfamiliar territory. Put simply, I didn’t know what to do. I was on extended maternity leave following a redundancy, I hadn’t practised for 3 ½ years, and hadn’t needed to look for a new job in over 10 years. I was also craving a challenge. But the question looming over me was daunting: how and where to start the job hunt? I knew that I didn’t want to go back to work for the sake of it, but engaging roles with the opportunity for growth and mentorship are seemingly hard to come by. Job hunting is tiring, but thankfully I wasn’t too disheartened by my seemingly slow progress. It allowed me to spend quality time with my kids and enjoy time with overseas family over the Christmas and new year break. I remained engaged and challenged through my work as a Board Chair and studies with the Institute of Community Directors Australia. It also allowed me to network. Ah, network. I didn’t go to big events. I didn’t cold call everyone in town. I just started by reaching out to one person that I knew was invested in seeing me succeed. They connected me with the next person, who connected me to the next, and so on. Some people gave me pep talks, some simply listened, and some told me when to say no. And here I find myself, embarking on a new adventure and eternally grateful to that network and those people who were willing to give me their time. Love networking or hate it, networks are gold.

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