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Career Coach: Long-Term Relationships

The Career Coach reminds you to acknowledge the long-term partners in your career on this Valentines Day.

On Valentines Day we celebrate and cherish our most important, long-term relationships.

Its also a perfect time to reflect on our long-term business relationships.

There are few steady, long-term jobs in the animation and visual effects industry. Most of the time we are hired on a project basis. Every project brings together a new combination of familiar faces and strangers. People come together to form a team to create a film, videogame, television show or other project. Besides the project, relationships and sometimes friendships are also created.

Think back on your last few projects. Chances are there are people youve worked with before. Chances are even better there are others youd like to work with again.

The people we prefer to work with share our professional values, our work ethic. The assistant who anticipates every need, the supervisor who stands up for the team, the artist at the next desk whos never too busy to lend a hand when a co-worker needs help are some examples of people we want to work with. Theyre the ones we call on when were facing an impending deadline or a challenging task or a brutal schedule. We know we can depend on them to be professional, honor their commitments, and deliver.

Just think how it feels to sign on to a project and find out youll be working with some one you

respect and know you can depend upon. Reliable coworkers provide a feeling of security, continuity and fellowship that makes every job more enjoyable and every task less daunting.

On every project, youll meet new people and might be reunited with others you have worked with before. When the project is finished the team disbands and individual members go their separate ways. Youve seen these people in action and know that youd like to work with some of them again. Its up to you to stay in touch.

So this Valentines Day, and throughout the year, remember to acknowledge these long-term partners in your career. Make the effort to nurture these long-term relationships. Send a birthday card, meet for lunch, attend an art show together. Take the opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate them and how fun it is to know them.

We cant always choose our co-workers, but when we can, theres a short list we draw from again and again. So when an employer or colleague asks you to recommend somebody for a certain job, remember those who have made previous projects easier through their dedication, talent and professionalism. Thats the best way to ensure that those cherished long-term relationships will continue to enhance your career.

People you meet at work can have a significant impact on your life. My most precious long-term relationship began at work. Lance Thompson, my career coach and husband, has enhanced my career and my life and has contributed greatly to this article and many others. I appreciate all he has done and continues to do for me, making every day of the year Valentines Day.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter/hiring strategist and career coach. Her most recent recruiting clients include Paramounts feature film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Toybox, a Canadian visual effects company. She speaks regularly on career issues at colleges and universities.