Worth Waiting For by Laura Smit

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Creating meaningful partnerships is my passion; it motivates me to continuously push my boundaries. When you make a connection with someone, your worldview has expanded. Suddenly, what you thought you knew has been challenged. That is the shift, the moment where everything tips on the axis; it’s the part of relationship building I love the most.

Recently, I joined Praxis Group as their Director of Partnerships after a few years of getting to know the founders, Christina and Drew. I met Christina back in September of 2014 when she hired me for a position at a local financial institution. Immediately, I felt a connection with her. She was kind, accessible and generous with her time; she challenged my assumptions about Human Resources.  

Fast track to around a year ago, I was working in a job supporting people with barriers to employment and Christina and her husband, Drew, were already underway running their own business. We reconnected at a local job fair and I was blown away with their mission and values as an organization. In that moment, I knew I needed to be involved in some capacity, I just didn’t know how.

Over the next series of months, Christina and I cultivated a relationship based in friendship and collaboration. We helped each other with whatever we could in our respective roles. Eventually, we started having more intentional conversations around me joining Praxis, and a few months later, I was reading over my Letter of Offer.

By the time I began my first day, it had been 4 years since I first met Christina. Our relationship took time to cultivate a deep level of trust with mutual respect and understanding. This method is how I approach all relationship building in both my personal and professional life. I take the time to listen -- to connect--and find commonalities. Thus, it’s fitting my new title is the Director of Partnerships, because making connections is an innate skill. I get excited at the prospect of learning something new from the people around me, whether I’ve just met them, or we’ve known each other for years.

Transitioning into my new role, I look forward to cultivating deep roots in community and corporate partnerships. I will approach each partnership with patience and understanding, much like the relationship between Christina and myself. Each relationship is unique, and it demands time and effort to create something special. After all, anything worth having is worth waiting for.