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Dear Caroline,

I’m the office manager at an auto body repair shop. I generally like my work and the people I work with, but sometimes I feel very much alone because nobody else in my workplace sits behind a desk. In that way, I have nobody I can share work-related ideas with, or even ask for advice when it comes to some of the administrative conundrums I run into.

Do you have any thoughts for me?

…Army of One

Dear Army of One,

Several years ago, a good friend of mine was in a similar situation. She managed a dental office and the challenges she faced were like the ones you described. Instead of feeling alone, she marshaled a combination of social media, email and the telephone to reach out to as many other dental office managers in her community as possible.

From there, she formed an informal professional association that met in a restaurant one evening a month. They socialized, shared experiences and ideas, and came up with ways to run their offices more smoothly while bettering their own day-to-day work lives. Her meetings were so successful that, in time, her employer and many other local dental offices acknowledged the group and even gave them a bit of monetary support for their get-togethers.

Forming that network was a turning point in my friend’s personal and professional life. Not only did she make new friends, but she also elevated her job into a career.

I hope that story inspires you.


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