And in the end, that’s what a career should build: a community. Not a superficial network with you at its hub, but a rotating cast of characters who (even if they’re the literal worst) will help provide the framework for your continued growth. You might mourn the departures of beloved colleagues or be suspicious of newcomers — you might decide to decamp and install yourself amid an entirely new group — but even if you work from home and are your own boss, you’re always going to need other people. The more we expand our personal communities, the better we become.
That’s a quote from one of my old columns that I still think about periodically. So much career-development advice is focused on individual success (and that’s important too!) but it’s crucial to remember that you don’t exist in a vacuum. The happiest and most satisfying parts of my professional life have owed a lot to a thriving enclave of coworkers.