After I read a recent post in The Oklahoman - I found myself saying "duh!!" The story, by Sonya Colberg, told of the benefits that were being realized by collaboration that had begun at the Bellmon Research Center at Oklahoma State University. The obvious is often overlooked. This story certainly highlights that statement.
I know collaboration and/or networking should be an integral part of everyone's life. For some the connections/collaboration will involve multiple people with little regard to location. For others, it will be a smaller number of connections. What's important is that everyone connects with someone to further their career. The connections should be based on shared interests (ie profession, leisure time activities, political groups - the list can be endless - just do a group search on LinkedIn with any/all words that are of interest to you).
Reading The Oklahoman article, Li Ma and Wouter Hoff discovered scientific common ground even though their professonal worlds had been far apart - one in food safety/biosecurity, the other in genetics/microbiology. A chance conversation between the two led to the realization they could benefit from their shared expertise.
The same can be said when you network. You never know when a conversation will reap tremendous benefits. When it does - you will have that "duh" sensation of "Of course, why didn't I think of that before?".
Invest in collaboration, networking and shared experiences - it will enrich your life, help your career and the rewards may be beyond your wildest dreams.
As an old phone commercial said "Reach out and touch someone". With today's technology - you can do that in many ways - and all of them work.