Tonight I attended a Changing of the Guard.
The General Manager of a major hotel was leaving and introducing the new GM to the community. I have worked on and off with the departing GM over the last several years and am sad to see him go, but know it is important for him to move on. Several other staff that we worked with at his hotel have moved on too and the group I work with are having to adapt to new personalities, people who don’t have a frame of reference of how we run our networking events etc.. We know the relationship will continue to work, but we are back at the “discovery” phase and it will take a while to get to the “I know you well enough to anticipate your needs” phase.
In Qatar change is constant and you have to get used to it. I have experienced more change here than anywhere else in the world that I have lived or worked.
Often it’s shops moving, new buildings, roads being diverted while intersections are dug up, but the most frequent change is people.
In Qatar they come and go, and come and go. Sometimes the departures are planned months in advance, some happen unexpectedly almost overnight.
Some are pleased to be moving on, others wish they could have stayed. But sometimes it feels especially difficult for those of us left behind.
The majority of Qatar’s population is foreigners / expatriates from countries all over the world. Most people quickly build up networks through their work, schools if they have kids, business networking groups etc.. But once you’ve built a network, it starts shifting and changing and is often complicated to maintain.
I do a lot of business networking and acquire stacks of business cards. Keeping them organised is one thing but knowing who has left the country or changed positions is another. Thank goodness for those who also maintain a LinkedIn profile and for electronic address books. I have some of my mother’s old paper address books with addresses crossed out and new ones added here and there. All my moves over the years made my entry very messy!
I’m a long timer by Doha standards as I approach my sixth year here. I know I’ll see many more Changings of the Guard. I just hope to remember to always be grateful for the contacts made, appreciate those where deep friendships were made and let go gracefully of others. But most importantly to be open and receptive to the new….