When the Ends Don’t Meet: It’s Time For Networking

When I was out on “maternity leave” with Rowan, I used up my paid leave fairly quickly. We knew it was going to be an extended absence because of his prematurity, so I asked to take part in my company’s PTO donation foundation. I put out an APB on Facebook to try to reach as many Duke employees as I could. Several friends and coworkers donated time, but what surprised me the most was that I was contacted by people I did not even know. In the end, a friend of a friend of an online friend who lives across the country ended up donating 40 hours to me. I was given a week’s worth of pay by someone removed from me by several degrees. It’s one of those shining examples in my life of how sometimes people are truly kind.

So when my husband found out that his hours at his current job were going to become very inconsistent I knew it was time to reach out and utilize every connection we could. You never know where your next lead will come from. I’ve learned so much about the importance of networking through my writing, as opportunities have presented themselves to me based on me putting myself out there and making my name known.

Before the reduction in hours, we were just barely not making ends meet. The ends could see each other, and they would forge a fragile connection often enough to keep things afloat. Something terrible would be followed by something fortuitous. There was enough wiggle room to occasionally have cheap fun, and hope things would work out.

There was not room for a loss in income. I had already taken a hit because I am taking FMLA whenever Rowan is sick, which is often.

So I am humbly putting out feelers within every network I can. Because you just never know who knows whom.

Zach is a talented 3D artist with an MFA and over a decade of experience.

diner networking

Currently, he works as a forensic animator, creating 3D animated visualizations and exhibits for civil court cases.

His primary software includes Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Geomagic, Z+F, and Laser Control.

He has additional experience with Unity Game Engine, Autodesk Mudbox, Adobe Audition, Adobe Encore, Final Cut Pro, MEL Scripting (Maya), C, C++, HTML, changing diapers, getting babies to sleep, and administering breathing treatments to wiggly toddlers.

Outside of animation, he is a wicked guitar player, under-appreciated drummer (because don’t all drummers think they are under appreciated?), and enthusiastic gamer. He has learned to just smile and nod when I say, “Zach! I have an IDEA!”

guitar networking

Our dog is named Maya Autodesk. I wish I was joking.

I also happen to know that he is a hard worker who takes pride in a job well done.

If you know someone who knows someone who might know someone, feel free to share or send them to Zach’s website.

We live in Durham, North Carolina, though remote work is also a possibility.

Finally, check out his demo reel!

Zach Giles – demo reel from Zach Giles on Vimeo.


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I know no one who knows anyone…but I’m wishing you the best of luck!


[…] Cheap – Remember the whole thing where Zach lost part of his job? […]

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