Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Network

After 12 years working in the public relations industry, I finally got my act together last year and joined a professional organization, New York Women in Communications. I didn’t know much going in except that my former boss Joan Cear (managing director at G.S. Schwartz), a woman I respect and admire very much, was very involved and got a lot out of it so I figured if it worked for her, it might work for me. Joan suggested I start by joining a committee so I looked through the options and settled on Integrated Marking and Communications, which seemed most closely related to my experience. This was indeed the best way for someone like me, a mingling-averse homebody, to get involved in a professional organization – I quickly and painlessly got to know several women who could serve as “security blankets” for me at industry events. Rather than fighting my usual instincts to run and hide in a corner, I could now attend events that I was interested in and easily mingle with ladies I already knew.

As the year went on, I became more involved in the committee, regularly writing articles for the monthly newsletter and even getting the opportunity to interview one of the winners of the Matrix Awards (the Oscars of women working in communications fields) for the Matrix Journal (thanks Leslee Dart). In fact, the outgoing VP and Director recently asked me to take on the role of incoming Director, to which I readily agreed.

I also, at Joan’s urging, signed up to become a mentor and this past Monday met my mentee, who happens to be adorable. I never had a formal mentor/mentee relationship but like many of the successful women in the room at the orientation, I have worked with several women throughout the course of my career who supported my professional development and I wanted to pay it back. I look forward to seeing what will come of it.

As I reach the end of my first decade in business, I have learned so much but know there is so much more knowledge out there to be had. As things change at a deliriously fast pace, I can now benefit from wise women who came before me, who have seen it change before and lived to tell the tale.

1 comment:

Joan said...

I feel honored to have gotten such a lovely shout out in your blog.