WICT Southeast election season is coming upon us. Have you thought of becoming a board member? Whether you’re a creative executive, an accountant, a manager, an attorney or even a coordinator, serving on WICT SE’s board will help you do your job better.
Anne Loescher, current president of WICT SE and Bounce TV’s Senior Director of Strategy & Planning for Creative Services, explained to me the following: “Since I joined the board in 2014, I’ve been promoted three times. When I received my most recent promotion earlier this year, our CEO specifically mentioned that my experience on the WICT board of directors prepared me to move into this senior leadership role at the company.”
Here’s what you can gain:
Strengthen your professional credibility and personal brand
Taking on a board position is the perfect place to showcase your expertise and value within the industry because it raises your professional profile. Robyne Gordon, WICT SE’s Director of Red Letter Awards and corporate legal manager for Turner Entertainment Networks, told me she “had an opportunity to interact with industry leaders in “low pressure” environments (e.g. Red Letter Awards, Taste of WICT, etc.). Having this type of interaction as an initial meeting sets the stage for you to build rapport on a personal level and nurture and expand upon that platform for your professional development.” Robyne mentioned that being a board member has put her personal brand on display, both knowingly and unknowingly. She also said her position gives her a “bird’s eye view on how you’re perceived, how you work under pressure and your leadership skills” that can propel your personal brand to heights you have not previously imagined.
Meet interesting people. Gain exposure and insight
A big responsibility of being on any nonprofit board is to raise awareness of the organization, which is a great way to expand your professional network. Serving on WICT Southeast board, you gain new perspectives by engaging with people from diverse backgrounds. Janine Bowling, an Inside Sales Manager with ARRIS, has served on WICT SE board as Director of Partnership for a year and a half. Since taking on her role, Janine says her “visibility has increased within the company because of being on the board. Since my company is a national sponsor, we are highly encouraged to join the board or become very active within our local chapter.”
Sharpen your skills
Serving on WICT’s board will enable you to strengthen a variety of professional skills that will help your career and give you the opportunity to step up and lead. LaShaun Solomon, Senior Director of Partnerships for WICT SE and Community Account Executive for Comcast told me, “I have had opportunities to practice my people management skills as well as grow my leadership skills. Both of these skills I consider pertinent to my professional career growth. Another benefit of being a part of this board is that you get to learn and pursue a skill that you otherwise may not be able to in one’s current role.”
Grow as a leader. Help the next generation.
Serving on a board can be life changing and amplify your career path because it’s a tremendous opportunity to develop as a leader. But you might find the most rewarding and biggest impact you may find is how you can help others reach their goals. Anne Loescher said “as women in this industry, I feel that we have a responsibility to help each other. Getting involved with the board is a great way to give back and help to develop the next generation of leaders.”
What’s the number one reason to join? As Nicole Hight, current Tennessee Director of Membership and HGTV Program Planning Coordinator says “it’s FUN! You get to work and travel with a great group of people who have similar interests and just want to help and see each other succeed.”
Before you sign up, keep in mind that pursuing a role on the board may require considerable time and effort and it’s not always glamorous. Depending on the position, you can expect to devote a minimum of 5 to 15 hours per month, but the payoff could be worth it. Robyne Gordon says it best, “It is a demanding commitment with unlimited benefits” and is worth every minute that you spend on it.
Nominations for WICT SE board open from July 31 – August 18, and elections will take place in September. WICT SE welcomes participation from all facets of our industry. And you do not have to have an upper management title or position to serve; however, you must have your supervisor’s approval to run.
If you have any questions about a board position, please contact WICT SE Vice President Jamie Miller via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributed by: Karen Huffaker
The year is almost half over – – What are your Career Goals?
Now that we are nearly half way through 2017, where are you with your New Year’s goals? I’m sure they probably included a healthy lifestyle, exercise, new dietary habits, organic foods, dream vacation, more time with family, etc. But did they include your career goals for this year?
I’ve hardly had a chance to reflect on the year so far, but I know some of the career steps I should incorporate for the remaining part. Consider not just goals but specify the action items that will help to reach some of your short-term goals.
Search – Survey the internet and other sources for webinars, videos, free online courses, and workshops for relevant information for knowledge boost.
Book-a-month – A former executive of ours was a voracious reader of at least one book per week – 52+ per year! Easy for him, he traveled around the country regularly and had the time to read. I’m not a speed reader, and as a commuter my time is limited, but a more realistic goal for me is one per month. There are so many great books available for women to glean great career advice from and put into action for themselves. My current read is, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Secrets to Career Success from Top Women Leaders,” by Erin Wolf.
Keep a notebook – Fill it with salient points from your book reading, tips from co-workers, bullet points from conferences attended, pearls of wisdom from mentors, etc. Otherwise you’ll forget most of them. It’s nice to look through them as a recap at year end.
Membership – Commit to membership in an organization such as WICT. Take full advantage of their offerings and new friendships. Get involved, volunteer, ask questions, and learn what you can from other members that will help lead you further down your career path.
Lunches – Who doesn’t like to eat? Even if you’re more on the introverted side, determine to put at least one luncheon per month on your calendar. Mix it up: an internal customer, external contacts, an association member, former co-worker, or mentor. Stay connected and build those relationships. Make your focus on them and what’s going on in their work-a-day world. You’ll get as much out of it as you can put into it, and gain a wealth of benefits in the process.
Mentoring – Seek a mentor or be a mentor, depending on where you are, or better yet, both! No matter how early or late in your career, you’ve no doubt gained a number of experiences you can share. There are many formal mentoring programs available but don’t wait for an opening. Pursue your own mentoring relationships. I sought out an informal mentor several years ago who was an internal customer but also a long-time WICT member; she made initial introductions for me in our Chapter. She no longer works with me but we have maintained our friendship through a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship.
Follow a blog – Pick a topic that’s relevant or meaningful in your area of expertise. Listen to the experts and follow feedback from others in the field. There are many new ideas and methodologies that are worth exploring! If you have an interest and something valuable to contribute, submit your own blog post.
Brand yourself – What would the person standing next to you at a networking event want to know about you? Don’t be shy; share (enthusiastically) what you do that’s interesting or important. Also, share what you have done that’s outrageous. If you haven’t done it yet, what do you plan to do – your next outrageous career goal? For me, it was returning to college as a single mom and finishing my degree. And joining the WICT Southeast Board of Directors!