In November 2015, I will celebrate nine years at Envoy. I have networking to thank for that. Well, maybe not for the nine years, but at least for the interview and opportunity. In college I learned the value of getting involved, volunteering and networking and I have continued to practice those throughout my professional career.
Not more than a month into my first job out of college, my supervisor informed me that she was the president of the Omaha Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). She also told me she wanted – needed me really – to take a position on the board. Wanting to please and impress her, I gladly accepted.
I continued to serve on the board beyond that first year commitment and it was through that involvement that I grew both professionally and personally. I made new friends and met some wonderful professionals in my industry.
While I was on the board, I was approached by a fellow board member about an opening at Envoy. I interviewed and was offered the position, which obviously I accepted, and am so thankful that I did.
This was a win-win for both of us. Envoy didn’t have to go through the trouble of posting the position, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. Through my work on the board, my new boss at Envoy was able to see my work ethic and marketing abilities. And, I was able to advance my career without having to search for a job and go through the stressful interview process.
Today, as Vice President of Client Services, I am often looking for bright young talent for Envoy. I am also always looking for volunteers for the AMA. My fellow board members are always the first group of people I turn to when I have an open position to promote. These days it really is about who you know and not necessarily what you know. So here are three tips I share with young professionals:
1. Always get involved and network.
2. Find a professional organization that interests you, go to the events and talk to people.
3. The best way to really get noticed is to volunteer. I think it is important to show that you can multi-task, that you can handle work and extra-curricular activities.
I have learned so much about marketing, strategy, analytics, nonprofits, healthcare, content marketing and so much more just by being a part of an industry organization that I don’t think I would be where I am today had I not made it part of my professional development. I’m so grateful for my involvement in this great organization.