By Beth Clark
Networking and training are fundamental to continued development at whatever stage you are in your career. Whether it’s catching up at a trade show with old industry friends, meeting new people at an event, or connecting with peers at training sessions, the opportunity to converse and learn from other people’s experiences is an excellent way to grow. Networking can also lead to new job prospects, with 31% of job seekers finding listings through professional connections. While the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020 found that 76% of respondents agree that knowing the right people is key to getting ahead in life.
However – thanks to a certain pandemic – networking has become extremely difficult to do over the last 18 months. So, when organisations – like #GALSNGEAR and NAB Amplify – join forces to host virtual networking events to bring people together, it’s an opportunity not to be missed!
Last month, #GALSNGEAR hosted its ‘Career Accelerator for Women’ virtual event and invited several of the best industry leaders across the M&E market to share their top tips, answer questions, and reveal some of their personal experiences. Featuring assessments, workshops, panels, presentations, and more, the #GALSNGEAR event connected aspiring women to help accelerate their careers and realise their potential on their leadership journeys. The sessions were led and participated by women from a huge range of companies such as Dell, HBO, MediaKind, Microsoft, NAB Show, The Walt Disney Company, and many more.
Here are some of the key take-aways that the Platform team learned from the two-day event:
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Utilise social platforms to showcase whatever it is you are passionate about and why you do what you do
- PERSONAL BRANDING: Have an excellent press kit including a great headshot and updated biography on hand and ready to go
- PEER REVIEW & ACCOUNTABILITY: Establish your own board of directors – someone 10 years older than you, someone 10 years younger, a former manager, someone outside your industry, people from diverse backgrounds – to keep you accountable and be a sounding board for how your brand is landing
A key part of the training session was an assessment to determine our most natural leadership style. Created from the Everything DiSC online personality test, ‘The 8 Dimensions of Leadership,’ we were asked to complete an assessment to consider eight individual leadership styles why they’re important and what our natural leadership strengths are. The test spotlighted areas to develop to become a more well-rounded, dynamic leader. For example, to be a more ‘Affirming leader,’ you should monitor your “default” expressions; let people know that you value them; and accept other people’s limitations.
For me, one of the most important takeaways came during one of the panel sessions moderated by our CEO, Gay Bell. One of Gay’s panellists, Founder/CEO of kweliTV, DeShuna Spencer, shared how she deals with and overcomes any feelings of imposter syndrome. Her advice was simple but powerful: “My fear of failure outweighs my imposter syndrome.” As I progress in my career, and certainly while I’m part of industries that are typically dominated by men, this phrase will stay with me and push me on.