Last week, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel on networking hosted by the Public Leadership Education Network otherwise known as PLEN. PLEN seeks to connect college-aged women to those who work in public policy. My panel included Peggy Tighe who a consider a legend in the lobbying world and Kelly Biggs, someone to keep an eye on in the future. We were asked various questions about how we started our careers, what we do to maintain a network and how to market their skills into their chosen careers. Despite the fact that I had another presentation that afternoon and a to-do list a mile long, I committed to participating on the panel and enjoyed every minute of it. Not because I get to talk about myself, but because it allowed me to give back.
I would not be a lobbyist if it wasn’t for individuals taking time out of their busy schedules to talk to me about government relations. Even though I grew up in Washington DC, government relations was not a career path that was exposed to. In fact, I didn’t learn about it until college. When I got my first job after college, I took it upon myself to seek out lobbyists who can teach me the ropes. Some were more than happy to help. Others not so much. But that’s okay because I learned from everyone I was in contact with.
It’s so important for us as association professionals to give back to those just starting out. It’s a rewarding experience for you and the other person. As we approach ASAE13 next week, take some time to meet a first-time attendee or a new ASAE member. Share your knowledge with someone who maybe new to your particular content area. DELPers, share your story with someone who may be interested in applying. You never know the potential impact you could have on someone’s career or even life.