MND welcomed four great guests at Connections Friday this week. It was another two hours of inspiring stories, career success tips, and one-on-one networking. Read on to see who attended and what advice they had to share!
Rodney, a director at a marketing company, told clients that he fell into his current career by accident. His first job was a paperboy and after that he worked in various positions at restaurants and warehouses. He currently manages two teams at his company and is also an author and speaker who travels across the country. Rodney told clients, "don't let a position define you. Pursue your own greatness as opposed to a position and do your best whatever you do." He also shared the importance of believing in yourself and getting to know yourself so that others can get to know you too.
Chris is currently a VP of Corporate Affairs at a large hospital in Baltimore. He grew up in Alabama and his parents were immigrants. He always knew he wanted to work in a city though, and he pursued his dream. Chris worked as Deputy Mayor in Baltimore City for three mayors, but knew that he didn't want to be in the government forever. Through networking and talking to associates he knew and trusted, he made connections at area hospitals and found his current role. Chris highlighted something his mentor told him: don't look for a job, look for someone who will teach you. "It is important to look for who you will work for," he said. "Working hard, learning, and listening, are the fastest ways to grow professionally."
Janet described herself as a lifelong learner. As a retired social worker, she is currently a student at the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame University. Janet related how her first job teaching swimming helped her learn the principles that lead to her eventual pursuit of social work. As a swim instructor she realized that people learn in different ways, and that you can help people overcome their fears. Janet had no expectations of going to college, but she learned through those around her that there were scholarships she could apply for and so she did. "Listening to feedback from others is very important," she said. Janet became a social worker counseling in outpatient mental health centers. Through this career, she could help people, teach, and learn. Janet also stressed the value of networking; networking helped her get jobs, and while she may not have been doing it proactively, she made connections through all her relationships. She summed up her advice for clients as this:"show up and use what you have in that moment. However unimportant a task may seem, do your best at it."
Barbara started her own networking group in Annapolis because she saw the need for it. Many professional women didn't have the money to spend on network group fees and outings. She asked local businesses to host small networking groups at their sites before opening, and they all agreed. This provided safe networking spaces and promoted business among group members. Barbara started her career at GE and went to school for secretarial science. She shared with clients that keeping an open mind to opportunities that come your way is integral. "If you want something, you have to put it out there." Barbara worked for 28 years in the federal government, always getting jobs through contacts and connections. She started her own home business with her husband and then created her networking group to help her business thrive. Barbara said, "there will be naysayers, but your path is your path." You can't let those who don't want you to succeed hold you back.
All of our guests answered client questions about becoming a successful motivational speaker and coping with a lack of formal education. They shared personal stories and career successes of similar entrepreneurs who made it on their own. Thank you again to all our guests who inspire us to keep moving forward!
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