Being a marketing professional, having the skill set to multitask is a must, and not for the faint of heart. You must be diligent in communicating your proposal needs, but what about professional development? There is a benefit to thriving in the fast-paced environment such as the proposal and marketing realm.
When you join an organization, the benefits of the “Why” come to mind. Why am I seeking membership? This is an important question because organizations usually require an annual payment depending on what level you are at in your career or otherwise.
Then there is the “What”. What can I bring to the organization and what do I plan to gain from being an active member? Take a look at the organization’s committees and events. If there is an opportunity to lend your expertise or a series of influential events that can help further your knowledge, then what are you waiting for?!
Then there is the “How”. How can I put my best professional expertise forward and how can I manage it all?
As proposal and marketing professionals, it is our job to be authentic and strategic in our professional lives. As a member of several professional organizations, here are tips that I suggest for avoiding burnout and putting your best volunteer foot forward:
· Join committees that are fulfilling to personal hobbies (If you like event planning, join an Events Committee, etc.)
· Schedule calls right before end of day or at 6pm
· Join organizations that are both professionally and personally rewarding
· Utilize your network and cross-reference individuals with similar career backgrounds
If you hold memberships in various organizations, it is also beneficial to communicate when you have an almost full plate. It is the same way that you would communicate deadlines and request that deadlines are adhered to for proposal work. Letting your committee members know if you can or cannot handle a task or can no longer commit is essential. This way, there are no disappointments should things fall through, and alternate options can be assessed, addressed and mitigated.
Many of us are in shared workspaces within the proposal industry and may have memberships that overlap in various organizations. There is a comfort to knowing that your peers from various industries have the same interest as you. This allows our professional network to broaden, all while recognizing familiar faces. You get to learn from one another outside of your work life and face the same professional development plateau without the stress of a proposal deadline where you may be on competitor side. We will be faced to deal with the discretion of pursuits, but will ultimately relish in the chatter of an upcoming proposal-related webinar or business development event that will ultimately benefit us all.
About Ivoire Lloyd, CF APMP – Ivoire is a marketing professional with 18 years of marketing, corporate communications and proposal coordination experience. She is currently the Senior Marketing Proposal Manager for SYSTRA USA, where she focuses on proposal oversight, management and production, implementing and facilitating proposal guidelines, and technical writing assignments. Ivoire has published several articles for various organizations, and has led workshops/presented on various proposal and professional development topics. She is also a published children’s book author.