At work I was recently asked to be part of a panel discussion series focused on educating and inspiring employees within our company on Career Development. The focus of this panel was to share feedback and advice on how someone goes about shaping their own career within our company. When the committee started choosing who to invite to be on the panel my name came up since I have been successful in my tenure here and have moved up quickly. Thus the invite was given to me and I of course had to accept!
First I cant even put into words how flattered, humbled, excited, and terrified I was to receive the invitation. I now manage a larger team at work and with that job comes giving feedback, suggestions, and sharing my opinions. However it is still hard for me to believe that my thoughts and advice are anything that others would want to hear. This is where I think sometimes we have to step back, reflect, and trust in our own abilities. There is a reason we get to where we are at.
The panel consisted of 5 of us all at Senior to Director levels across various areas within the company. The discussion was scheduled for an hour and luckily enough the woman organizing the event had asked the audience in advance for questions, which gave us some time to think through everything and have good solid answers going into the discussion. The forum was hosted as a Q & A so most of the questions were asked throughout the hour by the audience themselves, but when there was a little quite time the host would ask one of the pre-set questions.
I have never been a fan of speaking in public, especially when it is off the cuff and you do not have everything you want to say typed out, memorized, and prepared for. This was why in part I was so scared to accept the invitation. I have started to learn that the higher up you progress at work the more speaking and contributing your thoughts and ideas is a part of the everyday job. Therefore I have slowly learned to accept it and now I am constantly pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
Overall the panel discussion went great! The committee who arranged it at work said after it was all said and done they received a ton of positive feedback and that the audience thought it was truly beneficial. I cant even put into words how pro-found the experience was for me not only professionally, but also personally.With that in my next blog post I plan on sharing with everyone some of the questions asked along with what my advice was for them. Again I am by no means an expert, so it is just my humble advice on what has worked for me. So stay tuned!