- Posted by Erin Charles
- On August 7, 2018
- career advice, career development, careers, Legal Marketing Association, LMASE, networking, Orlando
Networking may seem like an overused buzz term or even an intimidating task. However, for me it holds extensive meaning, and I owe a great deal of who I am professionally today to this simple, everyday exchange.
At Poston Communications, networking is high on our priority list. All team members are encouraged to participate in industry and trade organizations. Through my colleagues’ influence, I have been fortunate to be introduced to various professional associations, one in particular molding me into the young professional that I am today.
At the beginning of this year, I seized the opportunity to serve as secretary on the Orlando local steering committee of the Legal Marketing Association Southeast region. From this experience, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that furthers my ability to excel within my career. I want to share this with everyone – not to gloat, but to emphasize the results that extending your network can have on your professional growth, your company’s growth and even your social growth.
Joining a professional organization not only will help you personally but will grow your network, in turn growing your company’s network. Through my involvement with LMA, I gain constant knowledge from being surrounded by peers with more professional experience than me – whether it be through work-related conversations or getting to know someone on a personal level. As a young professional one year removed from college, their seasoned background helps me grow and improve. Additionally, I have seen a boost in my confidence because interacting with a variety of professionals requires a higher level of maturity and self-presentation. You cannot be intimidated and must adopt the mindset that you are capable. Being able to hold your own in a professional networking setting is a valuable skill for anyone to develop..
Networking helps you gain potential clients and potential employees. Most professional organizations have meetings or events that bring in all sorts of people. A quick exchange of a business card and brief elevator pitch can create an opportunity for your company’s next new client or a prime candidate for a job opening you may have.
My involvement with LMA has extended into many other realms outside of legal PR, exposing me to other organizations such as ad2, an organization for young professionals in advertising, and Girls on the Run, a youth mentoring program. My connections keep building and connecting me deeper into the Orlando community that I only have called home for a full year. For those who are moving or who have just moved to a new city, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to find an organization to get involved with, professional or not. It will build your circle in an astounding way and lead to new friendships.
Remember, networking IS fun. It doesn’t have to be a scary, rigid activity. Networking events can be a nice change of pace (hello, happy hours!) and broadens your horizons socially and professionally. Do yourself a favor and establish your network through an organization such as LMA; you’ll gleam with satisfaction at the professional and personal growth you had no idea you were capable of.
Erin Charles is an account executive at Poston Communications, based in Orlando.