I went to the morning sessions of Construct your Career at UW. I was able to network with friends and colleagues on campus, meet new people (one who recognized me from the Jobs @ UW site!) and hear some great discussions about how to excel in your current role or prepare for a new one.
Here are four takeaways that I have after hearing the presenters I chose to go to:
1. Take Advantage of Leadership Training.
Chancellor Blank could not stress this enough in her introduction to this morning’s keynote — there are so many opportunities for development and growth on this campus for all levels of staff. CSN promotes many of these programs and opportunities that are geared toward manager-level members, but there are classes and events for everyone to benefit from. It is your responsibility — no, your OBLIGATION — to seek them out and take advantage of these trainings to be a life-long learner.
2. Look for Opportunities to Serve on Committees.
Rebecca Blank also mentioned that a great way to network and develop in an organization such as the UW-Madison is to serve on committees. We have countless opportunities for this through shared governance, your department’s safety committee, or search and screens for new hires. Seek out something you are passionate about and see if there is a chance to be on a committee that focuses on that. If nothing else, you will meet new people and learn more about the campus, while developing your communication skills.
3. Find the 6-8 “Core Competencies” that your organization functions by and hone your skills in those areas.
Sarah Gibson of Accent Learning and Consulting gave a nice keynote about how to communicate with different generations in mind. She stated that most organizations have some basic core competencies that they live by, for ALL jobs they hire for (think about diversity, for example.) If you are interested in a certain company or unit on this campus, find out what their core beliefs are and work on strengthening your skills on those areas to be versatile and adaptable in that organization. These might not be technical skills that are specific to your job itself, but more all-encompassing things that would allow you to excel in ANY position.
4. Be a Learn-it-all, not a Know-it-all.
Bethany Pluymers spoke at a panel discussion with Marty Gustafson and CSN’s own Pamela Miller from our planning committee. They all told great stories of how they got to their current roles at the UW, but one thing stood out: continuously learning more to stay fresh, interested, and able move up the chain. Bethany summed it up by stating “Be a Learn-it-all, not a Know-it-all.” When something comes up that you are unfamiliar with, admit you don’t know it and strive to find out more either through training or in the people you surround yourself with.
I hope you were able to get over to this event, and if not visit the Links to Resources page of our website to find your next training class!
~ Rich for CSN