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Opportunity Knocks: You have the key, now open the door!

(Education, Leadership) Permanent link

Guest Blogger Meg Butler, North Carolina, New Orleans Alumnae Association President

I’m on a plane, flying home from an annual conference, only this time, I’m returning with new confidence and enthusiasm, having read Kristin S. Kaufman’s book, Is This Seat Taken?: Random Encounters That Change Your Life. After participating in Kristin’s Kappa-sponsored webinar “The Origin of Authentic Power,” I followed up by reading her book, and it got me thinking about the relationship between opportunity and leadership.  Kristin’s stories about random encounters that offered her opportunities for personal growth resonated with me, because I teach and write about leadership, decision-making, and what are called opportunity logics.  


There are two ways to pursue opportunities. One way, the way most of us think about things like choosing a career path, finding the right partner, or fashioning your authentic lifestyle, is called discovery logic, where you have a specific opportunity in mind that you are attempting to pursue. The other way, which has been shown by data to be the way most successful entrepreneurs and leaders find that “magic formula” for success, is called enactment logic, where you are constantly trying new things, experimenting with new methods and attitudes, in effect creating your own opportunities, one of which will lead to something, if you’re open to the possibilities and listening to that inner voice that tells you when something is right.  

At the conference I just attended, I hosted a roundtable discussion, something I’ve never done before. That led to new ideas for classes, a potential conference panel, and even a discussion with a publisher about a book on the discussion topic. Joining a committee for the first time led a small group of us to articulate a common problem we are having at our respective institutions and put together some ideas for discussion and potential solutions.  Walking up and introducing myself to well-known scholars whose work I admire led to possible scholarly collaborations, and similarly, introducing myself to students and younger scholars in my field not only helped encourage them but also helped me rediscover enthusiasm for my own work and created a larger audience for my ideas.  

What made the difference at this year’s conference, you may ask? I attended Leadership Academy in September 2012, and it was life-changing. It forces you to interact with others in new ways. It encourages your heart, refocuses you on your personal values, and helps you see leadership as a process. One part of that process is creating opportunities and then acting on the ones that feel right. Don’t wait around for the perfect partner, job or life—get out there and explore. Quite quickly, you will find yourself growing as a person, seeing new possibilities, and beginning to develop leadership skills that have you building teams, making valuable connections, and helping the next generation do the same, creating even more opportunities.  

 

The Lowdown on Officer Training Webinars

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Emily Dunn, Education Coordinator

“It’s just another webinar, right? It’s not THAT important.” “I can be the President of [insert chapter name here] chapter without listening to someone talk for an hour.”

If you’ve thought any of these thoughts before, we’d like you to reconsider.

Recently, several volunteers (and Headquarters staff) put our heads together and tried to answer an age-old question: Why should members watch our webinars? We quickly blurted out the following responses: Because they’re great! They’re informative! They’re helpful! They’re free!
Sure, those answers were OK, but we decided to dig a little deeper. The further we dug, the more answers we discovered.  I’ve decided to save you some time and narrow the list to the top 10. If these don’t convince you, I’m not sure what will!


1. You might be asking yourself: Self, I know what the previous Vice President-Organization did, but is that really my job? Officer training webinars will not be able to tell you whether every move your VPO made was the right one or not, but it will clear up the specifics of what your job actually entails. (This way, you’ll know you’re doing it correctly). You’ll gain more understanding about how your chapter should function and you’ll have more to contribute to your committee, too!

2. Wondering what to do for your next sisterhood event? Are you a new member looking to learn more about officer positions you might want to hold in the future? Make the webinar a mini-sisterhood event! Attend the webinar with your committee and adviser. It’s a great way to get others involved and educated about officer responsibilities. Besides, if you think you might want to be the chapter President one day, the President’s webinar can help you gain a better understanding of the position!

3. Worried about not being an effective officer? Worry no more! If you only learn what’s expected of you and what is presented during the webinar (and then put it into action), you’ll be doing a great job as an officer!

4. You’ll learn a different form of technology! So many businesses (large and small) and universities are utilizing webinar systems for training, development and meetings. You’ll have an advantage throughout your collegiate and professional careers if you start understanding this technology now. BONUS: You get to learn the technology while using it and you’ll learn transferrable skills for the real world in the meantime. Speaking of technology—you can download the GoToMeeting app on your iPhone or Android phone and participate on the go!

5. Did I forget to mention that these types of trainings can be considered continuing education and look great on your résumé? Trust me, being able to demonstrate to a potential/current employer that you are willing to learn gives you a great advantage. These officer training webinars do just that.

6. Have you ever sat through a lecture or presentation and felt like you couldn’t ask questions? Or, maybe you left feeling like you wish you could hear it again for clarity? We have. The format of the officer training webinars is set up so that you can raise your hand, ask a question and get answers quickly and in real time! And, if the webinar is over and you need to review the information, the entire webinar is recorded and available on YouTube. How convenient is that?

7. Did you have so much fun at Convention 2012 meeting Kappas from all over the United States and Canada? We know that being connected and seeing the big picture of our membership is important. So take this opportunity to connect with other Kappas who hold your same officer position, advise it, or “aspire to be” it.

8. Your role might seem overwhelming, but the webinars will give you all the latest information, tips and tricks to make your job easier. Easier is generally better, right? And, if it all still feels overwhelming, you can ask questions and get help during the webinar. Who knows, someone else might be feeling the same way!

9. Officer training webinars are a convenient way to be trained directly by a Kappa expert in your specific role! And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be trained by an expert?

10. Ever start a project and wonder, am I doing this right? Once you’ve participated in the webinar, you’ll know if you’re doing your job right! And if you’re not, you’ll learn how to make it right.

To attend upcoming officer training webinars, you'll find the registration information in your officer folder after logging in to the Members side of the website. If you missed the current webinar, or would like to view previous webinars, please visit Kappa's official YouTube channel.

The Job Hunt: It’s Always a “No” Until You Ask!

(Uncategorized) Permanent link

Guest Blogger Angela Brown, Ohio State

Nobody will hand you a job, internship or externship. This is a hard truth that we have to face in this economy; you need to actively seek the experience you want. Many colleges offer internships or co-ops through career services, but often those opportunities are for course credit and unpaid. If you have the chance to intern with the university, I think it’s an incredible opportunity. However, if you are like me and have recently finished school, you may not be able to take advantage of the career services. I’ve found that the next best way to seek these internships and jobs is to network with people in the field. 

Networking has netted me every job that I’ve enjoyed. Sure, I’ve spent time interviewing for jobs and I’ve had some valuable job experiences with positions from traditional interviewing, but networking allowed me to work with the people whom I wanted to work with, doing something I loved to do. Here’s a secret that’s not so secret: people like working with people they know, especially those who will do a good job. 

Kappa Kappa Gamma prepares us for the challenge of networking. Does anyone remember Recruitment? Members learn valuable tools for life during recruitment workshops, and are given many rounds to practice their skills.  Recruitment teaches us to ask questions, connect with people and find common interests. Recruitment also teaches us to share information in a way that furthers the discussion. Your ability to gracefully interact with others is a valuable job skill, and one that will make future employers take note. 

Additionally, one of the best things you can do as a new graduate, someone seeking a job change or someone reentering the workforce years after college is to join a Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae association in your area. You already have a built-in network of Kappa women who want to support their sisters. Every year, scores of women join in our special bond of sisterhood, but few of them realize the potential network available to them once they graduate. Kappa works diligently to keep updated membership information, and many women have included their profession in their Kappa profiles. 

Utilize your networks. Ask around and find a mentor. Research the career path you want and speak to men and women who have followed a similar path. Get involved in the local activities. People want to work with people willing to take calculated risks. Networking is a risk, but it also shows that you are willing to step out there and make an effort. 

Again, nobody will hand you a job or internship. You must actively seek the role you want. So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and start talking to people. Ask someone to coffee, and pick his or her brain for more information. The worst thing they could say is no, but it’s always a no until you ask! 

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