I've Won an Award, Now What?
Essex PA Network are proud to present an uplifting and motivating article this month from Jennifer Smith, FEPAA, Pitman SuperAchievers PA of the Year and Winner in the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars EA/PA Category.
So I have two awards to my name, now what? How will these awards benefit me? To truly understand and answer this I need to look back at the previous two years.
In 2016 I first became aware of the world of PA Awards when I received a nomination. I was over the moon and the nomination was enough I didn't need anything else or to be shortlisted. I was happy and content. The following year I decided to be more “active” in the award process and mentioned in passing that PA awards existed to a few people. When I again received a nomination I promoted and pushed it, this time I was shortlisted and again I was happy and content.
After being shortlisted I started to see the value in PA awards and that they could have an impact on my career if only I took that first step. So apart from mentioning the awards in passing what could I do? Firstly, I wrote a blog explaining why individuals should self-nominate. Secondly I made sure I followed my own advice and self-nominated in the next round of awards.
That leads us back to this year where I sought out nominations, I sent emails to various colleagues asking them to nominate me if they thought I was worthy. I received multiple nominations and support throughout the shortlisting process. The end result was being named a winner (twice).
I can't thank those that nominated and supported me enough. Again once the dust had settled I decided the wins needed to mean something. As I've progressed each year I’ve taken a step, although small, outside of my comfort zone by asking for support and nominations. This time a bigger step was needed; I had won after all.
I was determined to make the awards work for me and to advance my career. The first thing I did was take over the running of the Charity PA Network. I owe a lot to this profession and want to give back; this was the perfect opportunity to achieve that goal. The second thing I decided was my biggest step of all; I agreed to speak at an event. Not a small little talk tacked on at the beginning or end but to be the main speaker.
Why is this a big step for me? I'm the person that always sits at the back of the room and hates to speak up. When asked to give a presentation or training at work I find an alternative way to complete the task that doesn't mean being in front of everyone and the focus of attention.
I still hate the idea of speaking to an audience but I recognise the challenge and opportunity to improve myself and it's another way to give back to the profession I love.
The awards could easily do nothing. You have to want to improve, to progress and have them work for you.
I am also confident that when the time comes to move to a new role that these awards will provide an assist and who knows they could even contribute to a salary increase.
Awards will only work for you if you make them.