Looking for new ways to jump-start your professional development this year? Here, we check in with 12 members of the OWA Board of Directors to unpack their 12 best tips for getting — and staying — motivated + creating professional development opportunities.
"Get inspired by getting involved on a deeper level here at the OWA!" says OWA President Tiara Claxton. "Open up pathways by connecting and sharing your strengths with other professionals, and you in turn will learn and be motivated, ensuring personal and professional growth."
A great benefit to being in the OWA is your access to other professional women who understand and can help. Dig in here for 12 must-read tips:
Deb Bulkin (Luxottica)
"Take time to reassess your career goals. Are they still relevant today and in keeping with your personal journey? Reach out to one new member in the month of March who seems to embody the path you wish to be on. You may not only find a mentor to help you along the way, you likely will find a new friend who will help keep you mindful of your 'why.'"
Pamela Capaldi (Brien Holden Vision Institute)
"My cultivated strength is getting to know people. So, that is my tip. Get to know those around you. Think of someone you admire and would like to get to know better — and ring them up and introduce yourself.
Be brave, pick up the phone! Share your genuine admiration and respect. Share your compliments as to why they stand out to you in a crowd . . . .and chances are you will begin a professional friendship that will lead you to the next friend . . . and the next . . . ."
Maureen Cavanaugh (Essilor)
"After the start of the new year it is critical to get out of the gate fast towards achieving your goals. I always try to front-load my efforts so that I am confident that I can attain my goals going into the back half of the year. Set clear and measurable objectives and then knock it out of the park early!"
Tiara Claxton (Thelios)
"Professional motivation comes from constant positive thought actions, setting realistic goals, having a clear vision of where you want to be and what your future looks likes to you."
Robyn Crimmins (VSP)
"To spark your career in the new year, connect with your mentor to review your aspirations for 2019 and ask for input on how you can accomplish them. If you don't already have a mentor, get one! Whether you choose a mentor who is inside or outside your industry, pick someone you respect who is willing to be honest and who is invested in your growth and success."
Laura Dorris (Vision West)
"Pick out a book in a specific area or find an online class, webinar, or seminar to help perfect a skill that needs some work (Skillshare has a free trial offer with thousands of online classes). The start of the year is a great time to list out goals and areas to challenge yourself. Mastering even a small new skill can be help reinvigorate your confidence and creativity with how you bring your talents to work each day."
Lorie Lippiatt, OD (Salem Eyecare Center + Healthy Eyes Advantage)
"The most actionable tip that has resulted in success in our optometric practice has been the establishment of goals at the beginning of each year. My office manager and I sit down at the beginning of the year and set realistic goals, based on fundamental key performance indicators that are measurable. I have found this increases staff engagement, builds momentum in the practice, and strengthens our ability to provide excellent patient care."
Ashley Mills (The Vision Council)
"Commit to making time to travel to at least one leadership conference or event each year. Especially if it is just outside of the boundaries of your job description, in an aspirational field, or related to something you are deeply and personally interested in. You will grow, you will learn, and you will be inspired."
Erinn Morgan (Eyecare Business Magazine)
"I firmly believe that knowledge is power — and that it can help deliver professional development and career advancement in spades. In fact, companies with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee. Knowledge — something you can strive to enhance on your own, even if your company doesn't have a training program — can come in the form of everything from simply reading 30 minutes a day beyond your work day to taking short courses online. And, knowledge can be even more powerful — and career-enhancing — when shared with your team and co-workers."
Debbie Myres (Visual-Expressions)
"Surround yourself with people who believe in what you do and are people you respect. Write down your goals and plans and evaluate monthly where you are with your plan. Find positive people who weather the storm. Be bold and talk to your boss! Let your boss know what you want to achieve and ask for their help to get there. I feel most motivated around positive people who might not always agree with my ideas, but offer other ideas and solutions for consideration."
Janelle Pauli (VisionWeb)
"I make it a point to practice self-awareness every day. It helps in all aspects of life, both professional and personal."
Jean Sabre (Uptown Vision)
"Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect. Mirror what you admire."
Thank you to all of the board members for giving their time + insight to this inspiring list. We hope it inspires you to get motivated and make career advances in 2019!