When you walk around HORNE on a Friday afternoon in the fall it is evident that most of our team members, including myself, love college football. As the season gears up, the number of team colors worn around the office increases as team members partake in friendly banter over their team of choice. I can only imagine the confidence each quarterback must have knowing they have a stadium full of fans and teammates all in their corner, cheering them on to victory. That has to be the most incredible feeling—knowing no matter the outcome, your true supporters will always have your back. What if we applied this same concept to our careers? The thought never crossed my mind until a mentor and friend asked, "Carly, why have you not developed a fan base for your career?" I remember thinking, "Why haven't I?"
I had been a part of the HORNE team just shy of two years when I realized I wanted more. I was working to further develop my career and I knew I could not reach my goals alone. Just like a quarterback develops quality relationships with many coaches and teammates throughout their career, I too had developed meaningful relationships with mentors and co-workers in my two years with HORNE. During this time, I grew to respect, trust and appreciate the guidance received from each mentor and I valued that they showed interest in my growth. I needed a fan base that would challenge, encourage and push me outside of my comfort zone daily. I needed my own personal board of directors and I was determined to build it.
Aided by two incredible managers and lots of quality conversations around owning my career, building my personal brand and gaining insight on how to ask difficult questions, I was prepared to sit down and discuss what I wanted and most importantly, needed from my performance advisor and board of directors to ensure that I’m on the path to reaching my full potential. If I had never asked for more feedback, both good and bad, selected an additional performance advisor or stepped out of my comfort zone, I would have never gained the opportunities that were to come. Building my own board of directors has opened more doors to leadership roles than I could have ever imagined. The wealth of knowledge, experience and insight I have received working with these leaders is not only career changing, but life changing as well. I have gained the confidence to step up, own my voice and serve in new roles, all while having a pretty incredible fan base in my corner.
Challenges at work do not seem as intimidating and failure doesn't sting quite as bad as before when you're surrounded with a strong and genuine personal board of directors. I walk into conversations now like I am walking into Vaught Hemingway on a Saturday afternoon with a W on my mind. Every day I am encouraged, supported and challenged to be better in every aspect of my life. My fan base has my back when there are thirty seconds left on the clock and the ball is in my hands. Does yours?
About the Author
Carly is a healthcare senior associate at HORNE LLP where she specializes in external audits in the healthcare industry. Facing her career with fierce ownership, she asked for the support she needed and fast-tracked her journey to reach her full potential.