How My Squad Changed My Professional Life

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By: Mariam Jacob

Wondering how to propel your career to the next level?

Do you have an idea that you’re excited about but want feedback or advice?

Joining an Ellevate Squad made it easier for me to sift through the chatter and become clearer on my professional goals.

Like all busy women, I have a limited amount of time, and so I try to maximize that time as much as possible. When I joined my Ellevate Squad, I knew I would be engaged for 12 weeks. Therefore, the maximizer in me set a goal for myself — by the end of our session, I wanted to gain clarity on my career path and to create milestones, or smaller goals, for me to achieve in order to attain my ultimate goal. Having reinvented my career a couple of times, I was eager to discuss with and get feedback from my peers.

Each week, one Squad member was invited into the Hot Seat where she would discuss her achievements, dreams, challenges, and barriers she was facing. As we listened, we all chimed in with questions and feedback. Sometimes, we would prompt her to think about her challenges in a different way or as an opportunity to move in another direction. By the end of the call, she had actionable steps and people she could connect with. It was common for Squad members to open their networks and introduce a member to a connection who had the expertise and experience she might need. During my turn in the Hot Seat, I left behind goals which were no longer relevant and took leaps I couldn’t have imagined.

Here are 6 reasons why you should join an Ellevate Squad.

1. Be a part of an engaging, highly skilled, and diverse group of women who are dedicated to helping you get to the next stage in your career.

2. Gain extensive insights from women throughout the Ellevate Network. A Squad is composed of women at similar career stages, but every member has a different background, culture, and professional experience — a great way to get ideas from women in other companies and industries.

3. Get non-judgmental, candid advice in a supportive and safe environment. Everything shared in the Squad, stays in the Squad.

4. Network and engage with like minded women in a fun, online environment in less time than the average lunch. The Squads are efficient. They are purposeful and focused so that you get the most impact in a short time.

5. Expand your networks. As your Squad members get to know you, it is very common for the other members to reach out to their own networks to see whom they can introduce you to.

6. Make an impact in someone else’s professional growth. When you give a part of yourself, you gain so much more.

Ellevate Squads will be starting a new cycle in February. If you’re looking to make changes in your career, join us!

Mariam Jacob is the Director of Operations at the Allergy and Asthma Clinics of Houston. After being VP of Marketing for the National Association of Women MBA’s (NAWMBA), Mariam continues to give back by mentoring upcoming female MBA’s and speaking on university panels on her experiences.

A community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed.

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