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    It’s time to reflect: Where can SMPS take you?

    Can you believe it??! It’s already mid-December. I don’t know about you, but my year has flown by! There’s much to be thankful for during this time of reflection and planning, and I for one, am grateful to be a part of SMPS Seattle and all that our chapter has to offer.

    My path to SMPS

    When I joined SMPS roughly five years ago, I never could have imagined where this organization would take me. Since our theme this month is professional development, it feels fitting to reflect on the role SMPS has played in my own personal and professional development.

    As a graduate of an architecture program, I knew the industry was one I wanted to be a part of. But when I graduated at the beginning of the recession, my dream of a design career was stymied. What I didn’t realize though, was that I was embarking on a path that would ultimately lead me to a career path I didn’t know existed, but which would suit me perfectly.

    After I spent a few years working in non-profit communications at the Center for Wooden Boats, a friend introduced me to Weber Thompson. The position was perfect: production graphic design and social media marketing. Six years later, I’m running the firm’s marketing department. The reason for this quite simply, is SMPS.

    Build on your strengths

    I’m a big believer in building on your strengths. Ask me about Strengthsfinder (or CliftonStrengths, as it’s now called) sometime and I’ll wax poetic about my love for strengths-based-personality tests. One of my core themes is ‘Maximizer’ which means I seek to maximize my time, my interests, and my strengths, and seek to build upon them. It’s also why I’m perpetually late – I fall into the trap of “just one more thing before I go…” – but that’s another story entirely.

    Turns out, my ‘Maximizer’ theme is probably a big part of why I love SMPS so much. More than anything else, we seek to help our members and attendees build on what they already have, so they can grow both personally and professionally. For me, SMPS was exactly the thing I needed to transform what I already knew into a powerful toolkit for success as an A/E/C marketer.

    What can SMPS do for you?

    During this time of reflection and goalsetting, I hope you’ll take some time to think about what SMPS has done for you, and what it could do for you if you dig in deeper. We exist to enrich the lives of our members through educational and networking opportunities – but you’ll only get out of it what you put into it. If you aren’t already taking full advantage of all the opportunities available – roundtables, educational events, member gatherings, learn at lunch webinars, mentorship program, scholarships – I hope you’ll consider taking a closer look in the new year.

    If you’re new to the chapter and overwhelmed, reach out! We’re here to help, and personally I can say that I love excuses to get out of the office for a cup of coffee, so you’ll really be doing me a favor.

    I’ll wrap up by mentioning that our chapter thrives on the support of volunteers – nearly a hundred, in fact. We’re proud to have a strong cadre of committed members who make our programs and events possible, and you could be one of them! In my opinion, it’s the very best way to grow your network through SMPS. If you’d like to learn more, the best person to chat with is SMPS Seattle President-Elect, Heidi Maki, who we affectionately refer to as our ‘SMPS Mom’ because she keeps a watchful eye over us all. You’ll be in a great hands with Heidi, promise.

    So cheers to wrapping up a wild year, and best wishes to all for a prosperous, and personal-growth-filled 2019!

    Erin Hatch, CPSM 

    SMPS Seattle Chapter President 

    Director of Marketing, Weber Thompson

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