One of the perks of working at Web Teks is how the company invests in its people. As one of the younger employees on staff interested in learning more about leadership and building professional relationships, I was selected to attend The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (VPCC) monthly Bridge Young Professionals luncheon. The topic of the luncheon varies each month focusing on a specific relevant issue with discussions led by local industry leaders. Young leaders are encouraged to brainstorm together to solve problems, ask questions, collaborate on new initiatives, and exchange contact information to continue to work together after the conference.
Along with another colleague and our Vice President of Client Engagement, we have been able to attend two sessions so far. Each session has allowed us to practice various skills, gather in a community setting, and learn from some of the most respected leaders in our area.
The first session focused on collaboration and development across the peninsula region. City, state, and business leaders led the forum and encouraged creative discussion among groups to resolve some key business problems. It was fascinating seeing a room full of peers collaborating and having their voices heard by these respected leaders who were eager to take in the opinions we provided. Often as a young professional, our voices get drowned out by those with more experience, even if our ideas our sound. During this luncheon, our opinions were validated and encouraged. A big part of those opinions focused around technology and digital presence. By pushing companies and governments further into the digital era, they can connect with a broader public and meet the outcomes they seek through targeted goals. More companies are valuing the economic vitality of millennials and to gain them as a consumer base, organic interactions in a targeted web presence is necessary.
The second session was more centered around entrepreneurship and business risks. Individuals who have built successful start-ups and lead local think-tanks led discussions focusing on what the entrepreneurial spirit is built upon. Even though I have no desire to start-up my own business anytime soon, the lessons learned can be applied to any environment. Having the guts to take risks, fail, adjust, learn, and collaborate can make the difference between a start-up that succeeds or fails. These same principles apply to the world of technology. In my position, if I take a safe solution that doesn’t innovate… how am I helping my customer in a way that differentiates us from our competitor? If we don’t take risks and fail together in the process, how will we learn to collaborate as digital partners?
I look forward to continuing these sessions with the VPCC and learning alongside my peers. It’s great to practice my song and dance talking about the awesome company I work for while networking. It’s even better to learn new skills that I get to bring back to my office to enrich our internal culture.