Starting Fresh and Reinventing My Career: Avil Beckford
Changing careers is one of the most challenging (and even intimidating) decisions a professional can make. Avil shared with us how being part of Ellevate supported her in reinventing herself.
Why did you join Ellevate?
The Ellevate journey started when the organization was 85 Broads. I went to an event years ago, and one of the members of the leadership team asked if I would be willing to help. I said "yes" thinking it was occasional help. That was not the case. I have seen the organization grow and evolve into what it is today and I am proud to be a part of it. The organization has more structure and systems in place. That keeps me involved, and I can't wait to see what is next for the organization.
How has your Ellevate membership helped you achieve your professional goals?
For the past year I have been reinventing myself. I have changed what I do professionally. With that in mind, I made a conscious effort to start using the benefits of my Ellevate membership. I have seen a few people I know, who worked their membership to get to where they needed to go professionally. I decided to do the same for myself. I participated in one of the Squads in 2017 and I am participating in another one for Fall 2018. I also decided that I would contribute articles and have them submitted to Forbes. I also plan to review the benefits of an Executive Council membership to determine the ones that are best for my personality. I am an introvert, who can function as an extrovert if I have to, so the right membership is important to me.
Your article - “The Skills You Need to Succeed in 2020” - has received more than 28,000 views. What has the reaction been from readers? Why did you decide to start contributing articles through Ellevate?
I decided that I needed to make better use of my Ellevate membership. I have contributed articles before, but not in a very long time, and I never submitted an article to Forbes before. I gave a lot of thought to what article I would write and thought writing "The Skills You Need to Succeed in 2020" would be beneficial to the Ellevate community. I am big on professional development and I created the Strategic Reading Challenge so professionals could learn the skills to succeed in 2020 by reading the rights books. An important goal to me is to get 1,000 professionals reading a book a week within two years, and I want to use my reading challenge to get me there. We are about professionals supporting each other and I believe the article would be a good way for me to show my support to other women.
Why would you recommend Ellevate to a friend?
When I talk to my friends, I use myself as an example. For instance, in 2016, I went to a conference in Dallas and I knew no one there. Ellevate HQ connected me with an Ellevate member and we met for breakfast. That was so nice. Imagine going to a strange place and having the ability to meet with someone from the Ellevate community. There is something about the culture of Ellevate that makes it very different from other women's associations. Women go out of their way to help other women and that's the way it should be.
When I talk to people, and not just friends, I mention Ellevate Squads, Jam Sessions and the publishing platform. Now that I have had over 28,000 views of my article, this will inspire my friends and colleagues to join Ellevate. Who doesn't want a platform where they can touch many lives? I posted the link of the article on Facebook and the feedback has blown me away. People have been sharing it with their colleagues. The article resonated with so many people. That's going to be a selling point when I talk to them about Ellevate Network.
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►►► WHAT I DO 1. I'm a storyteller. Clients hire me to interview their clients. I craft the interviews into success stories, which they use to market their services. Stories are more powerful than testimonials. I’ve been conducting interviews for over 20 years. 2. Let my interviewing skills work for you! One way is to let me showcase your star employees’ groundbreaking work inside, and philanthropic activities outside the organization. What your employees do matter. 3. World Economic... Continue Reading
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