Career Development Event Recap

For the final Education event of the year, SMPS Oregon invited marketers who serve as senior members of their firms to discuss how they have advanced their careers. The panel was composed of Sarah Bell of Hacker Architects, Janice Westcott of Lease Crutcher Lewis, and Paige Viehouser, CPSM of catena consulting engineers. As the panelists introduced themselves, the common theme that emerged was that their roles had evolved over the course of many years with their firms to include financial management, human resources, and operational duties.

The first question posed by moderator and Education Director, McKenzie Richardson of PAE, related to advice on how to ask for a raise or promotion. All panelists encouraged marketers to come to the table with examples and specifics of how they have brought value to the firm. Janice told marketers to focus on how their position and work aligns with the culture, vision, and values of the firm. Sarah warned that upper management does not want to make decisions based on life circumstances such as the job loss of a spouse, but rather based on merit and the value the individual brings to the firm.

Other topics that arose through audience questions included a discussion of how to keep a job interesting when you have achieved the level of principal, as well as how to navigate work/life balance while climbing the career ladder. Paige told attendees set strong boundaries. “You need to be able to stand up for yourself because no one else will,” she said. 

McKenzie asked the panelists to leave the audience with some final words of wisdom:

  • From Sarah: “Expose yourself to everything you can and get out of your comfort zone.”
  • From Janice: “If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t growing. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.”
  • From Paige: “Learn everything you can about the technical side [of your firm].”

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