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Why I Drink the SMPS Kool-Aid (and Why You Should, Too!)

by Amanda Erickson, Sellen Construction, SMPS Seattle President

At our chapter’s last Fellows Forum in early December, the Fellows tried something unique – instead of interviewing each other, they asked past Fellows Scholarship winners (and long-term SMPS members) to interview them. The result was a mixed bag of questions, all incredibly relevant and well thought out.

Despite the variance of questions, they all aligned with similar themes of career development and business growth. What’s more, layered into each reply was an echoing answer: take advantage of the network and opportunities available to you through SMPS.

To those who have not fully bought into SMPS yet, it probably seemed like everyone had just drunk some cobalt blue, SMPS-flavored Kool-Aid, but to me at least, the message was clear: SMPS can be a positive career changing force – if you let it.

If you are still on the fence about what SMPS can offer you in your career, I hope this becomes a message that you decide to take to heart. If you need a few more reasons why I’ve conveniently compiled a classic top 10 list just for you. So here goes …

Amanda’s Top 10: Why I Don’t Just Drink – I Guzzle the SMPS Kool-Aid

10. After a bad or busy day, it’s difficult to force myself to go to that SMPS event I signed up for weeks ago – but when I do go, I always enjoy myself and go home feeling better than I have all day.

9. It can keep you sane. When you’re bombarded by endless deadlines and inane requests, you can always complain to your SMPS network – because they get it and they will empathize. You are not alone!

8. Sometimes, you just need the sugar rush.

7. The opportunity to volunteer and grow. Volunteering not only gives you an excuse to attend events regularly, but it also gives you a monthly opportunity to develop close relationships with other like-minded SMPSers.

6. The connection with peers across the country. With SMPS, you are part of a larger network that is constantly communicating across state lines with career and business challenges and solutions. It’s really quite amazing.

5. The networking. We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” and I’m sure many of us have found this to be true at some point. If not – get on board. Get out there and mingle! Grow your business and personal network– you’ll never know when or how this may help you in the long run.

4. I predict cobalt blue will be the hottest lipstick shade of 2017, and Kool-Aid is a natural stain (you heard it here first!).

3. The local peer-to-peer support network. This is not a joke – if you don’t belong to a roundtable you are missing out. SMPS Seattle’s roundtables give you the opportunity to connect on a deep level with others in the industry as a peer, mentor, and mentee. Some of the best career development happening in our chapter is through the roundtable program.

2. The personal development opportunities. Since volunteering, I’ve been able to participate in broader leadership roles and unique strategic initiatives than would normally be available through my day job, growing my skills and keeping me challenged.

1. The friendships. I have met people through SMPS that have become more than just colleagues – they are trusted friends of both my husband and me.

Want to learn more? Get in touch … I’m always happy to preach on! 

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  1. Deneise Kopetzky

    Feb. 7, 2017

    Nice blog Amanda and all very valid reasons. If you haven't joined SMPS, what are you waiting for?


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