Becoming a grown up

As we jump into the next decade, I can’t help but reflect on the previous one (mostly because the media continues to tell me to reflect on the previous one.)
The media has declared that this was worst decade in history since the depression. And while it brought its share of disappointments, I will choose to remember this decade a different way. I will choose to remember it as the decade I became a grown up.
When the decade started I was only a few years out of college, still new in my career. I was a newlywed living in a small apartment. Five months into the decade I was buying a house and getting a dog. Which led to building a house and having a baby. There was no turning back now – I was responsible for another human being – not sure it gets more grown up than that! Parallel to that was the growth in my career. I was working for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and continuing to fine-tune my health care communication skills.
One of the most treasured memories of the decade will be the time I spent on the WHPRMS Board. I know what you are thinking … shameless plug to get involved. And yes, in part it is. But getting involved truly made a difference in my life. I met people I would probably never have met. I gained confidence in my abilities as a health care communicator and leader. I networked and heck – I even got a new job!
I remember talking to Jeff Hine on the phone and saying “I am not really sure I am qualified to be on the board” and him telling me “You are in health care communications – that makes you qualified!” So I agreed to be the Southeast District Representative for two years. I never imagined that 7 years later I would be President. All it takes is a small step – join a committee, help with the conference, do something.
So as we start 2010 I encourage you to think about (and SHARE – which is really the purpose of this blog) the good things that have happened in the last decade and I challenge you to get involved – if not in WHPRMS – in something that will enhance your professional and personal life.

Melissa Douglas
Past President – WHPRMS
Senior Account Executive – BVK, Milwaukee

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