I am usually skeptical of organizations that promote networking and professional connections. My experience with networking groups in the past haven’t been fulfilling and interactions always felt forced. I found that I crave authenticity, learning opportunities, and meaningful connections that will help me grow and expand my understanding of the community around me. I jokingly tell people that I was tricked into joining Professional Dimensions, but I am so glad it happened. After recognizing my need for authentic connections and growth opportunities, my friend and Professional Dimensions member, Emily Phillips, suggested I join a Conversation Circle to experience the organization without becoming a member immediately. Conversation Circles are part of the Professional Dimensions Race Relations Initiative and are focused on engaging participants in discussions about race and racism.
Over the course of the program I met a number of intelligent and admirable women with fantastic stories to tell. We were all different in the traditional sense as well as in our styles, interpretations and life experiences - but that’s what made the experience so rich. Regardless of our differences, we realized that we were all focused on the common goal of “what can we do to influence positive change?” I felt like I had found the type of community that I had been seeking. I realized that this small circle of women represented a sample size of the broader PD organization. My instinct said that if I was so powerfully impacted by this small group, how terrific would it be to have access to so many more women just like this in the community? I ultimately decided to apply for membership.
In the short time that I have been a member, I have found the personal and professional development opportunities to be extremely valuable. Above and beyond the member experience, I recognized early on that PD members have a high sense of accountability and loyalty to the mission, which is something I greatly respect. I view Professional Dimensions as much more than a professional networking group, it is a safe place to go for support, to have fun, to share knowledge, to be inspired, to work through a challenge, to find a friend, and to be a part of something bigger.
In a time when all women must commit to lifting up and advocating for other women, PD is a source of empowerment! I am so grateful to be a part of this special organization.