Once you have clearly defined your personal brand, identify who you are and what you do with confidence, says Loraine Ballard Morrill, director of news and community affairs, Clear Channel Media+Entertainment Philadelphia and advisory council member, Pennsylvania Conference for Women. Read on to see what other advice she offers.
Q: How did your professional journey begin and what would you say was your defining professional moment?
A: My professional journey started totally by accident. I was a dance major and walked into the college radio station thinking they were looking to hire. I ended up trying out for a news position and was hooked from that point on. It’s a great example of being open to possibility even when it doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of where you think you belong.
A defining professional moment came when I was fired from a very high profile job. Despite the trauma of the experience, this taught me several important lessons. I learned the importance of seeking out mentors within an organization in which you may be a minority. I learned who your friends truly are. I also understood that I have value and an identify outside of my job.
Q: What are the characteristics that you believe define a great company?
A: Great companies encourage innovation, teamwork and trust. They also set a high bar but offer the encouragement and resources that help you reach it.
Q: What are your top three tips for a woman who is ready to make her next career move?
A: Make sure you develop your brand. People need to recognize who you are and what you are capable of. Networking. Make sure you give yourself opportunities to be around people and groups who are doing the kinds of things you would like to do.
Q: What is the top piece of professional advice that you’ve received from a mentor and why do you think that advice still applies to today’s business environment?
A: I used to be pretty low key about identifying who I am and what I do. I went to a networking event with a female vice president of a large record company. She shared that whenever she introduced herself she made sure she confidently declared exactly who she was. So now when I introduce myself I don’t just say my name but that I’m Loraine Ballard Morrill, Director of News and Community Affairs for the six Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Stations in Philadelphia. It sounds simple but there is power in that simple act.
Q: What is the one thing you make time for in your daily life that helps keeps you refreshed and positive?
A: On the tough days I pick up the phone and call my support network of wonderful women and spend a couple of minutes just connecting. I also write down a list of things that went right and things I’m grateful for.
Q: Can you name a leader for whom you have great respect and tell us why?
A: Kelly Green is the former president of the Philadelphia Variety Club and the founder of a group of wonderful professional women called Damsels in Success. She is the consummate networker and exemplifies the kind of thoughtful, inspiring and generous leader who has made a difference in my life and many, many others.