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The Power of Exposure: Each Conversation Leads to an Opportunity

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The Power of Exposure: Each Conversation Leads to an Opportunity

By Stacey Miller, Director, Diversity & Inclusion – Ahold USA

Have you ever reflected on what brought you to where you are today?  While we attribute our successes to personal commitment, growth, and drive, there are multitude past voices and conversations we have had that we should cherish.  Today, mentoring and coaching are two common modes for these conversations, and many have had this opportunity formally or informally.  The benefits of these mentoring relationships are numerous, overall providing direction, insight and guidance in key development areas including careers, job opportunities, or even leadership style.  For others who have yet to find their special mentor or coach, it’s the conversations, networks, and exposure to leaders that plant the seeds of opportunity.  How we individually “water” and nurture these seeds helps to define us and our future path.

Reflecting on these conversations, you personally know the impact on your own journey.  Those that helped guide you in a career, social network, and even help you land that dream job – it all began with a conversation.  For me personally, these conversations guided me in a variety of ways – to join the military, attend college, receive my MBA, pursue a career in teaching, along with unveiling my passion for Diversity & Inclusion.  Raising three children, I have seen the impact of conversations in their own career journeys.  While they don’t often realize the immediate impact of the interactions, it plants the seed within them, letting them nurture it individually in their own way, and it’s rewarding to see how generous conversations soon take shape within them.

In my role as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, I have had the opportunity to reach out to many individuals within the organization and in my community.   I have seen firsthand how seeds have developed and grown, spurring successful careers.  For others, I see them seeking conversations and mentors to help their careers take root and flourish, being the foundation for their future.

Reflecting on your own journey, what conversations helped guide you to where you are today?  These could be from family, friends, co-workers, or media – each one having an impact to who you are.  The young adults of today are finding their way.  Whether their journey takes them to college, trades, or the workforce, these conversations are important and impactful.  I challenge you to have conversations, put yourself out there, plant the seeds and help to nurture them to help you be strong, confident and successful.

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