Every month we like to share a recommendation from one of our ambassadors: something that inspires them in their responsible business work. This month we asked Caroline Atkinson from Societe Generale. Caroline is a CSR Manager there, leading on employee volunteering. She started her career in the charity sector working for the Business in the Community, where she developed a breadth of knowledge on responsible business.
“Perhaps now more than ever, while working from home and with limited opportunities to meet people and come across new ideas, I realise the value of professional networks as a way to connect with professions in this field and be inspired by others. For me, that’s internal events at work to meet new people and learn about their careers, or external events that I come across via LinkedIn, my CSR network or elsewhere online. These events mean I can meet new people and organisations who align with some of my work priorities – and they help me spark new ideas and keep me motivated.
I am a member of the ICRS, which delivers topical, high value workshops and speaker events which I’d recommend. I recently attended a workshop with Susan Room, a professional voice and executive coach. Susan introduced us to her Make Your Mark model, designed to boost confidence and presence to be able to effectively communicate your mission – be it personal or professional. Linked to this is a very popular TED Talk (though hopefully still new to some) from Amy Cuddy on the presentation on body language that I’ve watched a lot over the years. It’s a particularly good one to watch before an interview or high-pressure situation.
Finally, I joined a charity board as a trustee last year which I would really recommend to help develop your strategic skills and knowledge. I have learnt so much about the charity itself and from my fellow board members who bring a diverse set of skills, experience and knowledge to the table.
I don’t want to label all of this as ‘networking’ as it’s a bit of a cliché (and puts some people off!), but I see it as always looking out for opportunities to make new connections, as they always provide a chance to learn.”