Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Nita getting a helping hand climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, East Africa in 2018
Whenever I stretch myself to try something new it seems scary. But it always helps when I plan ahead and reach out to my circle of friends it helps me get where I need to be. The truth is that half the battle is confidence. In 2018, I summited Kilimanjaro; it wasn’t really that difficult because I was prepared and confident. I had a network of others along the journey to lend a helping hand.
Throughout my previous career over 18 years in the Compliance & Ethics (C&E) field, I noticed a feeling of connection with other compliance and ethics professionals across multiple industries and even within our own industry. We met in person or online to share opinions, insights, and concerns relating to our compliance and ethics programs and any new regulatory developments. For me, the beauty of compliance & ethics was that we could talk with others about our programs and exchange information without breaching our duty to protect company-confidential information. This helped us resolve our issues and continuously improve our corporate compliance and ethics programs. Knowledge-sharing also happens in other business areas, for example, it is common in the health and safety space in manufacturing.
In 2021, I transitioned from a compliance & ethics career into launching a voiceover business. It was scary. It gave me great comfort that knowledge-sharing and community support helped me to prevail in my new VO circles. A community in voice-over is important because there are so many things we need to know to launch a successful VO career. The trifecta can be daunting to master:
I am fortunate to be a part of such an open community.
Why do we connect and share? Connecting and sharing makes us feel psychologically and emotionally heard, appreciated and supported. We are part of something bigger- a network of people who know what it feels like to walk in our shoes. A group of people who care - because they are facing the same challenges. Here are some benefits I have found:
Networking helps us build confidence. It gives us hope. We laugh and celebrate together when we get a role from that audition. We also cringe together when we make mistakes.
We reciprocate support and provide comfort when we don’t win that job. We refer roles with each other for parts that we are not a fit for, especially if we know a colleague is perfect for a gig.
We teach each other tricks and secrets, especially with software, technical problems, and other helpful know-how.
We offer helpful ideas to problem-solve and are there to offer a shoulder to lean on for those ‘bad days’. We all have them.
We collect new and great ideas and pass them onto others in the VO community,
We continuously pay it forward.
For me, sharing experiences and lessons-learned make me and others feel better and stronger because we all struggle to get ahead. Here are a few things I learned from my VO cohort:
One person shared a meditation script idea and encouraged me to record a video and start a YouTube channel.
Another connection co-developed a strategy to effectively and efficiently build our direct marketing leads.
More than one has helped me better understand the Audacity audio editing software. Two people gave me quick tutorials to explain how to fix a specific problem. Another walked me through mastering secrets during in a video screen share.
Another individual shared her experience working with particular types of jobs and dealing with specific customer interactions.
My peers answering questions like where can I get my demo produced? Who are the best coaches for my niches?
Some of my cohorts and I “like” and “share” each others’ posts on social media. We make plans to attend conferences or events that could help us build our businesses or enhance our skills.
I’m part of an accountability group with a few of my peers and we meet monthly to trade stories, tips and information.
We compare software and platforms.
Many share my love of narrating audiobooks or love of meditation; we have traded stories about “ah-ha” and eureka and “shoulda, coulda, woulda” moments.
To some, a voice over career might feel like climbing a mountain. But it doesn’t have to be, because others can make it easier to navigate your journey. I recommend that anyone pursuing any dream, surround themselves with like-minded individuals, stay connected and never be afraid to ask for help. And by the way, this isn’t only about voice over, whatever your passion, a community can really help you navigate the road on your way up.
Note: In the months ahead I will share the climbing story of a friend/colleague who reached out to me to information and advice.