With "The Great Resignation" on everyone's mind these days, Audi of America director of corporate communications Whaewon Choi-Wiles suggests a bit of a paradigm shift that can help people looking to follow a new career path make the most of that process of change.
"The Great Reflection," as she calls it, is "a way to look inward and say, what do I really need from my work? How can I serve and do something with my time that has more meaning?"
That process of reflection, she says, encompasses both managers and the people who work for them. "I think what's really important about this moment in time right now," she tells Simon, "is to say, how do we spend time investing in each other? How do we have one-on-one conversations that give us the opportunity to peel back the layers and investigate, have curiosity about what matters to individuals, and then match those with the opportunities inside business units and connect them to business value?"
The fast-paced work cycle that communicators have faced in the past few years has often made that process of reflection difficult. "We got really busy as PR professionals inside agencies and we got lost in that busyness," Choi-Wiles says.
She tells Simon that as a company with a clear sense of purpose, Audi provided her with a good starting point for engaging in that process of reflection. However, she says people can "take any opportunity and seize it in different ways to grow personally and professionally."
One key to being able to capitalize on opportunities, Choi-Wiles says, is to have "a greater presence of knowing what's happening inside you, what's happening in the world around us, and being able to connect that with what we want looking forward."
She also stresses embracing "the idea of learning the craft of what we do. Telling the story, back to the why behind the story, and finding both the problem and the answer. All of those things are skills that we built over time and are so necessary for the way that we're living and working today where we're virtual."
Choi-Wiles also has some advice for managers: "I think managers can really commit again to giving time, space, and energy to investing and taking care of our people. And a lot of times it goes back to how do we ask better questions of our teams to really understand what they need, who they are, where they are, and where they're at in their lives."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]