Top Places to WorkEarlier this month, I was pleased to learn that MIL was included in the “The South Carolina Top Workplaces”, a list of the best places to work in South Carolina. During the same week, I attended the AGA Professional Development Training (PDT) in Boston.  One of the most impactful sessions at the PDT was titled “Off Balance on Purpose,” where I noticed that many of the success factors advocated by the speaker are prevalent within the MIL culture in Charleston

The speaker, Dan Thurmon, emphasized the importance of embracing uncertainty and initiating challenges that lead to growth. In addition to being a professional speaker and author, Mr. Thurmon is an accomplished juggler. He compared juggling to embracing new responsibilities or skills within our careers. Although a juggler may be proficient and esteemed for skillfully juggling only three balls, he/she will never reach full potential by remaining in this comfort zone. True progression requires sacrifice as well as a determination to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. Fortunately, the MIL culture encourages progression and innovative thinking to help clients reach goals and obtain effective operations.

Additionally, MIL encourages employee development and acceptance of new challenges.  MIL management was a key supporter of my decision to take on the role as president of the AGA Charleston chapter. At the PDT in Boston, I officially achieved one of the primary goals I set for myself and our chapter at the beginning of my presidency. I received the Platinum Chapter Award, which recognizes the successful 2016-17 chapter program year that I led. I am appreciative of the unwavering encouragement and support from MIL management in achieving this goal. Furthermore, the Charleston MIL culture of professionalism, intelligence, and appreciation for effective work inspires me to continuously strive to “juggle” new responsibilities, undertake challenges, and establish ambitious goals.

As a final point of the “Off Balance on Purpose” session, Mr. Thurmon expressed that remaining idle is an illusion of productivity. To visualize, he confidently positioned himself up onto a unicycle in the middle of the session audience. He noted that although he can pedal hastily, he will remain idle unless he leans forward on the unicycle to start moving. This can be frightening because of the sensation of falling forward and crashing. However, this is the only method to move forward. I find that MIL provides the “you have what it takes” enthusiasm that helps move ambitious professionals forward in their careers. Moreover, the MIL leadership structure provides continuous access to senior colleagues who serve as mentors, which can reduce the fear and intimidation that we all feel occasionally during the journey of advancing in our careers.

We, the MIL Charleston team, should be proud to exemplify the determination and confidence to embody this “Off Balance on Purpose” approach. I believe this is a key factor in MIL’s client satisfaction, as well as our exceptional employee gratification, evidenced by MIL’s placement on “The South Carolina Top Workplaces” publication.

About the Author

Sheena Kennedy joined the MIL team in August 2014 as a Business Analyst on the Department of State contract in S.C. Currently, she works on the Systems Coordination & Implementation team within Global Financial Operations. Sheena specializes in optimizing client operations by leveraging business process improvement and software solutions.