Why People With Better Stories Make More Money

Every person is a “brand,” which is a story that makes a promise.

Federally employed women who have a better brand, for example, receive a higher pay grade.

And that’s why it is so important to join Federally Employed Women (FEW). The association helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce develop their personal brands and become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight.

As a byproduct of volunteering with FEW, you will develop a better story for yourself, which can position you for better opportunities. The formula for building a better brand is simple: Reputation + Relationships = More Opportunities (i.e., income).

Fortunately, FEW provides many opportunities for its members to build better reputations and better relationships.

Everything Begins With Reputation

Here’s one key point that is often overlooked: Volunteering is networking.

FEW offers training programs on the national, regional and chapter levels. Guess what every program and every level needs to make it successful? Volunteers. That’s great news for you because it creates an opportunity to work alongside another, which is the best form of networking. It allows you to show off your expertise, communication skills and ability to work as part of a team. Before long, you will have an even better reputation and another reference to leverage for your next promotion.

Joining an association like FEW is an important step in advancing your career. But it is not the last step. The magic doesn’t happen because you join. It happens when you treat FEW like a tool, which you consciously decide to pick up and use to build a better path for you and your family.

Winning organizational awards is another great way to build your reputation and generate interest for your accomplishments.

If you spend some time on FEW’s website, you will see several members who have committed themselves to our cause and have been recognized for their performance. Kimberly Smith (Southeast Region), Caronell LaMalle Diew (DC Metro Region) and Dr. Karen Milner (Southeast Region) were recently honored with the President’s Award. Bernette Menefee (Great Lakes Region) and Kayla Lewis-Baltimore (DC Metro Region) won the Barbara Boardman Tenant Award and the Allie Latimer Award, respectively.

And those were just a few of the individual awards. FEW also offers awards for chapters and agencies that you can leverage as a team member.

Relationships Unlock Opportunities

Mentoring programs are a great way to quickly build meaningful relationships. For mentors, the effort reinforces the things they know, which allows them to improve existing skills. For mentees, they gain valuable insight from new allies that have experiences to share. From either perspective, the ability to help one another with trust and transparency creates the foundation for a new relationship.

FEW’s exclusive, annual mentoring program begins with the competitive selection of FEW members to participate followed by 12 months of focused learning objectives, webinars, training sessions and direct mentorship by senior leaders with the federal government. To be eligible for the program, a mentee candidate should be a current federal employee and an active FEW member who holds an elected or appointed position at the regional or chapter level.

At the chapter level, FEW members who represent specific chapters have been able to advance their careers in part from the relationships they built with agency leadership over the years as they worked to improve workplace environments.

FEW also offers a similar style of networking with its community outreach programs, which are supported at the local, regional and national levels. Each year, FEW donates its time and funds to various nonprofit organizations for the benefit of women, veterans, children and families of federal workers. The organization’s outreach program makes a difference in various activities that assist in educational programs, veterans’ trainings and events that support our members through giving opportunities.

FEW chapters can sponsor a coat drive, donate supplies to local schools, make donations to a local women’s shelter or organize a “sit in” at a local Veteran’s Administration facility.

In a “Spread Some Cheer To Our Troops” card drive for United Soldiers And Sailors of America, FEW members contributed hundreds of holiday cards to share their gratitude with military personnel who serve our nation in the most honorable way.

FEW’s outreach program was created to bring awareness to the many resources available to enrich its members. Programs hosted by the nonprofit’s partners, as well as regions and chapters, give members an advantage in career enhancement tools and knowledge sharing.

Developing yourself as a leader will take time and talent. A better story for your career, leveraging your reputation and relationships, will help you realize the effort.

FEW can help you advance your career in many ways.