Finding a foothold for your career can be difficult for recent graduates. But following the example of Kayla FitzPatrick – an IABC Ottawa member who has helped build her career with a job she loves, a passion for reading and a commitment to volunteering – is a good place to start.
FitzPatrick has gained traction with CAA, where she is the Public Affairs Coordinator. She tackles a range of duties, including research, media relations and online communications such as social media and web content.
“I always find it a challenge to succinctly explain what I do because everyday there is something new to accomplish,” says FitzPatrick. “The skills I think have been important for my position are strong writing skills, critical analysis, and staying organized.”
She has had the chance to work with some amazing people at CAA, she says. Her bosses care about her professional development and try to find her projects that she’ll enjoy and use to expand her skill set.
“It is a huge reason why I love my job,” says FitzPatrick. “Having someone in the organization who will advocate for you is extremely valuable.”
Pursuing her passion outside of her day job helps too, she says. Her love of reading in her spare time, for example, has helped with her writing skills.
“One of the things I love about communications is it is so far reaching,” she says. “You can use personal passions to benefit your career.”
Volunteering helps too. FitzPatrick has dedicated her time to the Centre For Research on Community Services, the Harmony House Women’s Shelter, Easter Seals Ontario and the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association.
“Volunteering is a great way to get experience and expand your network,” she says. “Finding an organization you believe in and support is an excellent way to give back while also gaining valuable knowledge.”
She also credits her membership with IABC Ottawa as helping her advance her career.. FitzPatrick says she first got involved by attending events. The sense of community in the organization is what made her join.
“The number one benefit for me is the network you can build through IABC,” says FitzPatrick. “Members are approachable and always willing to grab a coffee and chat.”
For more information on joining IABC Ottawa, click here!