Through the Grapevine: How to Build Connections

By Aleisha Gardner on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I first heard about CWIP from a “friend of a friend” in publishing. She graduated from Harvard University and raved about the CWIP mentorship program. She mentioned that the program’s success stems from the members’ ability to sign up as both a mentee and mentor. As a mentee, members are often experienced but looking for a career change within the field or simply interested in expanding their skillset. Through the years, I realized that everyone must seek advice from colleagues and experts. Feedback is crucial in the world of publishing, especially since there are many layers to editing in the production process.

I recommended that members fill out the CWIP Mentorship Form to 1) receive guidance from an expert in a field of interest and 2) become a mentor. Your strengths as a mentor may be a result of your education, proficiency, connections, or positive mindset.

After joining the mentorship program, I feel that I am giving back to CWIP and participating in a continual learning process. CWIP has expanded my knowledge of the publishing field, supported my leadership initiatives, and will continue to be a part of my career.

You may have wondered why the organization is named Chicago Women in Publishing.

CWIP was founded in 1972 by a group of Chicago female editors in traditional publishing. Wage discrimination and poor working conditions were all too familiar among this group of women. Until recently, publishing was a male-dominated industry. Males secured the upper management roles and females assumed the low-paid publishing positions. In order to improve the opportunity for career advancement and eliminate wage discrimination, these female editors created Chicago Women in Publishing.

The organization gradually became a center for networking, partnership, and educational support for women. Today, CWIP welcomes women, men, corporations, students, seniors, professionals, and distance members. The benefits of a strong career network are extensive.

Think about the connections you have laid out for your career– are they strong or weak? How can you reinforce these ties or can you form new ones?

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

– Quoted from John Muir






photo credit: <a href="">Fiorentina-7935</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

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