In 2009 when I applied to join the New Leaders Council I found myself well into my political career without a clear sense of how I got there and no real idea about what my next steps might be. However, I did know that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of my community and learn how I might make some sort of difference in it.
After completing the New Leaders Council Institute, where I received the training and opportunity to set some real goals for both my personal and professional life, I felt much more assured of where I was in my career but I knew I needed to make a few changes. I needed to broaden my network, build efficiencies into my work, create a better work-life balance, and get personally involved with the community around me.
Last year, I was promoted to serve as the San Diego District Director for Senator Dianne Feinstein. I attribute much of this success to my time spent with the New Leaders Council and the changes I made after completing the Institute. In my new job I am expected to manage a team, be accountable to constituents, and solve complex issues that challenge our region. No problem—right? While sometimes feeling overwhelmed by it all, I find myself drawing from the skills I learned during the New Leaders Council. I set goals, make a plan on how to achieve them, and, most importantly, I utilize the network of people I worked hard to build.
The New Leaders Council philosophy is fairly simple one: be proactive about your life, never stop learning, and utilize your talents to make things a little better for the community around you. I will continue to employ the values and acquired skills I gained from the New Leaders Council as I move onward and upward!
Katherine Field is the San Diego District Director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. She was a 2010 NLC Fellow and is a current SDLA Board Member. To view her full NLC/SDLA profile, click here.