by Hilda Guffey LD5 San Angelo Toastmasters

When I joined Toastmasters four years ago, I had a goal in mind. I wanted a higher leadership role at the hospital laboratory where I worked. The thought of interviewing was scary, and I needed to polish my skills. I joined Toastmasters hoping I could quickly soak in some confidence. But the position didn’t post until 2022. The delay allowed me time to grow and develop my leadership skills.

I was now ready to act! My Toastmaster friend, Sallie Jett, recently texted me that she completed the Nemileta Challenge. This inspired me to improve my social skills by spending time with Toastmasters outside of my club. I then decided to have Dinner with the Trio. It was a great experience, especially in the first few minutes when I was their only guest and enjoyed their undivided attention. They asked me about my job, and I shared with them that I had recently applied for a new leadership position. Emily quickly named off about a hundred skills Toastmasters bring to a job, and Ninfa suggested submitting a good reference letter. At first, I didn’t think that reference letters mattered. I’ve worked for the same organization since my 20’s. They know me. But that night, I kept thinking about Ninfa’s idea. The thought Leave no stone unturned ran through my mind.  I decided to ask Emily to write me a last-minute recommendation, including some of the Toastmaster skills she’d mentioned. It was nice to submit a letter highlighting the leadership and personal development I’d been working on through Toastmasters.

The day of the big interview finally came. It felt like Table Topics on steroids! A panel of seven hospital department managers quizzed me on how I would handle different situations. I tapped into my years of Toastmasters’ experience to get through the interview. I’m happy to announce, I got the job!

In the words of basketball coach, John Woodfin, “When opportunity comes, it is too late to prepare.”

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