Prioritize Yourself

By Margaret McGuire

“You always have time for the things that you prioritize.” The leader of my business development organization recently sent us an email with that theme – and he is right. So, prioritize yourself.

Our jobs as proposal and business development professionals mean that we are often under the pressure of deadlines, and time can easily escape us. For a well-rounded life, we need to harmonize all our work, family and community commitments with reserving some time for our personal and professional growth.

Exactly how you reserve that time will vary for each of us. Perhaps you focus on learning during your lunchbreak while you eat. Maybe you save your learning for Saturday mornings while enjoying your coffee. Or you might block your schedule for one hour every week for professional development. It’s not important how you do it, just that you do it.

Once you have found the time, focus on your growth. Take an online course to stretch your realm of knowledge. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Attend webinars, lectures and seminars. Participate in formal training classes. Peruse the APMP Body of Knowledge. Watch recordings of the APMP webinars you missed. These recordings are great because you watch them when they fit into your schedule – and the topics are all relevant to the proposal industry. I personally am also fascinated by the topics of transformational leadership and inclusive intelligence, so I have been taking Udemy classes and watching TedTalk videos related to that.

No matter how seasoned of a professional you are, there is always more to learn and grow. Prioritize yourself, find the time and focus on your growth.

Margaret is a pursuit strategist with EY. She has 18 years of business development experience, leading complex, strategic pursuits and coaching teams on best practices for both commercial and government pursuits. Her passion is tackling challenges head-on so that her teams feel stronger and nurtured. She is an APMP Certified Proposal Professional and holds a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She currently is a member of the APMP Chapter Liaison Committee and previously was president of the Liberty Chapter (2016-2018), membership chair of the Liberty Chapter (2015-2017) and APMP certification mentor (2012-2019).