Here are some things to look for in an accountability partner:
- Positivity – Sometimes, you need someone to cheer you on.
- Focus – Someone who doesn’t get off topic during discussions.
- Parallel point in their career – Finding someone that is overall at the same point in their career journey helps both parties feel like they have something to offer.
- Commonalities regarding work – Finding someone within your industry is very helpful because you can share information and mentor each other about familiar topics.
- Commonalities beyond work – Career roadblocks sometimes can come in the form of personal obligations, like family or health issues. Finding someone that you can relate to often creates a deeper understanding of one another.
- Admiration – It’s very important to find someone who you admire and respect on a professional level because they will be contributing to your career in some way. Watching how your partner successfully tackles challenges or handles difficult situations can be eye opening and inspirational. In addition, you are far more likely to hold yourself accountable to commitments if you respect the person you are collaborating with.
- Ambition – Having a partner with high expectations of themselves and their future is contagious. Find someone who sets the bar even higher than you do yourself.
- Smart – You may need to brainstorm ideas with your partner (i.e. marketing slogans, blog ideas, etc), so choosing someone who is witty and clever helps!
Now that we have put some thought into what qualities make for a great accountability partner, the next step is finding one. Here are a few ideas:
- Professional Conferences – A great place to get to know people that are in your industry!
- Industry Website Forums and Groups – Wonderful resource to get to know people that are working in your field and towards similar goals (i.e. Such A Voice VO Pro Membership Facebook Page)
- Workshops or Professional Development Seminars – It’s easy to get to know people who share the same interests and career goals when you spend an afternoon or weekend workshop with them.
Some people have asked me if they should choose a family member or friend to be an accountability partner. Personally, I think it’s best to focus on the qualities above before anything else. If the person you think would be best happens to be a friend, so be it. However, being that the role of a partner is more formal in that the foundation is built off career oriented goals. Typically, staying away from choosing a friend or family member works best. That’s not to say that you won’t end up getting to be close friends as an added bonus!
Now that you’ve found someone to potentially work with, be sure to discuss expectations with them prior to beginning the work. For example, will you want to meet daily or weekly? How will updates be given? Will you be emailing goals and task lists, sharing a google document, or just verbally talking things through? I suggest also discussing doing a trial period to make sure that it’s a good fit and that both partners feel that the relationship is aiding their career, rather than acting as a distraction.
Next week, we will go over some tips on maximizing efficiency while working with an accountability partner, so that the relationship delivers amazing results for your career. Thanks for reading and watching!
Be sure to join the conversation on our Facebook page with other SAV program graduates! If you’re new to SAV, this is a perfect place to meet other VO talents.
About the Author
Kelley Huston caught the acting bug at the ripe young age of 8 and has been at it ever since. After finishing college with a degree in Theater Arts, she stepped into a vocal booth and felt immediately at home. With over two decades of experience behind her, Kelley brings a sense of approachable confidence and a playful wit to her reads. She is skilled at a range of styles, but is known for her authentic and genuine delivery. Her commercial & narration clients include Adidas, Suburu, Lean Pockets, Fisher-Price, American Greeting Cards, Target, Aquafor and Dell Computers to name a few. She also voiced Catwoman in Sony Online Entertainment’s Playstation game, DC Universe Online and has enormous experience as a narrator for eLearning courses. Kelley also has 10 years of experience as a line producer in the commercial industry, giving her a unique perspective on voiceover within the field of advertising. A few of her production credits include major brands such as Lowe’s, Nike, Purina, Kellogg’s and Anheuser-Busch. She finds coaching to be incredibly rewarding. Being able to share her enthusiasm and experience with students is a real treat