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Misty Oosthuizen, internal comms, engagement and belonging lead, received a Fellowship from IoIC in 2020. In this Q&A, we discuss Misty’s biggest professional achievements and what IC needs to do to support businesses in 2021.

How long have you been working in IC?

I’ve been in the field of IC for over 25 years. I never intended to enter this career, but, my oh my, am I glad I moved on from being a credit risk manager!

It sounds twee, but I am driven by creating content that informs, inspires and involves people. I still remember how it felt in my first ever job to not feel connected to the company during the first few months because no one ever explained why it existed (other than to make money) and what role I played in its success.

Seeing the lights come on in someone’s eyes, and knowing they understand just how important and essential they are to the company’s success is what keeps me in this career.

What has your biggest achievement been in regard to your professional development?

I’ve got two! My first is never giving up. I have dyslexia, and I used to hide it because I believed you couldn’t be a “comms person who can’t spell”. When I did tell people, I was often teased by saying I chose the wrong job. Now, I embrace it! I no longer shy away from my creative thinking because that is what being dyslexic has given me. I think out of the box and see things from a different angle.

The second biggest achievement is the work I do for London Luton Airport. I am the first IC person ever hired at the airport, and in just a little under two years, I can see the difference I have made.

We often shy away from self-praise, but I am beyond proud of the work I have done and the support given to me to bring about some pretty significant changes.

What does the IC profession need to do to support businesses in 2021 as we emerge from the pandemic?

I think IC professionals need to get used to wearing many hats going forward. In all my career, I have never “just been IC”. The work we do directly impacts engagement, wellbeing, culture and inclusion. We need to be skilled in all these areas, as well as being extra tenacious – plus some design skills come in handy too!

Why is a commitment to continuous personal development so important?

I will never reach a point where I know everything there is to know about IC, or any subject! A relevant saying that’s an oldie but a goodie is from Stephen Covey and it’s “sharpen your saw”. That is to say, keep learning, growing and discovering. Life is very boring when you think you know it all!

Read our interview with 2020 Fellow Debbie Install.

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