Episode 1: Making Procurement Cool
By Katherine McCleery | August 31, 2020
Welcome to the very first episode of The Sourcing Hero! We are excited to welcome our first guest, Sarah Scudder, President of Real Sourcing Network. Sarah has been in procurement for about 15 years and specifically specializes in marketing procurement and print services. She’s got an interesting perspective on procurement and has a knack for networking on LinkedIn and through online events.
In this episode, you’ll hear her unique perspective on procurement as a fun, challenging, and valuable career. She also shares how to find your voice as a Sourcing Hero and promote the valuable work you’re doing. Stay tuned until the end to hear a list of virtual events for procurement professionals that you won’t want to miss!
[02:14] The makings of a Sourcing Hero. Sarah defines a Sourcing Hero as someone who goes against the norm, against the grain, and fights to make procurement cool.
[02:38] A cool career. Many people don’t realize how amazing a career in procurement truly is, but Sarah shares why it’s the coolest space to be in.
[04:37] Marketing yourself. Figuring out who you are and how you want to be represented is key to promoting the work you’re doing in procurement.
[07:50] LinkedIn for procurement. Sarah encourages procurement to use this channel to build valuable, meaningful connections.
[09:56] Build your brand. Learn four tips for building your personal brand.
[15:28] Network weekly. Join Sarah’s weekly virtual events to meet others in the industry.
[20:30] If I could tell you one thing. Her best advice to young professionals is to start small and don’t underestimate lateral career moves.
A fresh take on procurement careers.
Procurement hasn’t traditionally been a career people seek out, but Sarah sees it as one of the most exciting, interesting, and brag-worthy roles to be in. After hearing her take on procurement, you’ll never look at it the same way again.
The marriage of marketing and procurement.
People who are in procurement often don’t do a very good job of bragging or talking about what they do. They work with stakeholders, solve problems, implement solutions, and they’re so busy in their day to day work that they don’t think about promoting all that they’ve done or the value that they’ve added. There is a way to talk about all the great work that you and your procurement teams are doing, and you can make it fun and personal as you share your accomplishments.
How to build a personal brand.
Sarah shares the top four steps to kick off and grow your personal brand:
- Get on LinkedIn every day – like, react, engage, and post
- Write every week – thoughts, experiences, and challenges
- Reach out to five new people daily – online communities, virtual events, happy hours
- Stay in touch with people – emails, calls, notes to stay top-of-mind
Tune in at the 9:56 mark to learn the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ for each step, and the results you can achieve through finding your voice.
Virtual events you won’t want to miss.
Sarah hosts a virtual happy hour every Wednesday for procurement to find community, connect, and collaborate. Each event has a themed dress code and topic such as, wear your favorite sports team gear and share your best networking tip. She also hosts monthly procurement talks featuring industry thought leaders to moderate panel discussions on relevant topics. These talks feature procurement professionals who are doing interesting and innovative work in the industry. One of the themes is, Train Wrecks, Nightmares, and Meltdowns: Tales of Lessons Learned. It has offered great opportunities to both laugh and learn from others’ horror stories. Lastly, Sarah announced a new virtual event in partnership with Procurement Foundry – a marketing and procurement virtual summit on October 29th. It is a one-day event filled with some of the biggest brands in the world talking about agency and media. The keynote speaker is Seth Godin.
Advice to my younger self.
Professionally, start small and learn to handle those tasks well. Once you’ve mastered the little things, go after the big ones. Personally, never trade your ethics for a paycheck. And lastly, not every career move needs to be an upwards one. Lateral moves can offer the opportunity to grow and learn new skills and help get you to where you want to be.