[insert-author-info] If you, like me, are a football fan and have you been watching these NFL playoff games, you’ve recently seen several examples of how it sure ain’t over till it’s over. There have been some real nail-biters this year, including a legendary one featuring my favorite team, The Pittsburgh Steelers (who our friend Tami Hausman was also rooting for). This tough competition exists in our daily lives, too – especially in our jobs and careers. We in marketing are so often on deadline, that the last-minute rush becomes routine. We know from experience that no matter how far ahead you may think you are, last-minute details and factors beyond your control can upend your end-zone touchdown dance pretty quickly. One minute, all is going smoothly and it looks like a sure win, and then the next, it’s all over and you’ve got nothing to show for it except some bumps and bruises (hopefully only figuratively, of course). Sometimes you’ve worked hard the whole season (or month or week) only to find out the client choose another firm for a drastically lower fee or a personal relationship. And occasionally you have an overwhelmingly positive winning season, only to falter when it really matters. There’s also the roller coaster of our careers. No one seems to remember that you’ve been playing hard all season and winning again and again and again. If you’re not going to the Superbowl, you’re forgotten pretty quickly. So how do we stay on top of that curve? How do we keep gearing up for next season when the last one was such a big disappointment? The best way is to stay engaged and keep learning. SMPS-NY offers numerous opportunities to do just that. We have some pretty exciting events this season, from our recent Affiliate Webinar on Public Relations to our 3-session Professional Development Series starting with the Iron Marketer on February 18th. We also have a Client Panel on Experiential Retail on March 8th. And don’t forget our Leadership Lunch today(!) and every month to help hone your directional skills. Come join us and help ensure your own “playoff” success! And although it seems like it’s a long way off, we’ll have our own Superbowl of sorts, our Annual Meeting and Awards Gala, on June 2nd. A great way to stay visible is through peer recognition, and we’ll be awarding the best Marketing Communications pieces, the Principal of the Year, and the Mary Findlen Grant. Start preparing your entries now, and don’t forget to submit them by March 21!