January 31, 2013
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 219 West 40th Street
By Heidi Huerta and Allison Scholar
At NYWICI’s members-only Second Annual Executive Recruiter Event, more than 70 attendees joined panelists Allison (Ally) Hemming, CEO of The Hired Guns; Jessamyn Katz, Vice President of Heyman Associates; and Amy Segelin, President of Chaloner Associates, for a discussion on job strategies for the mid-level communicator. The panel was moderated by Terry Yoffe, certified personal and business coach and a long-time member of NYWICI’s Professional Coaching program. Attendees learned how to flourish in the competitive field of communications, and many came to hear the latest social media trends, tips on resumes and how to collaborate successfully with coworkers.
"You want the package to be something you want to open," urged Jessamyn. Besides up-to-date LinkedIn and professional Twitter profiles, the panelists recommended knowing a company's "gravitas" before going for a job interview. "They want to know that you are not only a listener but a communicator," added Allison.
"The best advice I got was the idea of thinking of your competition and focusing on that person so that you can exceed them," stated attendee and new NYWICI member Shelly Palmer.
The panelists shared the following key tips and solutions for successfully managing your career in today’s tough job market:
- Be a thinker and a doer. You need to deliver both the strategic and the tactical abilities no matter how senior you become in an organization.
- Know the skills you have and know what skills you need to get. It’s important to look towards the future and what will keep you relevant for the longest period of time.
- Perfect your elevator pitch and be able to characterize yourself and how you innovate.
- Know the “why” about your role in driving business results and be able to talk about your experience in a “senior” way.
- Ally Hemming recommends the “CAR” technique to position yourself strategically and to fill out the “story” in your internal storytelling as it relates to being more junior to more senior. Identify the Challenge (laying out the context of what’s going on in the business and how is it driving the business). Point towards Action (what did you do and can you talk about your ability in the context of solving problems versus just checking off the boxes). State Results (how you had an impact on a business or a project based on the outcome).
- Ask for opportunities to stretch and learn with the goal of being a well-rounded communicator, even if it means pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
- Bring ideas and concepts to your organization. Be relevant, willing to share and willing to teach. Know how to make people comfortable with unfamiliar concepts and technologies. Be able to talk the language, walk the walk and show your expertise.
- Own the moment of managing your career and dedicating time to it. You need to know which job you want next and where to go. Consider whether you are in alignment with the company or role you are targeting. Then focus your energy on the jobs you can really land and go for them.
- The recruiter is a part of your network; you need to cultivate that relationship before you need a job. Keep the dialogue open and don’t disappear from the process; it may result in getting passed over for a job in the future. While it might not be the right thing today, it certainly could be in the future.
- Know what’s special about you. Be able to define who you are, what you stand for, your unique value proposition and point of view on the world. Then differentiate yourself from the competition — and separate yourself from the pack.