Last week I was honored to be the guest speaker at a PRSA luncheon in Rochester, NY, my hometown. The topic was Job Strategies for the Mid-level Communicator. Retained search firms like Chaloner handle many mid- and senior-level searches for clients seeking top talent and we can use that experience to help candidates plan their job searches. During the hiring process we learn why incumbents have not succeeded, and what hiring managers at leading companies are expecting from new employees. Recently we have been hearing the word INNOVATION a lot.
Three tips for being an innovator as you progress as a communications professional:
Make more people aware. Your boss might know about the good work you are doing but do your boss’s boss or other senior leaders know? Set yourself apart by finding a way to get known by other business leaders besides those to whom you report directly. See if you can meet them and start an ongoing business relationship.
Stay current on trends. You don’t have to be an expert on everything but do be an expert about something useful and relevant to your work, especially something that is cutting edge. Social media strategies seem to change every month or two, do you know how the latest could benefit your organization? Socially Responsible Enterprise is a growing category that might apply to your work. Do you know about Certified B Corporations? Look it up!
Look outside and get connected. There are terrific resources for communications professionals everywhere. Your local PRSA, IABC or Women in Communications chapters all offer professional development courses and seminars that will help you sharpen or add to your skills. Seek expertise and mentoring from senior communications leaders you admire. More often you will find they like spending time with tomorrow’s communications leaders. At Chaloner, we find the best candidates not only know what’s going on at their company, but also in their industry and in their profession.
I want to thank PRSA Rochester for inviting me to speak, and for introducing me to many strong and talented communications professionals in Upstate New York.
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.