Last week, the Agricultural Media Summit invited me to speak (as part of a panel) on the topic of Creating Drama in Act III of Your Career. The session was designed to share insights for mid career professionals or others who might be in a job transition.
After briefly outlining my career path (journalist, public relations, association staffer, AMC owner, consultant/speaker/blogger), I offered seven tips or themes:
- It is their organization not yours but it is your career not their’s. So, when issues surface, you should think about yourself and your career.
- Be prepared ... your opportunity for a 2nd career may come before you expect it. I’ve seen so many professionals (including myself) that really weren’t prepared when their position went away.
- When it comes to finding your next position, the old saying that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is not totally accurate. I discovered that WHO knows YOU is even more important.
- Build an audience before you need it:
- Social media followers: Twitter; LinkedIn; Facebook
- Early warning your members, employer or prospects. I know one association CEO who has Google News Alerts for each of his member companies. When he finds good news, he emails them a congratulatory note. When he finds “bad” news, he emails them a note asking if they had seen it. He tells me he gets extremely positive responses from his members.
- Be a topic expert ... and use blogs, tweets, power points and talks to brand yourself.
- Start with WHY!
- What drives YOU? Follow your passion!
- Know who & what you are:
- in my case, I started by asking myself “am I an association guy working in agriculture” or “am I an ag guy working in associations?” Early on, I answered that I was an association professional.
8. Be flexible. A new opportunity may arise in places you least expect.