career advice

What Makes You Stand Out?

February 20, 2017

AloudYoProBefore I moved to upstate New York to start my job as a television reporter, one of my mentors asked me, “What’s your superpower?” I must have looked at him with the most dumbfounded and confused look. Ever since, I have been searching for my “superpower.”

By using the term “superpower,” did he mean what makes me stand out in a sea of communications professionals? We all meet deadlines and generate content — but I asked myself: “What makes me different?”

I started taking note of individuals who have unique interests that may be translated into a “side hustle.” A side hustle is the job or obligation (it can be volunteering) that someone does to supplement her everyday job.  

The side hustle can serve many purposes for young professionals:

Financial Stability
A side gig in something other than the job that provides your primary financial income can put some extra cash in the bank.

Fulfilling Your Passions
Keep your passions alive — or find a new one! Sometimes it can get monotonous working in the same position or desk job. Maybe you love animals and want to get involved at the local humane society, or you have a blog that pulls together all of your different interests. According to Qz.com, “The side hustle offers something worth more than money: A hedge against a feeling of stuck and dull.” These passions will enhance your day-to-day and give you a new perspective on topics separate from your primary line of work.

Bringing More to the Table
By embracing new passions and obligations, you will have more to offer. You have a set of diversified skills with a “side hustle” that your colleagues might not have. There is nothing better than being able to connect with people in the workplace — and your side hustles make you that much more interesting.

Meredith Dean of Seacrest Studios enjoys her “side hustle,” which is running her digital branding company. She is the Program Coordinator at SeacreStudios at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, where she operates TV and radio programming for hospitalized children. She is also the founder of The Dean’s List Digital Branding Services, where she helps build online portfolios and offers career consulting to help her clients land their dream jobs. Meredith believes that balancing more than one position or having a side hustle is a great way to gain new skills that apply to her career at Seacrest Studios. ”I have my 9-5 and my 5-9. I like to be very, very busy — and I feel like it keeps me very motivated all of the time,” she says. Her experience in broadcast media has helped her business tremendously: “I am able to stay up-to-date with current trends and tech and expand my network enormously.”

Meredith stresses that side hustles are a great way to get a second income while doing something you love. “Especially for millennials, it is really nice to have two incomes. If you have a hobby and you really love it, why not start something that can earn an income? I love building resumes, websites and helping people. Why not do all three?”

Side hustles help you become a well-rounded and marketable asset. This is all the more reason for young professionals to be open-minded in the search of what matters to us to find our “superpower.”

 

Posted by: 
Justine Re

The Click: Connecting Confidence to Competence

November 3, 2014

Grace KilleleaIn Grace Killelea’s recent NYC talk at Women in Cable TV’s Leadership Lounge, the CEO and Founder of Half the Sky Leadership Institute focused on four pillars as the cornerstones of leadership: Relationships, Reputation, Results and Resilience.

Grace uses a personal anecdote to illustrate her coaching advice: At one point in her career, she weighed 380 pounds. Her suggestion: learn to work with what you have in terms of physical appearance, “decorate it”, as appropriate to the business or social occasion. Pack in your power, no matter what your size by standing up straight, shoulders back, and head up. Use your voice to speak from the diaphragm rather than the throat to avoid a high pitched tone. Learn how to present and take every opportunity to speak in front of a group. Public speaking is a critical skill for successful professionals.

Relationships Personal networks give you confidence. Think of your network as a way to gather information, build alliances, and learn about opportunities. It is your source of power. As you make your way through your career and life, many relationships will become interwoven. While you don’t have to like everyone in your network, selecting who goes into your network and how you manage your relationships will impact your career.

Resilience According to an Executive Presence Survey, “gravitas” counted for 67% of an executive’s presence. By contrast, communication counted for 28% and appearance only 5%. Resilience is about grit, moving forward despite the fear. What is your piece of grit?

Reputation How is your brand viewed? Learn what people say when you leave the room.

Results Use data to back up your performance. Numbers don’t lie. As Muhammad Ali said, “It’s not bragging if you back it up.”

To assess how you click:

  • Audit your skill set.
  • Determine who needs to know what you are doing up and down the organization.
  • What data supports you?
  • Be prepared to ask questions in meetings-get up front and identify yourself.
  • Network and build alliances. Ask people in your network to spread the word about you.
  • Be several questions deep in the subject you are discussing
  • Pay attention to what is appropriate for the occasion-in appearance and behavior.
  • Listen and observe.
  • Share credit.
  • Authenticity matters. Gauge accordingly. “Put yourself on a dimmer switch.”
  • Check in and get feedback from others. Keep adjusting.

And, in cracking the confidence code:

  • Suit up, show up, speak up, stop apologizing, and give compliments.
  • Start where you are. Whatever you have is enough to lift from to find success. 
Posted by: 
Nancy Gendimenico

Kate White: When It’s Time for a Career Transition

July 1, 2014

Kate White, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and author of a new book, Eyes on You, shares her tips for making a successful transition from one area of communications to another. 

Kate WhiteI know some people think I was probably crazy to leave my job as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan to work full-time as a mystery author and keynote speaker, but I really wanted to have a career that gave me more personal freedom. I adored my 14 years at Cosmo, and the people I worked with were fabulous, but the magazine world seemed to become more corporate-y in my last years there and that didn’t fit my personality very well.

I’ve been thrilled with my new work life. For starters, just making a change was exhilarating. Sometimes, as great as a job is, it’s just time to move on. Plus, it’s been delicious to work on my own, and to have a huge chunk of time to write every day. My new suspense novel, Eyes on You, is the first book I’ve written without having this other huge responsibility in my life. (Sure, I miss the Cosmo beauty closet of makeup samples, but I live near Sephora!)

Have you been toying with the idea of a transition into a whole other area of media? Digital rather than print? Screenwriting rather than magazines? Editorial rather than public relations? 

Before you leap, here are steps I'd suggest:

  1. Make sure you aren't romanticizing your dream job. If at all possible, try to do freelance or volunteer work in the field you’ve been fantasizing about. When I was in my 20s, I volunteered several nights a week at a tiny cable TV station because I thought I might want to transition into television. I didn't. Then in my 40s, while editing Cosmo, I started writing mysteries. That proved to me that I DID want to pursue a new career one day.
  2. Get your ducks in a row financially. I met with my account several times to make absolutely certain I could afford the switch. If you're considering an area that doesn't pay as well as the one you’re in, really do the math and make sure you can survive and eventually thrive.
  3. Consider doing two things at once. Graydon Carter runs restaurants as well as Vanity Fair. That's just one example of someone deciding to juggle two very different things at the same time rather than giving one up. Why not give it a try for a while. I had a staffer at Cosmo who ran a small website that had nothing to do with women’s topics. She managed that and her job just fine.
  4. There's no harm in trying to make your current situation better while you pursue a job in a new area. You may discover that if you improve your current situation — by asking for different responsibilities or nabbing a promotion — you'll actually want to stay in it.

Kate White, a former NYWICI Matrix Awards winner, is the author of twelve books, including the new mystery Eyes on You and the career book I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve, plus eight other best-selling mysteries. Be sure to read the four juicy books she recommends this summer — just in time for you to consider before your 4th of July weekend.

Balancing Life, Work and Career

January 16, 2014

Jan 14 event panelYour work should be full of passion and fun, with goals that other women can help you reach. How to achieve that successfully in today’s work environment was the topic at the NYWICI Coffee & Conversations: An Intergenerational POV: The Fastest Way to the Top on Jan. 14, 2014, at the Scandinavia House. The panel was moderated by Erica Hill, co-anchor of TODAY’s Weekend Editions, and featured Ellen Archer, head of East Coast Development, ABC Entertainment; Nancy Evans, a media consultant and co-founder of iVillage; Stacy Martinet, chief marketing officer at Mashable; and Denise Warren, executive vice president in The New York Times Digital Products and Services Group. The discussion ranged from mentorship and work/life balance, to career goals and keeping skills sharp.

Of mentorship, Ellen advised, “Don’t walk up to someone and say, ‘Will you be my mentor?’” but rather “connect with them and develop the relationship.” When making the initial connection, Ellen suggests, "forget the business card, go to LinkedIn and connect on that same day so that person will remember you." Mentoring can occur in reverse as well: The “younger generation can help older professionals to navigate the digital world”, says Ellen; help sharpen their skills in a changing work environment.

Denise spoke about career goals and presenting ideas to a superior. “If someone tells me they want to achieve something, but they don't have a plan to get there, I question if they really want it,” she explained. “That breakdown is so telling about the individual versus the actual goal.” In addition, Denise advised keeping connections outside of the workplace: “Sometimes people outside can see things with clearer eyes.”

Jan 14 panelAt the end of the day, however, you need to find your own work/life balance. Stacy believes that finding this balance is under your control, a choice you make, especially when on vacation — like going off Twitter but keeping Instagram.

The bottom line is keeping the passion in your work, says Nancy. “Your life should be fun. It should be joy. You should be crazily in love with what you do.” 

 

Read More:

  • Mediabistro blogger Vicki Salemi sat down with Denise Warren to discuss successful mentoring. Check out her post here
  • NYWICI member Jessica Kleiman offers observations about mentors on her own Website and more from the NYWICI discussion for Forbes.com. 

 

Photos: Jan Goldstoff. View more photos on our  Facebook Page.

Thank you to Kaplow for sponsoring the event.

Posted by: 
Lauren Hard

Take 5 For Confidence

July 24, 2013

A quick break can boost your confidence, poise and preparedness. Here are five steps to fabulous!

1.  Breath
Be in your body, in this moment. Take a few intentional, deep breaths. Be still, and notice your tummy and chest expand and deflate. 

2.  Make Eye Contact
...with your self!

Go a step further with this tip that NYWICI member Shira Adler shared with Good House Keeping:  “For a new approach, try placing a mirror with the word SMILE somewhere you are likely to pass it throughout the day,” Adler said. “Whatever your mindset, when you actually stop and smile at yourself in a mirror, regardless of what you are actually experiencing, your soul will lighten up and be a cue for the mind to follow.”

3.  Take Up Space
Be big: sit taller, find your feet firmly on the floor, stand more powerfully, take a wider posture.

No need to wait for an appearance at your next business meeting. Try standing big now, hands on hips, shoulders square, gaze level…and you're feeling fabulous!

4.  Encourage Your Inner Ally
Rather than let commentary from an inner critic guide your thoughts, cultivate your inner ally—she could use the support, and she’ll gladly return it. 

5.  Conjure Some Inspiration
Recall the women that you inspire: you have a fan club and rightly so! Even when those fans aren’t around, call on them for a bit of inspiration.  

Or, think for a moment about some women you admire, maybe some colleagues, friends, family, celebrities or historical figures.

 

Congratulations!
Take a minute to celebrate a recent or next achievement. Remind yourself of your success. This boosts your confidence in the moment and can be a rehearsal for that next elevator pitch or chance encounter with the CEO.

 

 

Further Reading: 
Body Language for Women Who Lead
3 Tips For Women To Improve Their Body Language At Work

Posted by: 
Deanna Utroske

Five Networking Tips for the Fabulous DIVA!

New York Women in Communications wants to help all of you communications divas network better, as the Career Roundtables, the Matrix Awards and many other events approach. There is no better feeling than being well connected! Here are five fool-proof networking tips: 1) Be Approachable We all know that divas can be a little Mariah Carey, but a communications diva is approachable.

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