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Aiming Outside: Other Careers Ulla de Stricker www.destricker.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Aiming Outside: Other Careers Ulla de Stricker www.destricker.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aiming Outside: Other Careers Ulla de Stricker

2 You - Yes You: Could You be a Policy Analyst? Of course. Question: Are we game?

3 What We Will Cover: Part One: What Jobs/Requirements are Out There? Part Two: Mapping & Translating Skills Part Three: Overcoming the L

4 Part One: Work Out There

5 Thought Experiment In what other settings could the things we routinely do be applicable? Six examples of requirements – lifted from recent online job postings:

6 Example 1 Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives Meet with individuals, special interest groups and others on behalf of executives, committees and boards of directors Prepare reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents Analyze incoming and outgoing memoranda, submissions and reports and coordinate the preparation and submission of summary briefs and reports to executives CONDUCT RESEARCH, COMPILE DATA, AND PREPARE PAPERS FOR CONSIDERATION AND PRESENTATION BY EXECUTIVES PREPARE INVOICES, REPORTS, MEMOS, LETTERS, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS, USING WORD PROCESSING, SPREADSHEET, DATABASE, AND/OR PRESENTATION SOFTWARE ANALYZE INCOMING AND OUTGOING MEMORANDA, SUBMISSIONS AND REPORTS AND PREPARE AND CO-ORDINATE THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF SUMMARY BRIEFS AND REPORTS TO EXECUTIVES MEET WITH INDIVIDUALS, SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS AND OTHERS ON BEHALF OF EXECUTIVES, COMMITTEES AND BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

7 Example 1 Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives Meet with individuals, special interest groups and others on behalf of executives, committees and boards of directors Prepare reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents Analyze incoming and outgoing memoranda, submissions and reports and coordinate the preparation and submission of summary briefs and reports to executives = Research/reference and analysis CONDUCT RESEARCH, COMPILE DATA, AND PREPARE PAPERS FOR CONSIDERATION AND PRESENTATION BY EXECUTIVES PREPARE INVOICES, REPORTS, MEMOS, LETTERS, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS, USING WORD PROCESSING, SPREADSHEET, DATABASE, AND/OR PRESENTATION SOFTWARE ANALYZE INCOMING AND OUTGOING MEMORANDA, SUBMISSIONS AND REPORTS AND PREPARE AND CO-ORDINATE THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF SUMMARY BRIEFS AND REPORTS TO EXECUTIVES MEET WITH INDIVIDUALS, SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS AND OTHERS ON BEHALF OF EXECUTIVES, COMMITTEES AND BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

8 Example 2 Develop Strategic Insights by: understanding of market research data and analysis of program results to develop business strategies for the client and presenting them to key stakeholders during review sessions; being informed of internal/external factors that may affect client operations. Manage Key Client Deliverables by: fulfilling daily client requests, creating and managing project plans for new programs; communicating with client(s) on a daily basis; managing internal and external suppliers. Provide Effective Direction to Clients by: performing systems training for clients and their users; cultivating client relationships; maintaining a consultative role.

9 Example 2 Develop Strategic Insights by: understanding of market research data and analysis of program results to develop business strategies for the client and presenting them to key stakeholders during review sessions; being informed of internal/external factors that may affect client operations. Manage Key Client Deliverables by: fulfilling daily client requests, creating and managing project plans for new programs; communicating with client(s) on a daily basis; managing internal and external suppliers. Provide Effective Direction to Clients by: performing systems training for clients and their users; cultivating client relationships; maintaining a consultative role. = Original research, acquisitions, client service, vendor relations, user training

10 Example 3 Develop and write backgrounders, presentation support materials by researching, writing, and editing marketing materials for milestones, events, programs, etc. Write corporate communications documents, strategies, reports, marketing material, print and electronic communications. Provide speech writing and presentation support for CEO, Chair of the Board, Executive Team Members and senior staff. Conduct all necessary research, prepare all briefing materials. Ensure good exposure for top staff to deliver messaging. Responsible for the development, writing and delivery of key reports including Annual Reports.

11 Example 3 Develop and write backgrounders, presentation support materials by researching, writing, and editing marketing materials for milestones, events, programs, etc. Write corporate communications documents, strategies, reports, marketing material, print and electronic communications. Provide speech writing and presentation support for CEO, Chair of the Board, Executive Team Members and senior staff. Conduct all necessary research, prepare all briefing materials. Ensure good exposure for top staff to deliver messaging. Responsible for the development, writing and delivery of key reports including Annual Reports. = Excellent Written Communication Skills

12 Example 4 Investigate, assess and make recommendations regarding program planning, policy and evaluation Proactively problem solve, recommend ideas and strategies, and share information and best practices wrt sensitive and complex issues Prepare financial and statistical reports & budgets Develop marketing outreach strategies, including research, presentations, briefing materials and other external communications

13 Example 4 Investigate, assess and make recommendations regarding program planning, policy and evaluation Proactively problem solve, recommend ideas and strategies, and share information and best practices wrt sensitive and complex issues Prepare financial and statistical reports & budgets Develop marketing outreach strategies, including research, presentations, briefing materials and other external communications = User needs assessments & strategic planning, preparing budgets, marketing library services

14 Example 5 Lead research using available information sources on local market demographics, settlement and employment service needs to effectively provide data and analysis on newcomer, employer, service provider and community assets / capacity Coordinate needs assessments, focus groups, and surveys to clients / employers / community partners to determine settlement and integration challenges into the community Promote the organization through excellent marketing, public relations and presentation skills

15 Example 5 Lead research using available information sources on local market demographics, settlement and employment service needs to effectively provide data and analysis on newcomer, employer, service provider and community assets / capacity Coordinate needs assessments, focus groups, and surveys to clients / employers / community partners to determine settlement and integration challenges into the community Promote the organization through excellent marketing, public relations and presentation skills = Research & PR

16 Example 6 demonstrated knowledge of communication and information theory, methods, techniques and practices, and stakeholder relations in order to plan, coordinate and implement initiatives and projects knowledge of contract and vendor management processes and practices in order to coordinate and administer the procurement process knowledge of Internet, satellite broadcasting, digital video conferencing equipment and Wide Area Network technologies in order to provide customized and professional events to clients

17 Example 6 demonstrated knowledge of communication and information theory, methods, techniques and practices, and stakeholder relations in order to plan, coordinate and implement initiatives and projects knowledge of contract and vendor management processes and practices in order to coordinate and administer the procurement process knowledge of Internet, satellite broadcasting, digital video conferencing equipment and Wide Area Network technologies in order to provide customized and professional events to clients = Planning and project management / Vendor negotiations

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19 Investigation We are familiar with adjacent employment areas such as CI/BI, web/content management, and IM/KM Research Project: Analyze the content of job postings in the next adjacent employment domains: Managerial, Policy, Marketing, Communications, Media, Senior Administrative, etc … to find matches to specific skills

20 Where to Look? Naturally, repositories such as Workopolis, JobStart, GoJobs … Organizational websites job listings - government entities at all levels, nonprofits, NGOs, associations, startups

21 Where to Dig Some More? In target industries, seek out individuals who may be willing to describe what they do day to day Diagnose the functions and activities from the point of view of what would I need to add to my skill set in order to perform such a function? Sidle up: Attend meetings of e.g. Read the professional literature of the target industry

22 Part Two: Mapping and Translating Skills Potential job postings feature a vocabulary we may use as a basis for the translation of our skills and experience the other way into language matching employers requirements and desires Build concordance from info pro experience and expertise to business/government/nonprofit activities Example:

23 Mapping and Translating Skills Example from the non-L world: I combined 15 years worth of records/information into a simple and quick retrieval system for a group of 20 analysts. Apparently many previous attempts had failed. It took me about three months to set up a working system after going through every piece of existing information to determine what to purge and keep and then to understand the users types of queries.

24 Concordance Perform reference and research Assess user needs and broker service agreements Analyze and summarize content for distribution to various stakeholder groups Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives Meet with individuals, special interest groups and others on behalf of executives, committees and boards of directors Analyze incoming and outgoing memoranda, submissions and reports and coordinate the preparation and submission of summary briefs and reports to executives

25 Does it feel about this natural?

26 Questions to Prompt the Concordance How have I supported knowledge workers or business processes? When did I conduct research to support a proposal? How have I ensured stakeholder needs were considered in strategic planning? What has been my contribution to protecting corporate memory? How have my advanced searching skills saved the day for clients?

27 Questions to Prompt the Concordance What are my client services accomplishments? What are the best examples of my ability to lead teams? How have I supported and promoted change management? What difference have I made to any department in which I worked?

28 Dictionary Examples Reference = research support Acquisitions = procurement and vendor negotiations Cataloguing = document management ILS = content management system, inventory tracking Indexing = content tagging, taxonomy User instruction = training in the use of tools / systems User surveys = client needs assessment Online searching = skills using enterprise search systems

29 Part Three: Overcoming the Perception of the L Old Analogy: Housewife = logistics and operations manager, educator, negotiator, nutritional consultant, events coordinator, nurse, guidance counselor … Librarian = program coordinator, researcher, analyst, client service director, policy developer, marketer, communications specialist, shareholder relations manager … Face the challenge up front … without using but: State the competencies without our jargon

30 Leverage Association Roles & Volunteer Activity Describe experience and expertise gained during the work of chairing committees, holding elected office, organizing association events, etc Use accomplishments as community volunteer to demonstrate service ethic, planning skills, etc Point to seminars and presentations as evidence of communication skills

31 Tackle the Question Up Front In the cover letter, come right out and say it: From professional experience in an information centric environment, I offer the skills and expertise your organization needs: –Track record of … –Demonstrated success in … –Solid accomplishments in …

32 Deal with Subject Matter As employers may desire hiring someone with a specific subject background, address industry or domain knowledge: Subject knowledge: Through my work supporting knowledge workers at ………., I developed extensive familiarity with ………. and with the challenges commonly encountered in ……….

33 Then Speak to the Job Functions One by One List the key requirements and show how each is met: Develop marketing outreach strategies: In 2010, I led a new …….. initiative for [organization] and created the communications plan to engage the stakeholders Proactively problem solve and recommend strategies: In 2009, I undertook a research project to discover why ………. and built a business case to address the findings

34 Long Term: Further Education Couldnt Hurt Let personal interest, undergrad major, or skills in demand point to more education so as to show knowledge of the field in question: Knowledge of XXXX: During the last three years, I completed the YYYY program at ZZZZ College

35 Question Based on a remarkable boom in …….., what kind of professional will be in high demand in the coming years?

36 Questions? Thank You! Seminars, articles, and blog free at


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