Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 09 2013

Relevancy Tips From the Pros

By Jill Formeister

The four speakers at the March 20 GMC PCMA Education Program at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Magnificent Mile each approached the issue of "Staying Relevant in a Changing Work Environment" from a different angle.  Attendees attended one of the three breakouts, choosing the approach most relevant to them.

Dawn Penfold, CMP, President of Meetingjobs, LLC, provided tips on "How to Position Yourself for Internal Growth within Your Organization."  She recommended that audience members start with a written plan and affirm "Hey, I'm here" by getting in front of people, contributing ideas, speaking up, and staying informed.  Think of what you have done to make yourself stand out, she advised.  Go for strategic projects that have impact and "pounce on pet projects." 

Document your success and identify your skills that are transferable and where they can be applied internally.  Consider developing new skills.  Penfold suggested additional tactics including:  Engage your boss, offer a solution, be a risk taker, and be a team player.

James Goodman, CMP and Judith Fleeks, CCP, both of the American Dental Association, shared the process used in the transformation of the Division of Conference and Meeting Services at the ADA.  Goodman is Managing Vice President, Conferences & Continuing Education, and Fleeks is Director, Talent, Compensation & Employee Relations.  They presented "Limited Human Resources and Increasing Expectations Don't Match - How to Take a Fresh Look at Your Structure, Talent and Opportunities to Increase Productivity" as a case study.  They identified important steps including goal-setting, asking tough questions, assessing current processes and efficiencies, determining future needs, assessing current talent, communicating change management, and evaluating success.

When beginning to restructure, organizations must set clear goals and measures for outcomes. Goodman and Fleeks explained that work products must be inventoried to determine which are necessary versus nice to have, and to define must-haves for the near future. They advise, "Stop doing things that add little value and improve efficiency of must-have products.”  Establish the concept of time as the most valuable resource and provide staff with opportunities for professional growth. 

Jim Carra, Executive Vice President, SearchWide, offered guidance on how to “Plan Your Career: The Way You Want, When You Want To.”   In this sellers’ market, job seekers “must show how you can help employers better meet their goals.”

Carra’s characterized the resume as a tool that opens the door.  Because of the overwhelming number of resumes received for any one position, make it easy on your reader to see both your history and specific accomplishments.  Employers want to see your impact on current and previous organizations.

He reminded the audience to “fix the small stuff” – i.e., to make sure that your voice mail and e-mail messages are professional.  He underscored the importance of social media, describing LinkedIn as “a powerful tool and an awesome research tool.” 

Carra provided the audience with a powerful question to ask at the end of an interview:  “Is there anything else I can further explain about my background and experience?”

For more details, click below to view/download the presentations.

How to Position Yourself for Internal Growth within Your Organization
Dawn Penfold, CMP, Meetingjobs, LLC

Limited Human Resources and Increasing Expectations Don't Match -How to Take a Fresh Look at Your Structure, Talent and Opportunities to Increase Productivity
James Goodman, CMP  and Judith Fleeks, CCP, American Dental Association (ADA) 

Plan Your Career: The Way You Want, When You Want To 
Jim Carra, SearchWide

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