Articles about "Careers"


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Advice from an introvert: It’s time to speak up

I’m an introvert.

A lot of folks are surprised to hear me say that. We’ve seen you teach, they say.

And you were a managing editor.

And you coordinated media relations for a big health-insurance company.

That’s all true. I also can work a crowd, make conversation with people I don’t know, even seize the microphone if that’s what the occasion demands.

But sometimes, despite my best efforts, my introversion takes over.

Like during a faculty meeting I attended recently.

We were discussing, over a lunch of pizza and salad, how we teach ethics. Several of my colleagues jumped right in, taking positions, arguing points, challenging each other. The conversation was lively, sometimes intense.

I popped open another Diet Coke.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk. It’s just how I usually behave in meetings: hang back, survey the room, silently test my thinking against the others to see whether I’ll sound foolish when I finally speak up.

Eventually I did speak up and, while my observations certainly didn’t leave the others speechless (after all, they’re extroverts), I didn’t embarrass myself. I was glad I jumped in.

The experience reminded me, though, how challenging it is to be an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Sometimes we wait too long to join a conversation and it ends before we make our move. Some bosses mistake our silence for a lack of ideas, sometimes even for a lack of interest.

Fact is, we have lots of ideas — but we like to think about them before sharing.

That, according to my colleague Jill Geisler, is one big difference between extroverts and introverts: Extroverts want to talk out an idea as it hits them, while introverts want to think it through first. I’m not overly shy and I do like having dinner with others, going to a party, and being part of a large gathering. (At least sometimes.) But those activities don’t energize me; they drain me. I find my energy inside myself.

So bosses, be aware that there are people in your meetings, quiet people, who might need to be asked what they’re thinking. You might also:

  • Pull us aside after a meeting and get our take one-on-one.
  • Begin the meeting by asking everyone to write down a few thoughts on the issue at hand, in order to even the playing field.
  • Hand out, or at least announce, an agenda ahead of time to give us a chance to collect our thoughts.

Yes, bosses (especially you extroverted bosses), you might gain a lot by being more aware of the introverts in your midst.

But let’s also be clear: Introverts, we need to look out for ourselves.

For, as Jill also says, being aware of our tendencies might explain us, but it doesn’t excuse us.

If we want to be effective in an extrovert’s world, we need to assert ourselves, test our comfort zones, and take some risks — without abandoning our unique gifts.

In other words, we need to keep thinking with our head, while discovering our voice.

Here are three ideas:

1. Think “one-on-one.” Getting comfortable enough to speak in a room filled with extroverts is a daunting challenge. Slow down. It’s much easier to build individual relationships with others, even if they are extroverts. And you’ll enjoy multiple benefits from giving someone a chance to know you.

First, you’ll gain confidence. Think of it as using these individual relationships as practice for sharing your thoughts and ideas in larger venues. It’s much harder to keep quiet in a one-on-one setting, and so you’ll speak. (Yes, I know that even one-on-one, extroverts talk a lot — but it’s easier to politely break into a monologue than into a meeting full of voices.)

Second, those with whom you build individual relationships might change the way they treat you in group settings, such as meetings. (They actually might call on you to speak — especially if they know you agree with them.)

2. Be a (shameless) copycat. People who comfortably play leadership roles in organizations often are credited with an abundance of natural gifts. Maybe. More likely they are simply good students of the leaders they were fortunate to work for and learn from. My style is a distillation of a hundred leadership styles that I’ve watched and admired and attempted to mimic over nearly 40 years.

Like the way someone makes a presentation? Notice how she engages the audience, designs her slides, paces her material. Wish you could run a meeting like your boss? Watch how he keeps the meeting on point, expresses disagreement without disrespect, encourages everyone to participate.

The point is: We work with many talented people who, if we pay close attention to how they do their jobs, can help us achieve our goal — developing our voices.

(And they’ll be flattered.)

3. Seek out assignments to show off — and stretch. Newsrooms are increasingly looking for staffers to participate in projects and task forces. Whether it’s the development of a new product, a newsroom reorganization or a training initiative, opportunities exist for introverts to develop new skills. It’s almost a cliché to look for introverts to play research roles in organizational projects, and with good reason: Many of us are good at research. But let’s not leave all of the out-front roles to the extroverts.

Volunteer to present findings or update the project’s progress. Then, once you get the assignment, prepare well. Create an agenda and distribute it beforehand. Keep your presentation focused and move it along. Encourage questions and comments. (Before the meeting, brief one or more of those colleagues with whom you’ve built relationships and let them help you discourage speeches and keep the meeting on point.)

And no matter how it goes, seek out your boss for feedback. After all, you plan on doing this again. You don’t have to go on this journey alone, after all, it can be a grueling one. Having the boss share your effort — and support it — can be a great help.

Related: What Great Bosses Know about Extroverts | What Great Bosses Know about Introverts | 3 Major Misunderstandings (When Introverts and Extroverts Collide) Read more

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PoynterVision: Transitioning from newspapers to corporate communications

After working for 27 years in newspapers, Butch Ward, senior faculty and former managing director at Poynter, left his final newspaper post at The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2001. Eight months later, Ward joined the Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia as the vice president for corporate and public affairs, putting him “on the other side of the wall” with journalists. Watch the video to hear how Ward navigated the transition.


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Live chat replay: how to make LinkedIn work for you

With more than a quarter billion people using LinkedIn, almost 100 million of them in the United States, LinkedIn has reach.

But how do you get the most out of it? What can it do for your career other than show people your work history?

LinkedIn Corporate Communication Manager Yumi Wilson will walk us through some strategies. A former journalist and journalism professor, Wilson’s LinkedIn profile says she now links journalists with success. Find out how.

For this chat, open one window for Poynter.org and another for your LinkedIn profile page.

Join us for a live chat on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. You can revisit this page at any time to replay the chat after it has ended.

Visit www.poynter.org/chats to find an archive of all past chats.

To post a question: Log in by entering your name below or sign in with a social media account. Your question goes to moderation, and we’ll get to it shortly!

Twitter users can ask questions using the hashtag #poynterchat.

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Live chat replay: What happens when a journalism career breaks?

Thousands of journalists have had to pick up the pieces and start over because of layoffs, firings and downsizing.

Warren Watson, executive director of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, has interviewed several of them and is working on a project about broken journalism careers.

He has had some career interruptions himself. We talked about how journalists restart their career, what they have experienced, how you can be prepared and what kinds of entirely different careers former journalists enter.

Replay the live chat for an honest conversation about strategies for dealing with career interruptions. Watson even shared some very unique career transitions such as a photojournalist who started a gourmet pizza business and another former journalist who is now a dog and horse trainer.

We also offered advice about how to avoid the downward spiral that may come with switching careers or losing a job and the importance of rekindling your self-confidence.

You can revisit this page at any time to replay the chat after it has ended. Visit www.poynter.org/chats to find an archive of all past chats.

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Tips for Storytellers: Your personal brand

If someone “googles” you, what will they find? A well-crafted, professional profile? The finest samples of your work or structured settlement cash now? A summary of your ideas about the future of journalism? Over time, you leave quite a digital trail. Here are bits of advice for refining your personal brand—part of a series of graphics with tips for storytellers. Next Friday: Tips for data visualization.

Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: Creating Your Personal Brand
Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: Creating Your Personal Brand

For a PDF: Poynter Quinn-fo-graphic: Creating Your Personal Brand

Related: How to make photos better | How to polish your writing | How to make the most of your tweets | How to get your video right  | Tips for an online portfolio Read more

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Tips for Storytellers: Creating an online portfolio

The key to getting a great job or internship is showing what you can do. An online portfolio is the new norm for a crucial first impression. Here are a few ideas, part of a series of graphics with tips for storytellers. Next Friday: How to sharpen your personal brand with social media.

Poynter Quinn-fo-graphics: Tips for online portfolios

For a PDF: Poynter Quinn-fo-graphics: Tips for creating an online portfolio

Related: How to make photos better | How to polish your writing | How to make the most of your tweets | How to get your video right Read more

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PoynterVision: Tips for students in tough journalism market

There are more journalism students graduating every year than job openings in reporting. Still, in this tough market, there are a few things you can do to differentiate yourself, according to Allen Klosowski, vice president of mobile and connected devices at video advertising company SpotXchange.”Go out and make that happen,” said Klosowski.

Check out Matt Waite’s advice to help students land jobs in data-driven journalism. Read more

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Ethics of unpaid internships

Unpaid internships have been getting a lot of attention recently, most of it unwanted, as the result of lawsuits and canceled programs.

ProPublica has been covering the issue, from Northwestern’s residency program to harassment legal loopholes leaving unpaid interns vulnerable.

It recently raised $22,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to hire intern Casey McDermott to document the story of countless unpaid internships across the country.

Replay the live chat to read what ProPublica’s reporting intern Kara Brandeisky and McDermott had to say on whether we are at a turning point in unpaid internships, how widespread the practice of hiring unpaid interns is and strategies for getting and surviving one.

You can find any past chat at www.poynter.org/chats.

 

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PoynterVision: Create a data résumé

More important than a résumé is a strong digital presence to land a job in data journalism, be it interactive news, data visualizations or news applications. Matt Waite, journalism professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, offers insight into what you need to score the data-driven journalism job.

Watch Waite’s NewsU on-demand webinar replay, Drones for Reporting and Newsgathering: The Promise and the Peril, for free with this discount code:
13POYNTER100WAITE. Read more

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Matt Waite talks about the value of data skills in hiring.

PoynterVision: Newsrooms fight for data talent

While layoffs continue to deplete traditional newsrooms, reporters with skills in data journalism are being snatched up by news organizations, Matt Waite, journalism professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told Poynter. In fact, news outlets have new competitors vying for the same talent.

Use the code 13POYNTER100WAITE to watch a free on-demand replay of Waite’s NewsU webinar, Drones for Reporting and Newsgathering: The Promise and the Peril.


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