“Effective Internal Communication is a powerful force that not only helps organisations to be more successful but also helps enrich employees’ lives in meaningful ways” – Paul Barton ABC
A familiar quote and one that many IC professionals will recognise as being very true but it does make me wonder if we are this clear and passionate about helping our own careers be more successful.
How many times have you heard the following…
Question ‘So, how did you get into comms?’
Response ‘Well, I just kind of fell into it really, I started off as [insert pre-comms experience here]…
That is where I would insert… ‘20 years as a freelance Designer and Marketing Consultant which saw me to leading a community/communications team and then heading up a retail communications team with SEO website optimisation and product placement as deliverables’.
You see we all have our our rather random pathways into ‘Internal Comms’, which is no bad thing but going forward we should have a career strategy that will help us be more successful and help define a career pathway for our successors.
‘I want to be an Internal Communications Professional’ hasn’t yet quite made it on to the list of responses that a secondary school pupil would say, when asked what they want to be.
With SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in my pre IC career, I often find myself checking up on good ‘keywords’ for my articles. Keyword knowledge also helps me figure out what the current IC professional community are interested in.
Did you know…
Over the past 12 months, the phrase ‘internal communication strategy’ has been searched (Google) on average 10,000 times a month. That may not seem like a lot but consider this, similar terms such as ‘internal communications strategy’ or ‘internal comms strategy’ and ‘internal communication planning’ are all searched with similar frequency.
Now you begin to understand there is a huge interest, and we are all searching for the latest views on IC Strategy. We are all fine tuning our professional offerings either freelance or employed.
So I got to wondering… Are we actively planning our own career strategies? I guess you could say we are all on a career path but have we really mapped that path out, set ourselves career targets and defined key deliverables to help us get there?
Internal Communications Career Planning
It turns out that ‘internal communications career planning (or strategy) there searched for, at most 10 times per month. (Which by the way makes my article title, very unlikely to index on Google SERPS.) So, I’m going to sacrifice my organic blog traffic and try to ramp up ‘our’ interest in being more strategic about our career paths.
Note: Even more generic keyword search terms such as ‘career development planning’ only gets up to 1000 searches per month.
First 5 steps for mapping out your career strategy:
- Define your ultimate career level – (Head of… Director of… President of… etc.)
- What action steps will take you to your ultimate level?
- Where are you ‘playing little league’? – (Define areas for development/growth.)
- What is holding you back? (anxiety? procrastination? required skills? etc.)
- What assets do you have? (Think about that latest initiative you delivered successfully.)
Notice I made the above list more generic?
Part of my strategy for www.internal-comms.co.uk is to always place good quality content and search terms in each of my articles. (I sacrificed some organic traffic by using rarely used search terms as the blog title and opening content, so I’m doing a little counterbalancing by leaving my 5 steps more generic 😉
I was going to do the usual ‘Top 10 Tips’ for planning your career as an internal communications professional… but that wouldn’t really achieve the end goal would it.
“Encourage more fellow internal (and external) comms professionals to approach ‘strategic career planning’ with the same enthusiasm and research that we invest in planning the latest company initiative.” – Clare Elevique