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Fearless Careers: Stories and Skills for Success in Tech, Business, and Creative Industries
29 minutes | May 28, 2015
97: Being a Specialist and Milestone Marketing with Jason Swenk
Being a specialist doesn’t mean you have to limit your skills to a niched industry or job function. Just ask Jason Swenk. Jason helps digital agency owners get to the next level in their business, abd his ability to generate leads for his clients has lead to work across a number of industries. Instead of delivering a set-in-stone sales funnel, he works with marketing milestones involving stop and go points throughout a conversation with a prospective customer. Jason started out as a programmer, but he quickly lost interest and found himself building websites. As the digital space expanded, so did Jason’s skills and successes, ultimately launching his own digital agency. He eventually sold it twelve years later in 2011 to share his insight with others. In this episode, he discusses how he maintained industry awareness, the importance of specialization, how to target a broad audience as a specialist and why this is especially effective, and breaking up a marketing strategy into milestones instead of the funnel approach. For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/jasonswenk.
39 minutes | May 21, 2015
96: Getting Noticed Doing Something Extraordinary with Nick Valencia
Most journalists start on a much smaller stage before landing an opportunity at one of the biggest names in broadcast news. Nick Valencia is one of the exceptions. After he graduated from University of Southern California, Nick caught the attention of CNN after he self-funded a journalistic adventure to Uganda. He was first hired as a teleprompter operator but quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the few home-grown broadcasters in the CNN organization. Nick has served as the National and International Desk editor and the head of the CNN Spanish Desk. He is now a national correspondent and is among the first on the ground for the biggest and latest breaking news stories across the United States. In this episode, Nick discusses how he decided to pursue journalism over sports broadcasting, the different X factors of broadcast journalists, climbing through the ranks from entry level assistant to national correspondent, continuing your extraordinary work to demonstrate longevity and consistency, and his vision for the future of journalism for hyper-local stories. For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/nickvalencia.
31 minutes | May 14, 2015
95: The Future of Content Marketing with Joe Pulizzi
With the rise of social media and the internet, marketing departments have seen their mission shift drastically. Up through the end of the 20th century, most of what marketing did was focused on sales. As consumer’s demand for and access to content has grown, businesses have begun to shift their focus to creating branded content in order to draw an audience to their services. Joe Pulizzi has been working in content marketing since the very beginning. He began in publishing, and watched the demand for content creators skyrocket in the last decade. Joe is the founder of Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing. In this episode, Joe discusses the best practices for preparing to get a job in content marketing, how the field of content marketing developed from the publishing industry, the ballooning demand for content creators outside of traditional media institutions, and what the future holds for content marketing. For the show notes, head to skilledup.com/joepulizzi.
39 minutes | May 7, 2015
94: Passion, Purpose, and The Power of Storytelling with Matthew Turner
Beyond paid advertising, sponsorships, and other traditional marketing, more and more companies have placed storytelling and content marketing with much greater emphasis in their marketing departments. However, the stories that grip their respective audiences may not always be easy to find. That’s where marketer and story teller Matthew Turner comes in. Matthew eventually found his calling while developing a set of journals into a novel. He then combined his newfound passion with his degree in marketing, and has been doing brand storytelling ever since. In this episode, Matthew discusses how he came to realize that storytelling is his passion, the way that others’ definition of success can hold us back, the importance of finding your passion and your purpose and marrying the two, what brand storytelling is, and how companies can do a better job of it. For the show notes, checking out skilledup.com/matthewturner.
22 minutes | Apr 30, 2015
93: Learning a Language As a Gateway to A Career with Jill Dougherty
Learning a second or third language is always an advantage as a professional. For some, however, being multi-lingual is the pathway to a career. Jill Dougherty studied Russian in high school and college, and when the offer came to be a broadcaster for Voice of America in Russia she grabbed it, even though she had no formal broadcast training. Her career has been all about seizing opportunities as they come. She eventually moved to TV and CNN, where she spent thirty years including time as the Moscow Bureau Chief. Jill is now one of the foremost experts on Russia in America, and a professor at the Woodrow Wilson Center. In this episode, Jill discusses how her high school focus helped define the rest of her careers, the importance of taking on challenges, and learning new skills on the job, her experiences as a foreign correspondent in Russia, what skills she thinks are absolutely necessary for journalistic success. For the show notes, you can check out skilledup.com/jilldougherty.
37 minutes | Apr 23, 2015
92: Managing Sports Broadcasting Media with Mike Trager
Who thought a college engineering major would end up creating a monumental career in sports broadcasting media that included some of the biggest names in the business? In this era of modern technology and on-demand content, we can watch our favorite sports teams on dedicated TV channels, on the Internet--even on our mobile phones. Back when Mike started in the sports broadcasting industry, this wasn’t the case. There were only three networks, and a limited number of sporting events were even aired. As the accessibility of TV entertainment across sports developed, Mike had a courtside view of the biggest changes in the industry. He started as a television sales manager, became a sports marketing expert and was eventually named Vice President of NBC Sports. He now runs his own private consulting firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. In this episode, Mike discusses, how he moved from an electrical engineer to owning his own sports marketing firm, his experience helping organize the 1984 Winter Olympics, trends in the sports marketing and advertising business, building business relationships, and using what you know to help you do things that make you happy. For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/miketrager.
28 minutes | Apr 16, 2015
91: Multiplying Time and Maximizing Productivity with Rory Vaden
Did you know that it’s possible to multiply your time and increase the value of every minute of every day? Working in the modern world can be overwhelming. As we complete one assignment, or write one email, another two pop up. What are the strategies that the best workers use to create more time for important things? That’s the question that Rory Vaden sets out to answer in his new book “Procrastinate on Purpose.” Rory is a hard worker. The son of a single mother, he sold education books door to door over the summers during college and managed to make a quarter of a million dollars. He went on to start his own sales consulting firm and become a best selling author. In this episode, Rory discusses the inspiration for his new book “Procrastinate on Purpose,” the downsides of common productivity strategies, giving yourself permission to take the time to create more time, why it’s important to invest time and/or money in gaining skills, generating a high ROTI, or “return on time invested.” For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/roryvaden.
39 minutes | Apr 9, 2015
90: Making It in Music Management with Ed Baker and Jason Browning
In addition to traditional marketing and finance, behind the scenes of every single concert and every single band is a massive team of promoters and security professionals who had no choice but to work their way to success. There is no college for making it in music management. We've all been to shows and seen people working security up front. Both Jason Browning and Ed Baker were once two of those guys. Although they began in different eras, their stories followed similar paths. By taking on more responsibilities and seizing opportunities when they could, they rose through the ranks. Eventually, they found themselves being asked to manage tours for major recording artists, and after joining as business partners, they began to manage bands as well. In this episode, Ed and Jason discuss how they transitioned from the security industry into band and tour management, dealing with setbacks, their experiences working with artists such as Jessica Simpson, Hansen, and Linkin Park, the ability to anticipate and think ahead, and the way the music industry has changed and continues to evolve. For the show notes, you can check out skilledup.com/browninggroup.
31 minutes | Apr 2, 2015
89: Coding and Cashing In on Your Hobby with Nicole Dominguez
Just because you’ve earned the title Senior Product Developer doesn’t mean you fall into the typical senior age bracket. In fact, it’s entirely possible that as Senior level employee, you could be the youngest of all your colleagues. Nicole Dominguez is a 20-year-old entirely self taught Senior Product Developer. She discovered she loved to code as a 13-year-old playing with neopets and was working as a freelance professional in high school. Nicole now lives and works for Sawhorse Media in New York City. In this episode, Nicole discusses, how she was noticed by the New York Times as a teenager, working as the youngest senior employee of a company, why learning to code is not as hard as you think, and using the power of meetups to find your dream job. For the show notes, head to skilledup.com/nicoledominguez
34 minutes | Mar 26, 2015
88: The Reality of Creating Passive Income with Pat Flynn
What is passive income? Is it earning money in your sleep? Is it working hard now to set the stage for easy income later? In either case, it would mean freedom to create your own career and spend time with those who matter most. For many, it also sounds like a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. In 2008, Pat Flynn was laid off from his architecture firm and decided to become his own boss. Through a series of strategic experiments, Pat forged a path as an internet entrepreneur, and has been publicly documenting his experience ever since. Nearly seven years later, Flynn is now a wildly successful podcaster, author, public speaker, and expert of earning smart passive income, also the name of his brand. In this episode, Pat discusses his journey to becoming a serial entrepreneur, the importance of niching down projects, setting boundaries for yourself, his role models and finding mentorship among many other pieces of advice. For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/patflynn
7 minutes | Mar 24, 2015
Bonus Episode: Digital Literacy from SXSWedu 2015
New technologies are constantly wiggling their way into the workforce, and they’re changing the way we define literacy. It is no longer enough to get a quality education in fundamentals such as reading and writing alone to prepare for a career. You have to be able to use those skills in some form online. Digital literacy was a hot topic at SXSWedu with all the attendees having a unique and fresh perspective. This is the fourth episode of a four part series of Fearless Careers from SXSWedu2015.
10 minutes | Mar 20, 2015
Bonus Episode: Computational Thinking from SXSWedu 2015
Over the course of the last two decades, the Internet has become a fixture of everyday life. And, as our digital lives expand, so do the number of jobs available for programmers and web developers. In light of this, coding — and how best to learn it — was a hot topic of conversation at SXSW Edu this year. The conference, held every March in Austin, Texas, regularly draws a crowd of teachers, administrators and innovators seeking the best new ideas in the field of education. In and outside of sessions, conference attendees discussed strategies for equipping learners with the skills they need to be successful programmers. This is the third episode in a four part series from Fearless Careers at SXSWedu 2015.
8 minutes | Mar 18, 2015
Bonus Episode: Digital Badging from SXSWedu 2015
The diploma was in the hot seat for a digital makeover after innovators in learning pushed their cases for digital badging at the SXSWedu conference. Digital badges are online representations of achievements and skills, but which have raised concerns among educators and employers about their credibility, since badges can be created and accessed by just about anyone.T he badging system aims to give learners more portability for online credentials beyond LinkedIn. They can pave their own learning paths and increase their employability, as discussed in the previous SXSW episode about personalized learning. This the second of a four part series of Fearless CAreers from SXSWedu 2015.
8 minutes | Mar 17, 2015
Bonus Episode: Personalized Learning from SXSWedu 2015
Learners come in all shapes and sizes, and some SXSWedu conference-goers believe that educational institutions and resources need to do a better job of reflecting this diversity by making sure content lines up more with career options. The four-day conference in the bustling heart of Austin, Texas, provided a platform for educators and learners from around the world to discuss innovations in learning. This is the first of five bonus episodes from Fearless Careers at SXSWedu.
27 minutes | Mar 12, 2015
87: Starting a Content Creation Business From Scratch with Alexis Grant
Alexis Grant has been producing content for nearly her whole career. While working as a journalist, she began to manage social media content for a friend’s business. As she grew dissatisfied with the direction of journalism, she was also accruing a sizable list of clients as a social media freelancer. Eventually she decided to take the plunge and become a full time entrepreneur. Alexis now manages a large team that produces blog posts and social media content for other companies. In this episode, she discusses how to start a side hustle while still working in your current job, the value of a retainer model for your business, and why solid writing skills are essential for any career. For the show notes page, check out skilledup.com/alexisgrant.
39 minutes | Mar 11, 2015
86: Craftings Stories Into a Career with Anthony Breznican
Anthony Breznican loves stories. From the protagonist’s call to action in a Hollywood film to narrative arc of his grandfather’s tales at family gatherings in western Pennsylvania, Anthony was hooked from a young age. However, it wasn’t until he first encountered Stephen King that Anthony began crafting stories of his own and was inspired to turn it into his career. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, he wound his way as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, The Associated Press and USA today. While Anthony is currently a senior staff writer at Entertainment Weekly. His most recent accomplishment is debuting his first novel, “Brutal Youth,” published in June of 2014. In this episode, Anthony discusses the transition from journalist to novelist, why the grunt work is sometimes necessary, and how every professional dream can be achieved in some capacity. For the show notes, head to skilledup.com/anthonybreznican.
40 minutes | Mar 10, 2015
85: Choosing Your Environment by Work/Life Design with Arie Horie
It’s no secret that Silicon Valley has been historically dominated by men. There are many more male programmers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists operating in the area. Yet, the tide may be starting to turn. This is, in part, thanks to the work of the Women’s Startup Lab and its founder Arie Horie. Arie is fascinated by the way that the culture of a place can influence how the people inside of it think and behave. That’s why she decided to leave Japan and come to America for school. It’s also why she felt that women needed a more supportive environment for their ideas in Silicon Valley. After working for marketing at IBM, she desired to do more hands-on work and transitioned to the startup world. Women’s Startup Lab now offers workshops and advising services for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs focusing on decision-making, leadership development and more. In this episode, Arie discusses the value of finding creativity within a big corporation, assessing the right work environment for you, and focussing the mechanical skills you can offer in the moment as a professional. For the show notes page, head to skilledup.com/ariehorie.
34 minutes | Mar 5, 2015
84: Chasing the Right Opportunities with Heather Anne Carson of Onboardly
Sometimes we find ourselves following a path that those around us have prescribed. Doing what is expected of you is comfortable, but it may not allow us to identify and use use our skills and talents to their greatest abilities and create extraordinary careers and lives. Heather Anne Carson went against other’s expectations and decided to forge her own path, jumping from job to job figuring out what skills she excelled at. After she found that advertising and marketing were her passion, Heather and her co-founder merged forces to launch Onboardly, a PR agency based in Canada. In this episode, Heather discusses why she decided to reject the safe path her parents wanted for her, the value of being super selective with your colleagues and coworkers, why just doing your job isn’t enough to succeed, and how to itemize your expectations. For the show notes, check out skilledup.com/heatherannecarson.
32 minutes | Mar 3, 2015
82: Empathy, Humility, and Passion in Your Career with Lisa Picard of Skanska
The buildings that we encounter in our daily lives have a huge effect on us. They provide the infrastructure for nearly all of our interactions, and that means they should be designed purposefully. Development is art, according to Lisa Picard of Skanska, a multinational development and construction company. And art requires creativity and curiosity, both skills that she believes are absolutely necessary for all trying to succeed in an “intellectual economy.” Lisa’s path to her current position as executive vice president was by no means clear-cut. Her curiosity and drive led her to two master’s degrees, as well as a number of careers before landing in development. In this episode, Lisa discusses her personal career development, the importance of curiosity, creativity and wonder in all careers, how she works with her team to develop empathy and why it’s important, how knowledge of finance equips you to do what you want to do, the value of humility and openly talking about limitations, and why getting fired can be a great experience. For the show notes, head to skilledup.com/lisapicard.
27 minutes | Feb 26, 2015
79: Working Beyond Your Job Description with Jake Heller of NBC
Even if you have doubt about the future of an industry, giving someone the time to change your mind might also change your career. Right before graduating from college, Jake Heller went to a career fair with absolutely no idea what his next step was after school. Having done a little video production and some writing for the school newspaper, the Columbia Journalism School booth caught his eye when he asked a snarky question about the future of newspapers and got a surprisingly inspiring life-changing response. Now a graduate of Columbia, Jake is a reporter and video producer for NBC. His work has appeared on The Daily Beast, MSNBC.com, Global Voices and in many other publications. In this episode, Jake discusses the skills necessary to break into journalism today, why publishing your work online for free is important to building your personal brand, and why you have to specialize in something while still having a broad skill set. You can check out the show notes page at skilledup.com/jakeheller.
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