The tumultous economy has caused many changes in the market for job seekers and the employed alike. For young professionals the market has become even more competitive than in past years. Being successful in this type of environment requires a more strategic approach to job hunting, lateral moves and securing promotions.
On November 9, 2011, the New York Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants co-hosted a panel discussion with Ernst & Young at 5 Times Square, New York, NY, which was directed at helping young professionals with developing their own strategy for achieving success in a competitive environment.
The session was moderated by Dana Lodge, a fellow transplant from Toronto who is now a Senior Manager in Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst and Young LLP in NY. The accomplished and erudite panelists, all from Ernst & Young, represented a broad range of experience and expertise. They were:
- William (Bill) Barrett, Associate General Counsel in the General Counsel’s office
- Cliff Cammock, Assurance Partner in the Financial Services Office (FSO); and
- David Kadio-Morokro, Advisory Principal in the Financial Services Office (FSO)
The evening started off with casual networking before the speakers were summoned to the microphones to discuss topics such as: building your brand, working across boundaries and standing out from your peers. The session, primarily geared to young professionals, also provided a lot of insight to the more seasoned professionals in attendance.
Below is a summary of the main points of the presentation:
ON BECOMING SUCCESSFUL:
Bill: deliver good, professional service and your client will always come back.
Cliff: (1) believe you belong; (2) develop the substantive “content” necessary for your area of expertise; (3) think outside the box
David: (1) know your strengths, (2) understand how others perceive you; (3) surround yourself with really good people; (4) have an objective, but be flexible; (5) work hard; and (6) pray for good luck;
ON BUILDING YOUR BRAND …
Bill: (a) Appearance: do you appear credible? (b) Personality: how do people experience/perceive you? (c) Competencies: what do you know and what don’t you know? (d) Differentiator: what body of knowledge or experience do you have that separates you from your peer group?
Cliff: Remember, for every one mistake you make to deteriorate your brand, it takes 17 positive actions to recover
David: (a) understand how to utilize your brand to help you and your team achieve success; (b) there is no one-size-fits-all brand that will get you to where you want to be. Develop your own personal brand that is not based on external standards.
ON WORKING ON A TEAM:
Cliff: global, multi-discipline, culturally diverse teams are the new normal. Your team will only be as strong as its weakest link. Know your strengths and your weaknesses so you know when to ask for help and when to provide support to someone else. This includes challenging other team members, where appropriate, and suggesting alternative approaches to a problem. This will strengthen the overall performance of the team.
Thank you Ernst & Young and NABA NY for putting on such an informative and successful event.
written Marsha Henry