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Viewing entries tagged with 'communications'

Changing direction

Posted by Philip on 6 July 2014, 12:50 pm in , , , , , , , , , ,

As of tomorrow, 7 July, I'll be employed for the first time in twelve years. In early May I applied for the 0.6FTE role of Communications Officer at the NZ AIDS Foundation, was offered, to my surprise, an interview in early June and, to my greater surprise, the job in mid-June.

My surprise was two-fold. Firstly, while I've had heaps of experience in communications I've had no formal training. Secondly, I'm fairly long in the tooth to be taking up an entry-level position. So while I felt confident to fulfil the role, I didn't think I'd fit the role profile.

I obviously did though. And that leads to another aspect of my surprise, which is strongly linked to trust. At the beginning of the year I decided to let myself be guided towards where I was needed. I thought it would come in the form of a new client, but it manifested in a completely unexpected way. Not only a completely different content area, but a different role (employment not consultant) and, actually, a whole different lifestyle (I'll be working at the Foundation's offices).

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Training versus experiential learning

Posted by Philip on 9 June 2014, 4:23 pm in , , , , , , , , , ,

Having just spent the weekend co-facilitating Be. Leadership and then attending a job interview this morning for a part-time communications position at a high-profile charitable organisation, I find myself reflecting on how much I do, and have done, that I haven’t actually been trained to do.

I began learning to facilitate about twenty to 25 years ago, using my counselling training — communicating through questioning and reflective listening one on one — and applying it to a group situation. The process maps almost seamlessly — all that changes is the content, from an emphasis on personal issues and feelings to social issues and opinions (though feelings also often feature predominantly).

When deciding to apply for the communications role I realised that, though not specifically, communications has featured in just about every role I've undertaken to date, but I've never trained in media or communications. From managing publications for the Human Rights Commission in the mid-90s, to promoting myself as a comedian, to writing and managing several blogs and websites for Diversity New Zealand and Diversityworks Trust, I’ve done it it all, from traditional media releases to social media and networking.

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