Career Development Panel Recap

The Career Development Panel hosted yesterday evening by GAIN’s Mentor Committee at Beekeeper Group was a smash success! Moderator, Grace Boatright, of Unfold, kicked off the program with a high level of energy and enthusiasm around hearing what our distinguished panelists had to impart to our attendees. Over the course of the evening, the intimate group covered everything from meaningful networking to grit and burnout.

Among the many, highly useful tips panelist Izzy Klein imparted to the group was his insistence that policy expertise was second to “grit.” Best described by the author of the 2016 professional development novel by the same name,

“First comes interest. Passion begins with intrinsically enjoying what you do. Next comes the capacity to practice. One form of perseverance is the daily discipline of trying to do things better than we did yesterday. Third is purpose. What ripens passion is the conviction that your work matters. And, finally, hope. Hope is a rising-to-the-occasion kind of perseverance.”

In addition to passion and perseverance, Izzy offered that curiosity is one of the most important qualities a successful government affairs professional possesses.

Panelist and PLEN Board member, Vanessa Kermick, spoke about a number of helpful topics and answered some dynamic questions. One of her most poignant assertions was that salary negotiation is a learned skill set: “Do your research, know your worth!” said Kermick.

She also offered to speak individually with all of the attendees about their career paths, as well as offered to connect them with anyone they found in her LinkedIn connections.

Greg Knopp is a GAIN board participant, a seasoned professional, and even a mentor to some of his fellow panelists from yesterday. When asked about the concept of burnout, Knopp offered, “What helps resiliency is taking a break, recharging, and becoming much more effective.”

He also referenced the trend of younger professionals changing jobs every 2-3 years, and advised the rapt group that perhaps a similarly effective strategy would be to look at their current positions, and determine how they could add value to their organization in that role.

When asked about her sense of duty and how it has developed over the course of her career, panelist Laura Evans referenced the feeling of wanting to change the world when she started her career with The Ohio Legislature,

“As I’ve grown in my career, I’ve realized that lobbying is making sure that everyone has a voice,” said Evans, “R.J. Reynolds needs advocates just as much as Environment for America.”

She also discussed making sure that young professionals maintain a level of perspective on their work, and not taking themselves too seriously.

Government Affairs headhunter, Ivan Adler, offered a wide range of advice for attendees. Among other topics he advised on salary negotiation, choosing a career path, and more. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening was when he disclosed his secret to success in the industry:

“To be successful in this town, you need the four P’s. Four P’s: People, Policy, Press & Process.” said Izzy Klein. “Add ‘Politics,’ and you’re set,”

The evening ended with PLEN Executive Director, Sarah Bruno, speaking about the summer programs her group is offering, and the GAIN leadership inviting all attendees to participate in the July Third Thursday (being hosted a week early to avoid conflict with the Conventions), and a healthy showing of multi-generational networking.

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