Your internship is ending, make a lasting impression!
Kate Lipman
December 6, 2017
Your internship is ending, make a lasting impression!
There's a lot to be said about a first impression, but what about a last impression?For many of us who have a full-time job, the run up to Christmas is a wind-down period. For interns coming to the end of their semester, it's a time to solidify the strong reputation you have worked hard to build.Instead of focusing on the impending Christmas break, use these last couple of weeks to impress your supervisors. You never know when a vacancy will emerge or you need a reference.Here are some ways you can make a strong last impression.Ask for a final evaluationThis shows your boss you invest in your personal growth, and care about your work performance.The evaluation itself will also be very helpful for you professionally; it's a chance to hear what you do well and where you can improve in future. You can then take this knowledge to your next opportunity and improve any issues your boss addresses.via GIPHYComplete outstanding projectsJust because your time at your organization is coming to a close does not mean you should let your projects go unfinished.If you fail to finish your outstanding projects before your internship ends, you will leave a bad impression, and your boss won't thank you for the extra work. By completing those projects, you show your boss you are committed to your responsibilities as an intern.via GIPHYUtilize all opportunities at your organizationAt LI, all interns have access to free trainings. While they continue to enjoy this privilege for a year after their internship, some move home and can't take advantage of the opportunity. The smart interns go to as many trainings as they can in the last few weeks.If your organization offers similar perks -- holds events, meetings, visits -- take advantage of the opportunity now. It's a lot harder to do when you're not around.NetworkFollowing from the last tip, networking is the best opportunity you have during an internship.When you're out of sight, you're out of mind. It's far easier to build relationships when you're physically in the same city, so figure out who you want to stay in contact with after the internship and arrange one last meeting.Also look at whom you have not yet had an opportunity to meet within your organization and organize a lunch or coffee. While the department you interned in may not be hiring, another department could.Once you are confident in your relationships within your organization, look outside at the last few networking events and meet people at the organizations you hope to work for next.Thank youMake sure you take an opportunity to thank the people who have helped you during your internship. Writing personal cards to colleagues, in particular your supervisor, intern coordinator, department head, and President, is the best way to show appreciation for their efforts in your career.via GIPHYLastlyCongratulations on completing your internship! Enjoy your well-earned Christmas break and if LI can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out at resumes@leadershipinstitute.org.>
You can Lead without being the Boss
Ben Woodward
November 27, 2017
You can Lead without being the Boss
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are your immediate supervisor, and other times they are the person who takes action while everyone around them remains silent.Chances are, you are not a CEO, a General, or a politician, but that does not mean you are not a leader. Fancy job titles are not what gives you the power to lead.Here are some ways you can show leadership without authority.Be creativeMake it your goal to be more innovative in the workplace. There are always ways your organization can improve. Perhaps something makes your job more stressful than it needs to be and you can find an alternative, or maybe there is a tactic other organizations use you can try. Sometimes the leader is merely the first person who shows up and takes action.For example, the Leadership Institute is consistently looking for ways to improve the quality of its trainings. This means that there's always scope for staff to propose new trainings or adjustments to existing ones.via GIPHYBe a problem solverYou weren't hired to see problems and report them; you were hired to create solutions. If you identify a problem, before you go to your boss try to come up with a few ideas to fix it. Even if your ideas aren't accepted, you'll be known as someone who makes life easier on higher-ups.For example, if you're running an event and a crucial component such as the venue falls through at the last minute, stop, take a breath, and start to list some potential alternatives you can contact. Take that list you your boss rather than running into their office panicking.via GIPHYBecome the go-to personI bet you can think of someone in your office who you would immediately turn to for advice. There may be several people depending on the issue. Why don't you become that person? Figure out where your comparative advantage lies and offer to help people. Leaders are those who others turn to in a crisis.For example, it may be something really simple like being able to Mail Merge, or perhaps you are well connected and can put people in touch with each other.Communication, communication, communicationGood leaders communicate effectively. Think about it, how can people follow your lead if they don't have any idea what you're telling them to do? However, it's also a two-way street, good leaders are also good listeners. You are not all-knowing, and being able to identify who knows more than you, and acting on their advice is critical.Be decisiveIn a healthy work environment, the status quo is challenged from time to time. Likewise, any new ideas are held up to scrutiny before implementation. But if you're confident in your ideas and way of working, you should be prepared to follow through on decisions and have courage in your conviction. Don't back down at the first hurdle.via GIPHYRemember, you can be a leader without authority. Likewise, there are plenty of people in authority who aren't leaders. By taking the initiative, acting as well as talking, and having confidence in your abilities, you will show leadership in your organization.>
Writing is a skill, and it requires practice
Ben Woodward
November 13, 2017
Writing is a skill, and it requires practice
Winning people over to conservative principles requires those who work in the movement communicate clearly and persuasively. Effective writing is one of the most valuable skills you can possess. When I started out in the conservative movement, it did not take long before I was writing regularly, but it takes constant practice. If you work on the Hill, you are expected to correspond with constituents on complex policy standpoints. At a more senior level, you will be expected to write speeches that engage large audiences. If you want to work for a campaign, being able to formulate a clear message to compose literature that persuades residents to give their vote to your candidate will make you indispensable. I am no expert by any means, and work constantly to improve my skills. Here are some ways you can do the same. Read by Habit By reading every day, you will not only increase your vocabulary but expose yourself to new techniques which will reflect in your communication. I recommend The Writing System by Daniel Graham as a start. Also, reading the news every day serves the purpose of building your writing skills and keeping you informed. I understand, however, reading by habit comes more naturally to some than others. If you struggle to motivate yourself to read, try fiction books. Go to a coffee place where you will not be disturbed and leave your cell phone behind. Find Useful Blogs There are so many options available; websites like Grammarly and dailywritingtips.com can provide you with useful advice. Because there are so many options, feel free to try many different sites until you find one that works for you! Take a Workshop or Writing Course There are a multitude of courses and “gurus” out there who can help you improve your writing skills. Whether you want to find a specific kind of writing training (such as how to write a press release), or you want a more well-rounded training (like the Leadership Institute's Written Communications Workshop) there is something out there that will help you improve. Practice at Work Like a musical instrument, the more you practice writing, the more fluent you become. Many graduates today pick up bad habits at college that employers have to break. Look for opportunities at work to practice; perhaps you can help write marketing emails, blogs, or newsletters. Ask for frank and honest feedback you can use to improve. Remember, nobody is born a great writer. All of the best communicators had to learn and take criticism along the way. If you can develop the skill, you will be an asset to the conservative movement. Trust me, good writers are hard to find! >
Your elevator pitch -- 20 seconds to make an impression
Kate Lipman
October 16, 2017
Your elevator pitch -- 20 seconds to make an impression
Picture the scenario; you are an intern or junior staffer in the elevator of your work building, and a Vice President walks in… what do you do?Do you burst into tears, fall on your knees and beg for a job? Or do you seize the moment and deliver your elevator pitch?This brief but persuasive 20-second pitch is your chance to engage a potential employer in conversation in a confident but respectful way. By using this opportunity correctly, you can make a strong impression and turn them into a lasting connection.Here are some tips for your elevator pitch.Be natural.If you try to hero worship them, they won't take you seriously. Likewise, if you deliver the speech like you've been practicing it in the mirror, they won't take you seriously.Be respectful but confident. If you want a job working for them somewhere down the line, you have to earn their respect. A great way to do this is to bring up a topic of mutual interest. Perhaps you saw them speak, or read one of their articles. Draw from that to start a conversation.Instead of “Wow it's amazing to meet you, I'm a huge fan of… and I've always wanted to work there.”Try “Hi… my name is… and I work at… I attended your recent talk on… and you made some really interesting points.”Don't ask them for anything.Most executives are experienced enough to separate those legitimately interested in them and their organizations from the users simply trying to find their next job or promotion.Just like with any networking opportunity, the goal is to establish a relationship and then you can work on turning them into a connection. Be genuine and show a legitimate interest in them. By getting their business card, you can follow up and ask them for coffee later.Instead of: “I saw that there's a vacancy at… I'd like to apply; would you give the recruiter my resume?”Try: “How did you come to work in…? I am interested in pursuing a career in this field and would value any advice you have.”Let them talk.Most people enjoy talking about themselves, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. By letting someone talk about himself or herself, you are demonstrating a legitimate interest in them and allowing the conversation to flow naturally rather than simply pitching yourself. The disadvantage of this can be that by letting them do all the talking, you don't get the chance to impress.Try to establish a connection with what they're saying and something you have accomplished. For example, if they talk about public policy, try to contribute to the conversation and offer an informed opinion.Instead of: “That's interesting… yes… I understand.”Try: “That's a good point; I have recently been working on a similar project to…”Swap business cards and follow up.If possible, you should aim to swap business cards at the end of the conversation. Remember, it is more important to get their business card than it is to give them yours. By getting their card, you give yourself the opportunity to follow up and turn a chance encounter into a real connection.Instead of: “Here is my business card, if you're free for coffee sometime I'd love to learn more.”Try: “Do you have a business card on you? I would be very interested to follow up with you can continue this conversation at your convenience.”When chance encounters occur with your role models, it can be a daunting experience. If you show confidence, sell yourself, and show a legitimate interest, you will be able to use the opportunity to secure a lasting connection.>
Learning to Manage Expectations
Ben Woodward
October 2, 2017
Learning to Manage Expectations
If you're guilty of being a people pleaser, it can be very tempting to overpromise in the workplace. Whether it's your colleagues, boss, or clients, you don't want to admit to yourself or others that you are balancing too many responsibilities.In the workplace, under promise and over deliver. By overpromising, you heighten people's expectations to unrealistic levels, meaning that even significant accomplishments do not appear as such. However, by managing people's expectations, you can ensure that when you do succeed at a task, your work gets the appreciation it deserves.Here are a few tips to help manage expectations: Take time to strategizeBefore you make any promises, make sure you look ahead to determine where the roadblocks will be and how you plan to overcome them. Be honest with yourself about how long it will take to accomplish. This will affect the results you can expect to achieve and how long you expect it to take.Also, carefully examine the urgency of the task. Work is a constant battle of priorities, so make sure your other tasks are not suffering because you have over-promised.By strategizing, you may find ways that you can exceed the expectations you have set, either by completing the task promptly or to a higher standard. Be honest and communicateKeep people in the loop about the progress of your work. If a client or your boss is expecting something and you know it is not achievable within the given period, explain the situation rather than disappointing them.It may be more pressing tasks push back your deadline. If that is the case, do not wait until you are asked for an update, contact the stakeholders and reset their expectations. Don't be afraid to say noUltimately, your boss's projects and those of your clients will always come first. It can be very easy, especially if you like your work colleagues, to promise assistance even if you do not have time. Having a reputation in the office for being a team player is important, but it should not come at the expense of your responsibilities. When you have to say no to people, say no and explain why you cannot take on any more responsibilities. Ask for helpIf you're struggling to meet the expectations of your current project, don't be afraid to go to your boss. Just make sure you are in a position to present a solution to the problem at hand. It may be your boss agrees your solution is the best, or they may suggest something else. By keeping your boss in the loop they will know what to expect from you. However, if you don't, they will assume you can complete the task unaided. By managing expectations, you put yourself in the driver's seat on any given project and ensure the work you're doing is fully appreciated. >
Caught Between a Job Offer and a Job Offer!
Ben Woodward
September 18, 2017
Caught Between a Job Offer and a Job Offer!
If you're searching for a job and finding the process difficult, I'm willing to bet that the prospect of competing job offers would be a dream come true. Let's be honest, it's hardly a bad situation to find yourself in.When the situation arose for me, I regret how I handled it. Fresh out of university, I was desperate to get a job in the UK Parliament. When I successfully got to the final round of interviews I was excited.My instincts told me the interview had been a big success. We even bonded over our mutual love of F1 racing. After being told to expect a decision within a week, I was contacted at the same time by a friend offering me a different opportunity. With my heart set on Parliament, I waited.Four weeks later I received the dreaded email telling me that I had been unsuccessful. The alternative opportunity my friend had sent me was now being advertised.Thankfully I got the job. But I made a bad first impression by failing to be honest and talk to both parties.Here is what you should do if you're ever caught in this position.Get yourself a written job offer.The job offer is not technically made until it's formally written out. If you're given a verbal job offer, thank them and tell them how excited you are at the prospect of working for them. Then ask them to put the offer in an email.Explain the situation.Once you have the written offer, be honest. Tell them that you are very excited about the opportunity but that you have another interview scheduled and would like time to weigh up your options. If they tell you they need an answer urgently then you'll have to decide whether it is worth the risk. My advice is to take the job offer if it's an opportunity you think you would still enjoy and benefit from.If you have more time, explain the situation to your other potential employer.You may find that the interview for the next job helps make your decision before you have to discuss other offers. You will likely get a sense of your success, whether the organization is somewhere you want to work, and whether you think the other offer provides a better opportunity.If you find that your instincts were right, and you do want to work at the second organization, tell them. At the end of your interview, be honest and explain that they are your preferred choice however you have another offer pending and see whether they can commit to a decision in a shorter amount of time.One last thing...It's not an easy situation to find yourself in. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether the risk is worth compromising your current offer. By taking these steps and being honest and respectful to the competing employers, you can help mitigate the risks and hopefully give yourself the time you need to secure both offers. >
Seize the Internal Promotion
Ben Woodward
August 28, 2017
Seize the Internal Promotion
If you work at a smaller organization, your next promotion doesn't entirely depend on your performance. At a small organization, you may have to wait for a vacancy to arise – or create your own position from nothing. There's one thing you can be sure of though, if you don't ask, you don't get. When you hear the whisperings you've been waiting for, and the person one step above you in the chain of command is about to move on to their next opportunity, how do you approach the situation? There's a lot to think about. Has that person announced it yet? Who else will be applying? How are you going to pitch yourself as their successor?Don't rely on others to recognize you. If you don't ask, you don't get! To ensure you are in prime position, think about the following five angles.Who is hiring for the role?The difficulty with applying for promotion is that there has always been a tier of seniority between you and your potential new boss. This means that your access to them was limited, but now you're asking this person to take a big chance on you. Find out about the person hiring, what do their employees think of them? What qualities do they value most in their team? Answering these questions will give you the framework to prepare your pitch. Who will recommend you?Whether or not you know the individual hiring for the position, asking for recommendations is essential. If the staffer hiring is senior in your department it is likely they will already be aware of your work. However, it never hurts to remind them through people they trust. If you are applying for a different department, the manager will be far more likely to choose you over employees he knows well if he has heard recommendations for you from respected colleagues. What's your case?Just like with any job application you should have a clear understanding of the role you will be performing and why your previous accomplishments make you a prime candidate. Study the job description carefully and prepare a formal written application for the job. Request a formal meeting.This is your opportunity to sit down with the hiring manager and discuss the role seriously. This is not your chance to ask for any special favors, but to sit down and seriously explain that you would like to be considered for the role and to hand over your formal application. Remember that just because you work at the organization you are not entitled to the role. You should be prepared to interview at a later date.What's your pitch?If you are invited to interview for the position following your formal application, remember to treat it as you would any other interview. Your advantage however is your in-depth understanding of the organization and all of the respected colleagues who can vouch for you.Be confident in what you've achieved, what you plan to achieve, and you can score that well-earned promotion!>
ADF’s Alan Sears and LI’s Morton Blackwell Friends in Liberty
Carol Wehe
August 9, 2017
ADF’s Alan Sears and LI’s Morton Blackwell Friends in Liberty
It is often said, our role models challenge us to become our best self. In the case of Alan Sears, one of his role models taught him valuable lessons to be successful in conservative politics. Alan Sears, former President of Alliance Defending Freedom (1993-2017), first crossed paths with LI President Morton Blackwell in 1967 in Kentucky. They've been through the gamut of conservative politics through the years – on campaigns, in the Reagan administration, and as presidents of two non-profits. “When I worked in the Reagan administration, when I worked in the private law firm, everything I have done had the hand of Morton in it,” Alan said. Back then, Alan was a college student and left school for a few semesters to work on a campaign in Kentucky. At the same time, Morton was the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) and ran the youth campaign for Louie B. Nunn for Governor of Kentucky. “My relationship and knowledge of Morton Blackwell dates back to, unbelievably, 1967 in Kentucky,” Alan recalls 50 years later. “My family is from Kentucky, I went to the University of Kentucky, and I actually dropped out of school twice, two semesters, to work for Louie.” “Every time I was with Louie,” Alan continued, “he would sit there and every time, it didn't matter who it was or what they were doing on the campaign, he would tell us about a man named Morton Blackwell. He would tell us, ‘everybody needs to be like Morton.' Morton got him elected to office against all odds.” At that time, liberals and unions ran the state. “Morton had really pulled off a miracle to help Louie get elected as Governor in this really hardcore Democrat state, with a very strong union presence. So I kept in contact with the guy,” Alan said. Morton went on to develop the Youth Leadership School (YLS) out of his success running youth campaigns and training student leaders during his time with the CRNC. The YLS became known as the “bootcamp of politics” because of how much valuable experience-driven training Morton packed into this two-day training. He made the YLS the flagship school of his Leadership Institute. After they saw the value of Morton's youth campaign strategy, Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn and many other leaders began to send young people to Morton's Youth Leadership School. “I've referred countless people to the Youth Leadership School,” Alan said. “Morton is a builder. He is a guy who understands the importance of personnel.” In 1972, Morton came up with the maxim, “personnel is policy.” That's something Alan heard from Morton and took to heart, especially running his own organizations. “Personnel is policy. It is the life blood of every organization that I have ever run,” Alan said. “Whether it was government, private practice, charitable, or ministry. I have adopted that slogan.” In between political campaigns, his work for U.S. Senators from Kentucky, and helping on President Reagan's 1976 and 1978 campaigns, Alan completed his degree and became a lawyer. Morton's tenure as Special Assistant to the President on President Reagan's White House Staff (1981-1984), Alan began working at the Department of Justice. He worked under both AG William Smith and Ed Meese. He served in both Reagan and Bush administrations before turning his attention to Alliance Defending Freedom. For 23 years, Alan ran Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a faith-based organization dedicated to defending religious liberty. Leadership Institute and ADF often partner on college campuses to find, support, and defend conservative college students struggling under the liberal bias rampant there. “ADF has won over 400 contested legal matters with private campuses or universities,” Alan says. “In addition to that, Morton has helped many students know that they have rights under the Constitution and that universities cannot just walk over them.” Alan says of all the lessons he's learned from Morton, “Being steadfast is a big one. Morton has withstood the storm in Washington, D.C. Once people get into the Beltway they get enamored with relationships in the Beltway and they become people pleasers. They lose their energy. Not Morton Blackwell. Morton is steadfast.” “Morton is a great friend to me and to the entire liberty movement.”>
The Walls Have Ears
Ben Woodward
July 31, 2017
The Walls Have Ears
You may be surprised to learn that the number of staff working each day to advance the conservative movement is small. In Washington, D.C., it's a few thousand at most.This is great for your career! Working in the small DC conservative movement, it is easy to get to know the influential players who can support your career advancement. But reputations are made very quickly, and for those less savvy who don't mature quickly, simple mistakes can be destructive.One of the worst mistakes anyone can make in Washington, D.C. is to bad mouth their boss or their organization.You can avoid these three common mistakes. Speaking badly of your employer on social mediaIt is surprising how frequently profe ssionals will speak negatively of their bosses on social media. Remember that not only will this be seen by colleagues, and very likely your employers, but your future employers will read your social media. Ranting about your boss today could risk alienating your potential boss tomorrow. After all, no one wants to hire someone who may badmouth them in future.Speaking badly of your employer during an interview“What did you like least about your last job?” We've all been asked this question during an interview, and I have struggled to answer. By falling into the trap of badmouthing your former boss, you convince the interviewer that they may be the next target of your public scorning or worst case scenario, your last boss may hear about it. Instead, you should answer the question by saying: “While there were many aspects of my previous job which I enjoyed such as…, I would have liked to have had more of an opportunity to… which is why I have applied for this job.”Speaking badly of your employer during networking eventsWe've all been there. It's been a rough day, perhaps you have been frustrated by your supervisor, but there is a time and a place to complain about your work, and it's not at networking events.You run the risk of alienating conservatives who may know your boss. In the worst case scenario, your comments could get back to your employer, and your career will suffer. So what should you do instead?There is a time and a place to address your concerns at work. So instead of complaining about your boss, consider how you can constructively approach the situation. Ask for a private meetingNever criticize your boss in front of colleagues. It will damage their authority in front of the team and is more likely to frustrate them than anything. Have your conversation in private if you believe your boss should be taking a different approach to a project. Know what you want to sayConsider writing down your specific concerns and what you want to say in advance. Structure your feedback positively, instead of “I don't agree with your decision…” say “I think we could consider approaching the project this way…” If your boss agrees with you, then great! If not, respect their decision. Ultimately it's their call.Ask a mentorIf you find you do need to express serious concerns about your employer, find someone you can trust to give you sound advice and keep it confidential. This person is perhaps a close friend or family member, or another professional who exercises sound judgment. Use them to guide you in your decision making.Know your organization's proceduresIn the worst case scenario, where you feel mistreated, figure out your organization's formal complaints process and use it. Your relationship with your employers, past and present, can be a positive one if you maintain your professionalism. By keeping your employers on your side, you can rely on strong references, potentially great mentors, and a support base for your career in the conservative movement. >
Using Snapchat As An Activist
Stephen Rowe
July 21, 2017
Using Snapchat As An Activist
More than 160 million people check Snapchat every day -- and seven out of 10 of them are under the age of 35.The popular mobile app first became known for users posting videos and pictures that “self-destruct” (disappear) after they're played. But there's more to Snapchat than that. Members of Congress, media companies from the Wall Street Journal to the Food Network, and media personalities like Bret Baier are all on it too. Here's how you can make the most of Snapchat as an activist.#1 UsegeofiltersThe next time you're thinking of flyers for your event, think of Snapchat geofilters too.Geofilters are custom designs (think stickers) that overlay on Snapchat photos. They're limited to a specific location, known as a “geo-fence.” Example geo-fences may be inside a sports stadium, at a wedding venue, or a political rally or other event. You can create your own on-demand geofilters for any event to help spread your message. When people post a photo or video to Snapchat inside your pre-set geo-fence, they'll see your filter as an option. When they select it, they're sharing their photo or video plus your filter with their friends.Starting at just $5, geofilters are often cheaper than the printing costs of flyers -- and have the potential to reach far more people. That $5 goes far: 20,000 square feet or half the size of an NFL football field.You can use free design programs like Canva to create your custom design.Geofilters must be 1080x1920 pixels and saved as a PNG, a common type of graphics file. It is best to place your filter in the top or bottom quarter of the screen so the filter does not block the original photo. Choose when and where you want your custom design to be active. Then submit your design to Snapchat at least 24 hours in advance. (You can submit your design here.)The next day, you can see data about how your filter performed. #2 Create your storySnapchat lets you create custom stories within a specific location (yes, the geo-fence again). That means that anyone using Snapchat inside the geo-fence can contribute to a group story.You can select friends within your desired location to contribute to your story, or you can set it up so that friends of friends can also join in and see the fun. This all happens free of charge. This means more publicity for your events, conferences, and more. Your next event can be full of attendees sharing their experiences with their friends and on the geofenced story. You can create up to three custom Stories of your own. You can post an unlimited number of times in stories created by others. To make your own custom Story, swipe right on the home screen then click the plus symbol in the top right of your screen. Then select Geofence and pick your desired location.#3 BONUS: Take LI's Online Training: Emerging Social Media PlatformsStructured as fun, easy-to-understand introductions, the three days of LI's Emerging Social Media Platforms Workshop will get you up and running on new, popular social media platforms -- including Snapchat.Each day, you will complete "deep dive" into Instagram (Monday), Snapchat (Tuesday), and Facebook Live (Wednesday). You can check out the full agenda – and sign up – here.You will learn:• how to set up your account and choose from the different types of posts for Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Live; • the meaning common terms and acronyms, so you can maximize your presence; and• lessons learned from how campaigns, media companies, and conservative organizations are using each platform.Register for Emerging Social Media Platforms workshop. >
How Conservative Recruiters Can Attract the Best Talent
Ben Woodward
July 17, 2017
How Conservative Recruiters Can Attract the Best Talent
Many of us have been a job seeker, an interviewee, and a new staff member. It is a painful process. However, on the other side of the coin, the recruiter has a hard time as well. Attracting and finding the best candidate is tough.From the standpoint of a recruiter, you're making a significant investment, not just financially. The recruiter has to consider whether their current staff can work with this person on a daily basis and whether they are worth a long-term investment. In other words, is the potential hire on track for leadership one day? Is this somebody who is going to make the organization more effective?The wrong choice can severely affect team morale, cost money, and ultimately, damage the organization as a whole.To attract the best talent, recruiters should place emphasis on mission, culture, advancement, and training.The mission of your organization, its reputation, and role in the movement can attract talent.How is it that organizations such as the Leadership Institute, Charles Koch Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, and many others have a wealth of strong applications for every job advertised? Conservatives understand the purpose of those organizations and their place in the movement. The work they do is tangible and, most importantly, valuable. Talented conservatives want to feel that they will make a substantial contribution to the movement and that their work will advance their philosophy. By making it clear to the candidate what the organization's role is in the movement, and how they will be contributing, organizations will attract talent.Your organization's culture can attract talent.Organizations in the movement have reputations not just for what they do, but how they do it. The movement is small, word travels fast, and if the culture of an organization is poor, nobody will want to work there.By emphasizing the strength of the bonds between colleagues, the socializing that takes place outside of work, and the way supervisors interact with their juniors, conservative organizations will attract talented individuals to whom respect in the workplace is fundamental. Prospects for advancement will attract talent.Unlike the narrative of the left, which says ambition is something to scorn… it's something conservatives celebrate. Conservative organizations seeking to attract the most talented staff must offer a clear pathway to advancement. This is not only important for recruiting the best staff but also for retaining them. Many non-profits find this to be a challenge. Because of limited funds, it is not always possible to promote staff as quickly as they would like. It is, however, possible to grant more autonomy, more responsibility, and better job titles. Talented job seekers want to know they have an exciting future at your organization. Nobody likes feeling their talents are not recognized.By failing to offer clear prospects for advancement, even the staff who do accept your offer may not stay long.How the job seeker is challenged and trained will affect talent retention.Recruiters should establish how their new hire will be tested with projects of high responsibility. The Leadership Institute, for example, prides itself on having the best intern program in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The argument for this is simple; LI gives interns projects of legitimate responsibility. Also, LI invests heavily in their professional development by training them and connecting them with leading conservatives.Job seekers will want confirmation that their role will challenge them and that they will learn new skills they can use to advance conservatism.By making all of these aspects clear to job seekers, you will attract the best and the brightest.>
Mother of 7 Changes Homeschooling Families' Lives
Erin Morrissey
July 13, 2017
Mother of 7 Changes Homeschooling Families' Lives
Deep commitment to family and community drives many conservatives into action.For Tracy Klicka, her deep commitment to motherhood and the homeschool movement drives her to help homeschooling families across the nation. She walks beside them to ensure their success in their children's lives.“I think most homeschooling parents need a lot of encouragement,” Tracy said. “You know your kids more than anyone…you are their best advocate, you're their biggest cheerleader, you're the best counselor, you're the best person to watch what walking through life, through challenges and difficulties is.”Today, Tracy is the Director of Development for the Home School Foundation (HSF), a part of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which offers support for homeschool families.“HSF is the heart of HSLDA,” Tracy said. “The heart is to help families who so want to homeschool their children, but they can't afford the cost of curriculum.”Tracy had not always planned to be in such a position. But the challenges and victories she experienced in her life created in her a desire that rings true with the heart of HSF.Tracy attended Grove City College where met her late husband Chris. She continued her studies at Oral Roberts University, where she earned her degree in music education. After Tracy and her husband were married, they moved to DC, where Chris quickly became a leading expert on home education and was the first full-time lawyer for Concerned Women for America (CWA).During this time, Tracy began searching for a job in the area. “I didn't even know where to start looking,” she said. At that time, the Free Congress Foundation needed to fill an executive assistant position for the political action committee. Tracy applied and got the job.While at Free Congress Foundation, Tracy worked with Paul Weyrich, whom she credits with pushing her to develop skills that would later enable her to successfully fulfill her position at HSF.“Paul Weyrich was such an amazing man,” Tracy said. “I put Morton Blackwell up in the very same category as I put Paul -- they are both incredible mentors to young people.”Paul Weyrich sent Tracy to a 3-day women's spokesperson conference at the Leadership Institute (LI). Tracy credits that training with helping her over her fear of public speaking.“Even though it would be almost ten years later before I would give my first talk,” Tracy said, “I really look back at his training and his personal mentorship as what really propelled me in the right direction and really helped me get over [the idea that] I will never speak in public.”Tracy and her husband had 7 children and homeschooled them all. “We knew before we started having kids that we wanted to homeschool, so I was a stay at home Mom homeschooling for about 24 years,” she said.Tragically, after 25 years of marriage, Tracy's husband passed away and Tracy became a single homeschool mother. She needed a part-time job to support herself and her children. Because of her late husband's connections at HSLDA, she began her search there.In 2011, she took her current position as the Director of Development at the Home School Foundation with little knowledge or experience in development. But, this position fulfills her drive to offer support to homeschool families who had been through difficulties like her own.Despite her initial lack of experience, Tracy grew the department and plans further expansion this coming year all while serving as the only person in her department. She single-handedly manages donor relations, writing, planning, data entry, and research.The Leadership Institute, Tracy says, gave “me the best practices and information I need for the different segments of my work responsibility in Development.”LI's development and fundraising trainings have been a great encouragement and resource for Tracy. Through LI's lectures, she has learned the importance of partnerships. “It's really all about relationships. It's really enabling those who want to partner with you because they have a passion for your mission and how you can help them make that happen.”Looking back at her growth in the area of development and fundraising, Tracy remarks about LI, “I can't think of where else I would go [for training]… or who else would I talk to… because you have been doing it for so long… you know so many people in many conservative organizations… you've had a relationship with them for so many years… your longevity gives what you do so much weight and validity.” For years, Tracy had a crippling fear of public speaking; but now she regularly speaks at homeschool conventions where she offers encouragement to parents. She traces her ease and confidence in public speaking back to the training she received at LI.“I really look back at that training as a part of what really helped me get over [the idea] that, I will never speak in public,” Tracy said.Today, Tracy's passion radiates through her voice as she speaks.“We can really come along side our kids,” Tracy tells parents. “Homeschooling is the perfect way to do that.”Although Tracy sees many benefits in homeschooling she states, “Homeschooling didn't prevent my kids from struggling. It's not a formula; but it's an opportunity to walk alongside children and to best prepare them for life and so when they go through those hard times you're right there with them and just by God's grace you try to help them work through some of those things.”She says homeschooling is “walking through life together 24/7.”After her 24 years of homeschooling her children, Tracy confidently says, “My kids are my magnum opus… I don't think I could put anything above the value of motherhood.” She says her life's biggest accomplishment is, “raising seven children who are really incredible adults, who all love life, love learning, and want to engage their culture.”This is what she hopes to help other parents achieve through their homeschooling experience. Her deep commitment and vision are making that happen.As Director of Development for HSF, Tracy is expanding her vision for supporting homeschooling families and fulfilling her biggest motivation. She touches families across America with her love of home education by reaching out to homeschooling families in need, providing wisdom and encouragement as she speaks to them about the homeschooling experience.“I love what I do because it fits with my passion for motherhood and how important a role we have in our children's lives,” she says.Tracy has truly turned her deep commitment into fulfillment. Join me in congratulating Tracy Klicka on her success helping homeschooling families.If you're interested in fundraising or public speaking trainings like the ones Tracy mentioned, you can learn more here. Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, works with more than 1,868 conservative student groups, and helps employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 186,207 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.>
At 22, Amir Farahi Takes Action to Help His Community in Canada
Gordon Arnold
July 7, 2017
At 22, Amir Farahi Takes Action to Help His Community in Canada
At the age of 22, Amir Farahi has run for local office and has established a think-tank in his hometown of London, Canada. His family fled Iran's totalitarian government in the 1970's, which would later inspire him to run for City Council. Amir became the youngest person to run for office in his hometown. His campaign was a pivotal force in spurring millennials to make an impact on the political process. “I would have never guessed ten years ago that I would run for the City Council,” Amir said. Although he lost his first attempt at public office, Amir wanted more in-depth political training. After receiving positive recommendations from his friends, Amir decided to attend Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School. The four-day training provided him with the tools and knowledge to put together a successful campaign plan. “The Campaign Management School's hands-on exercises were useful and resourceful, as they accurately demonstrated the process of putting together a campaign and doing research,” Amir said. “I have taken forty pages of notes and I still have a whole day left of the training!”Amir aspires to be a civic leader who “provides plans and solutions to enhance the standard of living and improve people's lives.” To fulfill this ambitious task, he organized Canadian think-and-do tank, The London Institute. This organization works to bring people together to solve problems and spur economic development. Amir doesn't know what his future holds, but he has no doubt the Leadership Institute equipped him to succeed in politics. “The Leadership Institute has taught me the best process to pursue in order to put together a campaign plan and do the necessary research in the most thorough way possible. Additionally, I learned this week about the hands-on skills that I need in order to put on fundraising events, campaign events, and similar staples of a political campaign. The Leadership Institute even spent time detailing social media skills in a thorough way.” The Campaign Management School, in Amir's words, took “what could have been a complicated campaign machine and broke it into smaller pieces to help us understand how it operates.” As a recent graduate from Western University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics, Amir nonetheless proclaimed, “The past four days were a better and more useful educational experience than the entire four years of my degree program in Political Science.” Whether Amir ultimately holds elected office, manages a campaign, or expands his think-tank, he says his experience at the Campaign Management School gave him the skills to be a “leader of his community.” When asked for his advice for newcomers to the political arena, Amir said: “If you are looking to get involved in politics, then the Leadership Institute should be your first stop. It is the one place where you can gain the practical skills to know how to effectively campaign.” Join me and congratulate Amir on his innovation and persistence to make a difference in his community.If you're interested in the Campaign Management School Amir took, you can learn more here. Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,868 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 186,207 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.>
Interns Learn from Successful Conservative Leaders at Conservative Intern Workshop
Annamarie Rienzi
June 26, 2017
Interns Learn from Successful Conservative Leaders at Conservative Intern Workshop
Interns from across the conservative movement came to the Leadership Institute on June 21 for the Conservative Intern Workshop. The 94 interns who attended, representing the White House, Congress, FreedomWorks, Young American's for Liberty, and more than 32 other organizations. They learned how to make the most of their internships in DC beyond simply showing up to work every day.These interns learned from Steve Sutton, the Leadership Institute's Vice President of Development, about his method of impressing supervisors by understanding the philosophy and politics surrounding their roles. Next, the Young Americans for Liberty Director of Mobilization Justin Greiss spoke about how to best highlight their experiences by writing clean and consistent resumes. Justin also talked about the best way to communicate enthusiasm to potential employers by writing outstanding cover letters.During lunch, participants networked with each other and learned about new organizations. Dante Kari, an intern in the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School was especially excited to meet with other interns. “I met folks interning for conservative organizations I didn't even know existed,” he said.Next, the Leadership Institute's Director of Digital Training, Abigail Alger, spoke about how to reach savings goals while living in as expensive a city as D.C.Andrew Magloughlin, the Economic Research Intern at FreedomWorks, said, “I learned how to apply my philosophy of fiscal conservatism to my own expenses and goals while flourishing.”Following Abby's presentation, the Leadership Institute's Stephen Rowe spoke about Social Media Branding. He taught attendees how to draw attention to their digital profiles in pursuit of full-time employment.The training continued with Networking to Find Jobs, a lecture from Lauren Bouton, a Public Policy Associate at Facebook. The interns found this information particularly useful because it emphasized that the point of networking is to meet and make meaningful connections with other interns.Katie Wilson the Leadership Institute's Technology Intern said, “I had no idea that it was acceptable to end a conversation with someone if it's gone on a bit too long! I really needed clarification on that point. Now I know that the point of networking is to meet many people!”The last session of the day was a panel with Leadership Institute's Director of Career Services Patricia Simpson, Americans for Prosperity's National Recruiting Manager Haley Pike, The Heritage Foundation's Recruiting Associate Kyle Bonnell, and Charles Koch Institute's Alumni Relations Coordinator Kasey Darling. Attendees were thrilled to hear from recruiters from such high profile organizations.Giovanni Triana, an intern for the American Legislative Exchange Council said, “The Job Seeking and Networking Panel at the Leadership Institute's Conservative Intern Workshop played a significant role in preparing me to be bold and effective in my outreach efforts. I learned tips and techniques from the experts themselves and I can honestly say that I am more confident in the way I approach networking after hearing from the seasoned panelists.”The day ended with a complimentary headshot photo shoot at Leadership Institute in the Steven P. J. Wood Building lobby.Attendees said the Conservative Intern Workshop was an extremely valuable training. Sarah Persichetti, an intern for In Defense of Christians, said, “Everyone that LI brought in to speak to us was so knowledgeable and passionate! I could really tell they were dedicated to helping conservative interns navigate the intimidating world of networking and professionalism.”The Leadership Institute's Career Service Department will hold its next event on July 11. To register for the Professional Development Workshop please follow the link here.>
The Leadership Institute’s Think Tank Opportunity Workshop
Ben Woodward
June 20, 2017
The Leadership Institute’s Think Tank Opportunity Workshop
On July 13 and 14, the Leadership Institute held the very first Think Tank Opportunity Workshop. Eighty-six conservatives attended to learn how they can successfully build a career in this field. The workshop contributes to the Leadership Institute's mission to increase the size and effectiveness of conservative activists because conservative think tanks are only effective in influencing public policy if they have principled conservatives, passionate about quality research, working for them. The first day covered the career opportunities within think tanks. Our first speaker, Lori Sanders who is the Associate Vice President of Federal Affairs at the R Street Institute discussed the types of think tanks currently operating in the movement and the routes in which people take to secure a career. The second speaker, Helena Richardson, Director of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation taught attendees about the different career paths within think tanks such as events, marketing, development, and more. Helena also discussed how to go about finding the first job and internship in a think tank. Finally, Michael Bowman, Vice President of Policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council taught attendees how to be a leader in their field and establish themselves as an expert. He also taught attendees what senior recruiters are looking for when hiring and the importance of being passionate about their chosen field.The second day placed a focus on research and influencing public policy. The first speaker, Trevor Burrus, who is a Research Fellow at the CATO Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies, taught attendees how to research and compose policy proposals that make an impact and are easily readable. The Hon. Becky Norton Dunlop followed Trevor; she is the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. She covered how a think tank uses its research to influence decision makers and public opinion as a whole.Finally, Karen Czarnecki, Vice President for Outreach at the Mercatus Center, concluded the workshop by teaching attendees how think tanks build coalitions and how they can collaborate with organizations to maximize the effectiveness of their research.Following the workshop, feedback was overwhelmingly positive with one attendee remarking; “An excellent program with generous speakers and staff. All speakers were willing to network with students involved and were very willing to invest in our futures!”Due to the success of the Think Tank Opportunity Workshop, the Leadership Institute will be holding another on November 6 and 7, 2017.>
5 Reasons You Should Consider Working for a Conservative Movement Abroad
Ben Woodward
June 15, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Consider Working for a Conservative Movement Abroad
You can probably recall a number of sobering moments in your life where you had the opportunity to either step up or retreat from a challenge. When I was 23, I moved to the United States from the UK to work for the Leadership Institute. The prospect to work in the American conservative movement for an organization like LI, which is so pivotal, was an exciting one.However exciting the opportunity, I remember the moment I arrived at my accommodation. I put my cases down and froze. It dawned on me that I had just quit my job, and left the security of my friends and family. It was a scary prospect; but nine months later, I would recommend the experience to anybody.Here are five reasons you should consider working for a conservative movement abroad.You learn a lot from another country's practicesConservative movements, or indeed any kind of industry, do things differently in different countries. This makes you both an asset and a liability. An asset, because you bring new ideas and experiences to the table. A liability, because your knowledge of basic work practices in your new country may be lacking.Nevertheless, you can be confident that having worked for a conservative movement abroad will make you an asset in your home country. If conservative movements are to be successful, they should be open to new ideas and employ talent globally, just as the private sector does.It's a test of characterThrowing yourself into unfamiliar territory is an opportunity to prove yourself. A good employee should be able to adapt to new challenges and face them head on. If you are able to build a network of friends, establish yourself in a new environment, and succeed in a different working environment, then you signal to employers that you can adapt to new challenges.In addition, it forces you to mature. When you move to a new country, you cannot depend upon the safety of your traditional support network. You are on your own, and rising to that challenge means you can be depended upon to support others.It will broaden your mindConservatives in different countries have different ideas and policy priorities. The UK and US conservative movements are very different. The experience will challenge your views, and you will learn a great deal about areas of policy you know nothing about.Being an effective conservative requires you to have a broad understanding of policy, and the arguments for our movement. Working for a movement abroad, you will learn new examples of conservatism in action and be exposed to new organizations from which you can learn.You will work with inspiring new peopleConservatives are dedicated to our cause; it's why we're winning. Working for a conservative organization abroad is an opportunity to network with a whole new pool of conservative talent. These people are future leaders and elected officials you can learn from. It is also a great chance to make new friends who share your values. You will have the chance to attend events like conferences, campaign launches, and more that you would otherwise be unable to attend.It's fun!Who doesn't love traveling? The opportunity to see new places, eat new food, and make everybody jealous on social media are some benefits of working abroad. It's an experience you'll remember forever. You only live once!If you're thinking about working for a conservative organization outside the U.S. consider the following:Hans Seidel FoundationInternational Democrat UnionWilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (Think tank for European People's Party)Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA)Canadian Taxpayers' Association >
Five things you should do in your first week at a new job
Ben Woodward
May 22, 2017
Five things you should do in your first week at a new job
Starting a new job is among the most daunting experiences in our professional lives. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression.As well as trying to wrap your head around your new responsibilities, learn the office culture, make friends, and demonstrate your ability, you're also trying to keep your feet on the ground and build a successful future for yourself.It is natural to want to keep your head down and not draw attention to yourself, like a mouse among sleeping cats. This is a mistake! Here are five things you should do in your first week:Ask your supervisor (and employees) to lunchBy asking your supervisor to lunch, you are showing your new boss that you are confident in your new role and you are serious about learning the ropes. I would advise you to keep this lunch just the two of you if possible, as other employees may dominate the conversation.It is also an effective way to get to know your supervisor on a one-to-one basis, outside of the formal office environment. It is important for them to get to know you. This is your chance to tell them what you want out of this job and where you would like to go in your career.If you're a manager, take your staff out to lunch, either in small groups, or one-to-one if possible. This is your chance to understand what makes these individuals tick, and establish what you expect from them.Introduce yourself to everybody in the officeYou will be spending lots of time with the people in your department and organization over the next few months and years. So be sure to take some time to introduce yourself to everybody in the kitchens, boardrooms, or even by visiting their workspace.Understanding the office culture is critical to success. You will likely need to collaborate with other departments on a multitude of projects, so make friends with them quickly to establish your relationship. Too many new employees fail to integrate themselves into the social side of a new office and get left out in the cold.Learn about all of the current and upcoming projectsFully brief yourself on all of the current projects in your department. Wherever possible, you should do your research, but do not be afraid to ask smart questions. It is in your colleagues' interests to help you succeed, as your work will affect theirs.Try to establish what other people are working on and where you can be of assistance, but also what scope you have for innovation. Every employer is different; some will let you pursue your projects, whereas others prefer a top-down approach. Learn about the location of your officeBeing successful at work requires you to be happy in your job, and comfortable in your environment. However moving to a new place, especially if you have moved away from home or college for the first time can make you feel isolated and unsettled. This is not conducive to success in your new job.Ensure that you learn the area quickly. Where are the best restaurants, bars, and coffee shops? What activities are happening locally? With whom in your office do you share hobbies?This will help you to settle quickly into your new environment, and even take the lead in your office's social life.Reconnect with former colleaguesIt is easy when you start a new job to be swept up in your new professional life. As a keen networker, try to get into the habit of keeping in touch with your old colleagues quickly.You never know when you will need a referral, or when your new job requires a connection from your past. Remember to keep those professional relationships alive. >
Recruiters hire through social media
Ben Woodward
May 8, 2017
Recruiters hire through social media
What if I told you that Facebook has been around since 2004? That's 13 years! Twitter has existed since 2006. Even seemingly newer forms of social media like Snapchat (2011) and Instagram (2010) are not new.Most jobseekers are only just waking up to the potential of social media for their careers. More and more, recruiters hire through social media. Even if they rely primarily on job boards, you can be confident they will investigate your social media for background checks.By failing to demonstrate your employability on social media, you are doing yourself a disservice. In this blog, I want to focus on how you can convey your skills and expertise on social media.During your day-to-day work life, you demonstrate your professional abilities. You may write articles, speeches, or research briefings. Perhaps you show your organizational skills by managing an event, or you demonstrate your communication skills by speaking at a conference.You should post these activities on your social media, partnered with a photograph, video, or site link. By failing to share them, you fail to give recruiters the opportunity to see you at your best. Worst of all, you have done the work, and recruiters may never know.Even simple gestures make a huge difference. If you have great coworkers or employees, for example, consider praising their work through social media. You will demonstrate your teamwork and leadership abilities, and they can share the comment on their pages.It is also better to share posts from your organization's page about your skills, or praise from a respected individual. This increases the validity of the post or tweet, rather than posting it yourself.Opportunities to demonstrate your expertise are not limited to your day-to-day work life. Here are some other ways you can get this across on social media:Write blogs, opeds, and articles in your spare time. Smaller journalistic organizations are always looking for stories to publish. If you want to show expertise in a particular area, consider writing about it.Retweet, comment on, and repost other people's social media. This is also an excellent way to engage people who can help your career.Make sure you like and follow relevant organizations and people who are successful in your chosen career path.Have a strong LinkedIn profile with a summary which outlines your experience and expertise. In addition, your LinkedIn should contain a full account of your professional experiences and achievements.Remember recruiters search your social media every time you apply for a job. This is your opportunity to not only tell them, but show them your skills and expertise.For more career tips, visit ConservativeJobs.com.>
The Hiring Freeze Has Been Lifted, What’s Your Plan?
Ben Woodward
April 24, 2017
The Hiring Freeze Has Been Lifted, What’s Your Plan?
On Tuesday, April 11, the Trump Administration made a surprise announcement that could be good news for job seekers across DC. The federal hiring freeze will be lifted.Instead, the administration is calling for a reform of the federal government, and a plan to reduce the overall size of the Federal Civilian Workforce.But what does this mean for job seekers in Washington D.C.?Cautious optimism. First, the administration has been clear this does not give Departments the freedom to go on a recruitment spending spree. The intention is to reshape the federal workforce, with some agencies having the flexibility to hire more people, and others paring their staff, while others will make lay-offs.This means if you are hoping to take advantage of the opportunities, you may be competing with experienced and well-connected former Federal employees hoping to be hired elsewhere.Secondly, budgetary proposals must go through the appropriations process. This is no easy task. Congress has already expressed its opposition to cuts on agencies such as the EPA, State, Health and Human Services, and others.Therefore, there is still uncertainty about the opportunities that will arise from this decision.One thing is for sure, if you are a job seeker in DC, or if you are looking for a career move, you should be ready for anything!The administration has been clear it intends to fund spending increases for Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs. These departments were always exempt from the hiring freeze and now it looks as though the administration is freeing up budgetary space to prioritize these departments.If you are looking for a job in the Federal Government, and you want to make the most of the potential opportunities coming up, the strategic jobseekers will have a plan.If you're a new jobseeker, consider applying for internships that will get help you to establish yourself in the Federal Government. Opportunities such as the Presidential Management Fellowship Program for example are tough to get in, but provide great opportunities if you are successful.Start now by networking. Look for events across DC where you will have the opportunity to meet political appointees currently working in the administration. This is your opportunity to get to know people who can help you to find a place in the departments hiring. The Leadership Institute provides a number of resources to help you network, including workshops and our Job Seeker Guide.Your resume should be as strong as possible as you prepare to send it to potential recruiters. Have it ready to go now, and remember the Leadership Institute is available as a resource to you if you want to have your resume reviewed. You can arrange to meet with one of LI's careers staff to discuss ways to improve your resume through ConservativeJobs.com. >
Your 5-point guide to writing an op-ed
Autumn Campbell
April 20, 2017
Your 5-point guide to writing an op-ed
With the Leadership Institute's Building Your Brand Workshop around the corner, here are some pointers to give you a head start on building your brand through op-eds.You have something to say. But sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. How do you get your voice out there?A good place to start is blogging. I know, I know, everyone has a blog. But there's a reason for that. You can practice putting your thoughts and arguments down while getting feedback from friends and peers.Through practice on your blog, you can begin to harness your thoughts and build a framework for your field of expertise.So you've been blogging – but you're ready for more. It's time to write an op-ed.An op-ed is an article or piece with an opinion and written with a strong point of view. Here's why you'll shine in an op-ed:You'll show your expertiseDevelop your argumentLearn to use facts to back up your argumentAnd establish your credibilityFollow these general guidelines for your op-ed:Limit your word count to about 700 words or lessOpen with a strong leadMake your argument quickly and conciselyRemember, you cannot submit a piece that's already been publishedBe patient and don't give upYou'll find many informative websites on how to submit your op-ed. Here are a few links with guidelines for DC area news sources to get you started:Washington ExaminerWashington TimesWashington PostPolitico The Hill Now go write! (And remember me when you're a rich and famous expert.)Still want more insight? Take LI's Building Your Brand: From Op-ed to On-camera Wednesday and Thursday evenings, April 26-27. Register here!>
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