How did Ashley Hoffman, Brazen’s director of communications and marketing, get a promotion at a previous job? She reveals all in this post.
This is part of a series of posts featuring members of the Brazen Careerist team. Brazen staff were asked to provide a little information about themselves and one piece of career advice based on what has helped them most in their careers so far.
So what do you do at Brazen?
I’m the director of communications and marketing for team Brazen – and I love it! I get to promote all the great things that my colleagues are doing and the smart conversations our community members are having. There is a lot of interest in gen Y and careers – from reporters to recruiters – and it’s exciting to work with a group of people on the leading edge of it.
What did you do before Brazen?
I spent five years in communications and public relations for national security and foreign policy think tanks. At a non-profit, “communications” usually means everything from classic PR to social media, web strategy and public outreach. Foreign policy is and always will be a passion of mine, but I’ve enjoyed digging into the technology and career scene.
Tell us something unique about you.
I’ve crashed into a pole on a segway. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible to fall off one of those things. To make myself not look like a complete klutz, I’ve also completed one marathon and four triathlons (and didn’t fall once!).
What is one thing that has helped you advance in your career?
Getting the ear of the CEO. Thankfully, Brazen’s CEO sits right across from me (hi Ed!), so it’s not a hard challenge. Start-ups are also some of the most flat organizations — almost anti-hierarchical to encourage the sharing of ideas among every level. But for young professionals in more traditional settings with a pecking order or hierarchy, making sure your CEO – or your boss’s boss, or someone above your immediate supervisor — knows who you are and the good ideas you have can help you get ahead. Don’t just rely on your supervisor to go to bat for you, go to bat for yourself with the ultimate decision-makers.
At my previous job, I had an amazing immediate supervisor who encouraged me to develop a relationship with our CEO. When the topic of my promotion came up, my supervisor went to bat for me, but I also know that my relationship with the members of the leadership team (because I had spent time with them individually to talk shop and share ideas) played a big role in the decision to award me a promotion.
Bottom line, don’t be afraid to share your ideas (and most importantly, how to implement them) with more than just your immediate boss. Aim high!