Kent Wyatt co-founded Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) after a difficult career transition when he relocated to Oregon. He has thrown the doors wide open and brought transparency back into the realm of local government to help others launch their careers and grow and get involved.
He shares his “launch” moment – which starts at his future retirement party. How he makes career decisions and navigates the path of career and life with Pearl Jam at the end of the line.
TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE:
- The retirement party impact – making genuine connections
- How we can make a longer impact
- Who Kent will invite to play at his retirement party
- How ELGL launches other people’s careers
- How to turn informational interviews to career success
- Being proactive – is it generational? Why are we so hesitant to do it?
- How do I get involved? What do I look for in an association?
- Sticking out in the job market
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH KENT?
- ELGL Website
- Twitter: @OregonELGL
- Kent’s personal Twitter site: @QuiteAWyatt
- ELGL on Facebook
MORE ABOUT KENT WYATT
Kent is the co-founder of the Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) and a senior management analyst for the City of Tigard. His duties for Tigard include risk management, franchise management, state and federal affairs, and special projects.
Kent founded ELGL after experiencing a difficult career transition following the move from Virginia to Oregon. ELGL is a nationwide organization of more than 450 members from 20 states who are committed to connecting, educating, and communicating with all stakeholders in the local government arena. ELGL connects through monthly forums, Twitter-sations, webinars, social media, and most importantly, face-to-face.
Prior to moving to Oregon, Kent lived in Richmond, Virginia, and worked as a senior legislative analyst for the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. Kent graduated from Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in Public Administration.
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Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is the launch yourself podcast with Melissa Anzman episode. Number 15, featuring Kent Wyatt.
Melissa Anzman (00:08): Hello, and welcome to the launch yourself podcast. Career business and brand advice to help you be seen make an impact And deliver at your maximum potential. And now here's your host, Melissa Anzman
Melissa Anzman (00:25): Kent Wyatt is the cofounder of the emerging local government leaders, ELGL and the senior management analyst for the city of tinkered in Oregon. His duties for the city include risk management, franchise management, state, and federal affairs and special projects. Kent co-founded ELGL after experiencing a difficult career transition. Following his move from Virginia to Oregon. ELGL is a nationwide organization of more than 450 members from 20 different States who are committed to connecting, educating, and communicating with all stakeholders in the local government arena. ELGL connects through monthly forums, Twitter sessions, webinars, social media, and most importantly, face-to-face prior to moving to Oregon, Oregon Kent lived in Richmond, Virginia, and worked as a senior legislative analyst for the joint legislative audit and review commission. He graduated from Elan university with a degree in business administration and graduated from UNC at chapel Hill with a masters of public administration. Please welcome Kent to the show. Hi, Kent, welcome to the show.
Kent Wyatt (01:33): Good morning.
Melissa Anzman (01:35): So good to have you a mutual friend of ours, Mac Prichard, who has connected me with a lot of people, as you can hear from the various podcast interviews I've done actually connected Kent and I a little over a year ago, I think already through his ELGL work. And we'll talk about that a little later, but I'm so excited to have Cannes on the show because his perspective on launch is almost a reverse launch and I'm, can't wait for him to share with you what his launch point was. So let's just dive in if we should. So here at launch yourself, we just, we describe or define that launch as a specific point in time when you purposely decide to take action to fulfill your maximum potential and your career or business or brand. So with that in mind, could you please share with us the launch that you'd like to share talk about today?
Kent Wyatt (02:27): Certainly before I dive into that, I want to thank you for the interview with Melissa about a year ago for work and career advice and job advice when Ben one of the most well received pieces that we've had on our site. So you are helping local government professionals all over the country from Oregon, North Carolina. So thank you for that.
Melissa Anzman (02:54): Happy to do it. And I love, I love what you do and what you guys stand for and all that. So happy to have been a part of that.
Kent Wyatt (03:00): Thank you. And then I, you know, I can't say enough about Mac and Jessica massless has been a huge supporter of us. So Melissa and I will have to stand in line to be in their cheering section. My launch and it's, I don't know if it's morbid or optimistic, positive, but I look at it from the standpoint of my retirement party, which knowing the way social security and things are headed, that may be 40 or 50 years down the line. But I think of my retirement party and what will people say about me? I have two young daughters, a four year old and two year old and I'm conscious every day about my actions and how they'll impact other people and how that might come back. And my kids to hear about that. So every day for me and through ELGL and through my work in local government, and I'm thinking about how to make a positive impact.
Kent Wyatt (03:52): So I launched my field jail three, four years ago thinking about, you know, whatever your retirement party, what will people say about me? Will they generally appreciate the work I did, or I think we've all been around people who say, Oh yeah, he was a great guy. He, but they can't give any specifics. And really the hearts, their hearts, not into the compliment that they give. So to make the genuine impact on people and for them to have genuine compliments about me. And mainly I say that not as a selfish reason, but to serve as a motivation for my kids down the line as that will be my legacy.
Melissa Anzman (04:32): I love that approach because instead of using what a more traditional quote unquote launch would be of having a decision and pivoting towards that decision or away from something you're taking a longer term approach of, I want my life when looked back upon at my retirement party to have had value and impact to somebody in the room and have those words of what people say about you, be true and positive and something you can be proud of for your two kids, which is a very unique reflection on what a launch is.
Kent Wyatt (05:09): Yeah, I, I, you know, and before we really had talked that I'd never had thought of it as a launch, but really that is the driving motivator for what I do. And hopefully to motivate others in the public sector, realize that it's not about us. It's not necessarily about this point in time. It's about how we can make the impact in the longer standpoint of things. So, so yeah, it's I also like to think about, you know, at my retirement party what are we going to, what bands am I going to have playing there? Cause we want to make it a festive situation, as we say goodbye to my career. So for me, I'm already working on Pearl jam and Bruce Springsteen are still alive in three to four years. We'll we'll invite them, perhaps they'll be played in casinos by then. So
Melissa Anzman (05:55): That's super interesting mix of bands yeah. Pearl jam and springsteen together in my head,
Kent Wyatt (06:03): Local government professional crowd would be in the dr. Dre or 90. So we'll, we'll stay safe there. We don't leave anything out.
Melissa Anzman (06:12): That's great. Yeah. I love that. You know, part of what is so important to me to have your launch story on the show is that it's almost like every decision that you make could sort of be boiled down to part of your launch. So not just what you do on a daily basis, but those bigger decisions in a critical point in your career and your life really come down to the question of how do I want to be celebrated? How do I want to be remembered? And how do I sort of want that legacy to be, can you share some examples of that if, if that holds true to you of how that's guided you along your way. Yep.
Kent Wyatt (06:51): And I think the main motivator, and this is kind of goes into what you do and the advice that you provide job wise and career advice were ELGL then specifically successful in is launching other people's careers. We have a we have a profile called Josh's job search and it's only been that call that cause we've luckily had two people named Josh to do it. We're looking for a third. If there's anybody else, thoughts,
Melissa Anzman (07:18): You have to at least be called Josh.
Kent Wyatt (07:21): Yeah, some relation to Josh, I guess we could change the name of find some details. But but that example, we had a one of the health elevating, Josh was a undergraduate at university of Oregon, just graduated, came to one of our forums and basically kind of stated that, you know, he, he wasn't the most successful person academically, his undergraduate career. He enjoyed college, like a lot of us do but wanted to really settle down and figure out how he could get involved in local government. And through that we posed the choice to him to say here, you know, a lot of people always recommend doing informational interviews. How about you go around the area, you pick out organizations, people you want to meet and do informational interviews with them, write those up, we'll put them on our site.
Kent Wyatt (08:11): You know, that we'll get you a notoriety and also help us drive people to our site and our mission about what we're about. And it turned out great. He have interviewed everybody from the city managers, the people at the transit agency, I'm at the transit agency around here Mac Prichard actually called it his favorite ELGL feature. And the reason I bring the first Josh's search up is he ended up getting a job at the city of Portland. And a lot of the reason he got that with one he could show, he showed he could write, which is unusual nowadays. He could clearly communicate and through the connections that he made in this and Josh's job search by doing these informational interviews. So whether he had the most experience amongst the other candidates, I don't know, but clearly his willingness to go above and beyond was what set him apart.
Kent Wyatt (09:06): And I think in today's job market and especially the local government, we see it all the time. We do informational interviews with people and you'll give them two or three tips on how to succeed or how really to get involved in the, in the community. And it's amazing to me, how many people will not do those simple steps, whether that's volunteering for a board mission or, you know, writing on a topic of interest. And at this point with things still trying to turn around and the economy, there has to be something that makes you stick out from the other candidates. And that's really was highlighted by Josh's work and what he did. So ELGL really gives people that platform to launch themselves into their careers.
Melissa Anzman (09:50): I love that, that it's not just about, you know, getting something from the, from the local people. It's also providing a transparent resource of here's the information we've gathered through our learning. Here's what we can do. And then showing an example of somebody taking that information and guidance and how they've launched from it, how they've been successful, which brings me something you said really resonated with me in that. It's so interesting to me as well. How many people sort of, I'm going to do air quotes? No, if you, if you could see me, I didn't live no, what they need to do to be successful or to stand out in a crowd or to, you know, get the upper hand and they just don't. Can you share with me sort of your thoughts on that? Because it sounds like that's something that you've seen and encountered a lot in what you do as well.
Kent Wyatt (10:47): Yeah, to me, it's simple. It's about being proactive and I'm surprised that people aren't willing to do that. I don't even think it's a generational thing. We meet with people from do interviews to try to help people from city managers, to MPA students. And I, I couldn't stereotype the groups. It's all you find this, I guess, problem, or identify this issue, almost all the generations in you want. We want a certain job. We want a certain salary. We want these benefits, but are we willing to actually work for it? And when you as simple as laying out a couple of things that somebody has to do a few people that are willing to do that is surprising. Now, one way ELGL is proactive. Each year we developed something called the resume book where we do a call for resumes.
Kent Wyatt (11:35): And that could be anybody from a mid level, local government official to a student and put together those resume resumes and proactively send those around to recruiting firms, other agencies, our membership which at this point is over 400 members in 20 different States and say, these are the qualifications that are out there. These are the people that are looking for employment. You have, can you help them on a longterm basis? Can you help them on a short term basis? And that feature, the resume book is really what we plan on launching ELGL is the future into that more connected environment in the proactive engagement that we can kind of play a matchmaker, I guess between potential employers and the actual people seeking the jobs.
Melissa Anzman (12:25): Have you done that in years past? Like, has that been successful?
Kent Wyatt (12:29): So we've done it. This we've done it two years. This, this is the third year. We've changed it to be more of a who's who in local government as a way to in, in the, with the resume book, some people thought you had to be actively seeking the job, so they didn't want to put themselves out there as, Hey, here's my resume. Please find me a job. My job is horrible,
Melissa Anzman (12:50): Right. As their boss looks at it. Awesome.
Kent Wyatt (12:53): Exactly, exactly. You know, and, and some, I have really supportive bosses, staggered where were in that never crossed my mind, but the more I'm around, I get that why other people are like, well, I don't want my name anywhere near that. So yeah, we have had successes in landing folks, a lot of times there are short term contract jobs that may lead to longer term. The first both years we've had about 40 entries in the resume book from 10, 13 different States. And there's been, so we launched the resume book and then we also do a five minute challenge. So you know, a lot of people, although I hate this phrase are too busy and don't have time for this. And that, what we're saying is give us five minutes, go through this resume book, these 40 resumes, take five minutes and contact.
Kent Wyatt (13:44): Whether that's via email texts, Snapchat, whatever you have to do contact these people that could, that could go awry with the screenshots. But we don't encourage that. And unfortunately not many, a low government officials are adapt to Snapchat, but in some way, reach out to these people, whether it's, we've had to deal with the phone calls, meet for coffee, but reach out and say, even if you don't have a job, say I saw your resume. You know, your experience, your education is great. Here's a couple of things I might consider adding to your resume or maybe gaps that you have that you could fill in. So we encourage them to take the five minute challenge and contact at least one or two people. And that part of the resume book has really been successful at connecting folks who might not end up in a job, but does end up in connections that will help throughout your career.
Melissa Anzman (14:41): That's great. That's a great idea. I had no idea you were doing that. I mean, that's amazing. I can't wait to see the next version of that and the result and share information. Well,
Kent Wyatt (14:52): We actually have something a way for you to help this year, but we will talk about that later, but yeah, it's a it really, you know, I feel, especially when you didn't see generational stereotype, not a big fan of, there is a certain part of the younger generation that I think it turns other people off because they feel like they're entitled to a job as a 25 year old, I should have a job with full benefits. And this is showing, you know, we're proactive. We're putting, putting ourselves together, presenting us in presenting in a positive way and showing you the skills that we have, but when it all comes down to it, no matter if you're starting your first job ever, or starting your last job with five years after your career, it's up to you, whether you're 25 or 65, to make that impression, when you start in that organization, you know, however, whether it's networking through your resources or through ELGL, you know, it comes down to the, person's got to get there and show why they should be why they should stay with that organization, move up.
Melissa Anzman (15:55): Yeah. And I love that you touched on the generational stereotypes. Obviously I'm not a big fan of those either, cause I'm not a fan of just generally lumping people together overall. But the interesting point of what you've said is you have to be proactive regardless of who you are regardless of the age group you're in. And I think what historically has been the job market say maybe 15 years ago is, you know, that more butts in seat type of mentality. If you didn't really have to be proactive, if you sat in the seat for long enough, you would, you know, would have hit your anniversary and would have been promoted to the next level. And didn't have to seek out as many new opportunities as you have to now. So the competition wasn't there and the need really wasn't there for the most part, which isn't how it is in today's job.
Kent Wyatt (16:47): I think, I think you're, you're totally right. And we ELGL benefited from coming along at the time that the recession was hitting and people were looking for jobs, you know, we start off mainly dealing with people younger in their career. And I think people started to look towards us as the recession got worse and wanted to do more networking and wanted to just meet other people in the profession that were going through similar trials and tribulations, but you don't, the whole job market has changed. And in government, I think it's true everywhere with, you know, you have groups like code for America and kind of the technology and how that helps governments, how that helps the private sector. But what does that do to the job market? I mean, those, the skills, the technology skills, the tech skills that people come up with now are far superior than on 36.
Kent Wyatt (17:40): When I was a freshman in college was the first time I used email. And that was simple, simple email. You know, now that's, you know, you go to high school, you're away by what they're bringing brought up with. So, you know, we like to encourage, you can also reverse mentoring which the wall street journal did a great article about this a couple of years ago. You know, mentoring can go both ways. You know, I, as a, somebody who enjoys social media and networking through that can help somebody as department head learn how that could benefit them economic development. And they obviously have a ton of things that they could share with me through their career experiences. So whatever term you put on it, however you can put together both, you know, the different skill sets and use them to your advantage. This is what you strive to do. But there's also, there's always the barriers that are put up naturally and people that are in different points of their career or just feel like they don't have anything else to learn.
Melissa Anzman (18:41): So let's stay in a little deeper if we could about ELGL. And if you could just share sort of where it came from, how like what you guys do and specialize in, who should be reaching out to you and all that fun stuff.
Kent Wyatt (18:53): Definitely we re our audience is everyone unlike a lot of local government organizations. And I think even in talking to Phipps who are in the media, a lot of professional associations are segmented into, you know, here's your journalists, here's your sports people in government is the same way. You know, your planners are over here or your finance people are over here. ELGL is for everybody public and private sector. Really anybody who's in the government arena my job in government. While it's a public agency, we deal with contractors vendors all the time. It helps us to know who's out there. So to build those bridges. But I think really to your question in how we launched the ELGL, I grew up my whole life on the East coast moving from North Carolina and Virginia. My dad was a city manager.
Kent Wyatt (19:43): So I saw the ups and downs as local government. We had people calling our house complaining about garbage, not getting picked up at two in the morning awkward encounters at church with my dad. So I saw it all. And then I got married sort of white fearsome who was also in government. And we were living in Richmond, Virginia at the time. So it was working in state government, but both aspiring the, on the local level. So we did the educated approach that I would imagine you or others would recommend, but we were both in jobs that we didn't feel were leading to much. So we did the game of whoever finds job verse that's where we're going. I did not, when I I had only, I only been to the Northwest a handful of times before I moved out here only been to Portland twice.
Kent Wyatt (20:35): My wife was offered a job for the city of Westland who you know, we did some research on it and tried to see what was going on in the city, but I don't think he fully understood until we got out here that she was taking the job, replacing a person who had embezzled $1.4 million. Oh, wow. So the bar was set low for her to succeed and high with complications. Yes. Yes. So I was it's down, I'm in this odd place with no family, no friends, no network, no connections in January which is the worst time ever to be in the Northwest. A job listen, friendless. You can only go on so many rainy Heights and we're like, wow, I wish I could find something else. So, you know, my struggle, I took, it took me six months to find a contract job down in Salem, Oregon, which is an hour away from here.
Kent Wyatt (21:30): That's commuted every day was making an hourly wage, happy to have a job. It wasn't fulfilling, but at least allowed me. I worked there for a year and found my permanent job at the city of tired which has only 20 to 25 minutes away from here. But through that experience, it highlighted how in government, we really don't do a good job networking beyond our small little groups. Everybody in anybody can help me in my job search, whether that's Mac's list whether that's public affairs firm whatever the case is that we need to do a better job of sharing the information that we have in the job searches. And either whether we're seeking employees or we're actually the person seeking jobs to do a better job of connecting with each other. So we launched ELGL four years ago.
Kent Wyatt (22:26): Really with a simple goal of governments can share about 95% of what they do. Why aren't we doing a better job with that? We'll start out with a small group of 16 people. Strictly in the Portland area, we started with monthly forums and our forums are unusual. They're not your, it's not a bureaucrat getting up there, reading a PowerPoint that's way too long. It's everybody from Bob's red mill in Bob's red or Bob treadmill. Luke is out in the Oregon area to the Hillsboro hops, which is the Meyer was baseball team. And the impact that they've had on the Portland area, economic development, and just the process that it took for them to get here. So we started meeting monthly. I think we really took off when we developed a social media presence Twitter, Facebook, our website which gets about 12,000 hits a month and we've launched, or we've formed into now a group of over 400 individuals from public and private sector, 20 different States.
Kent Wyatt (23:32): We have a Midwest chapter, which I think really highlights what yields yells about there. It was started by a former Chicago Tribune reporter Bridget Doyle, who now is a communications coordinator at the village of Lombard in Illinois and cofounded with a Democrat who is just the as adjust, but is a government professional and kind of knew all along that he was on that track. And it really highlights the diversity that we aim for in government, age diversity, and also diversity in our careers and backgrounds. So it's been an extremely rewarding experience. And I think I've, I know I've learned a lot about the job search just from talking to others and being around others that have experienced it.
Melissa Anzman (24:18): And I want to stress it's more than just about the job. I think that's, what's so unique of what you've created is you do provide a ton of amazing and interesting and accurate and all of that stuff of job search related information and resources, but it's also connecting people. I mean, that's truly what I see it as being, and please tell me if I'm wrong, but really connecting and opening up this area that hasn't been so transparent or easy to connect with in the past to really an open network. Now
Kent Wyatt (24:53): You're totally right. We, I had that comment the other week from somebody who's on our advisory board and works for am a private sector tech company. And her comment was this is the most open, transparent organization I've ever seen. And certainly we'll let you know, who's coming to our meetings. We'll let you know what's going on around in the area. We don't feel like we have anything to hide. I think the key is to communicate like a human being, which is simple, but anybody who deals with government gets a bill, gets a newsletter in the mail from a government can tell they don't communicate like human beings. And to have a, we try to have a tilt to it to present information because, you know, no matter what job you're in, if you're not going to make it interesting visually, and also the information you provide, people aren't going to read it or connect to your brand. So that's really what we've tried to do. And certainly the transparency is a key player to us. A lot of the transparency stemmed out of people. The emerging part also often stumps people on well, is this just for people 25 and under, and being transparent? It allows us to show, no, that's not true. We have every position in government, a lot of private sector positions. This is what we're about. You can probably find somebody on our website that you relate to professionally. And also personally,
Melissa Anzman (26:20): Yeah, I love it. And I want to just reiterate the fact that you do this in your free time. Like this, you have a real job too.
Kent Wyatt (26:28): We do. I, I, but not to get on a soap box. So my wife and I Pearson, we kind of co-founded it and did a lot of the heavy lifting early on. But now in this, I would stress any professional association that you're involved in, whether it's a association of public affairs, people public works no matter what the case is to empower others, to be involved in your agency. I mean, we were in a lot of ways, we might be the figureheads ELGL, but we give practical, meaningful work experience to most of the time they're a students from either Portland state university, we just hired or contracted to somebody from Kansas university. You know, everybody wants to talk about the next generation she's session planning, how we need to do more of that. Everybody's been to a conference year after year, where they talk about the same session.
Kent Wyatt (27:22): Maybe one year they call it session planning one year they talk about next gen. It's the same thing. If you're having these conversations every year, you're not doing anything about it. ELGL we offer, you can write a column for us. You can do event planning, you do our social media. So yes, we do some of the heavy lifting, but we have at this point five to six MPA graduate students in universities throughout the United States that are actively doing work for us and, and really heavy lifting and interacting with people in the profession that they want to get to know. And I, I wish I saw more of that in other professional associations because as any of the folks who work with us will tell ya we don't pay them anything. We pay them an experience. We'll take them to conferences and have him present with us. But we don't have much money to give them we're funded strictly on our membership dues. And we feel like the experience that we offer clearly has been enough to attract really talented people to help us launch ELGL even further.
Melissa Anzman (28:31): Absolutely. It's such a great and unique story, and I'm so glad you were able to come on and share it with us. Before we wrap up, though, I do want to know what you think. If someone's sitting there at home listening to this, or maybe they're running or doing something and really thinking about their own trade, their own sort of organization or potential association that just doesn't feel like it fits in for them or it's not working for them. And how would you encourage them to get involved?
Kent Wyatt (29:04): Well, first of all, if you're listening to this and running, you should be running a little bit faster, so it doesn't seem, it doesn't seem like very fast from what I can tell right now, but in terms of getting involved. And so that's a, it's a great question. And I can tell you more and more, we have that question posed to us by other proposed professional associations, which I think are just realizing that, you know, if you go to one of their conferences, you look around a 45 year old might be the youngest person in the room. There isn't that age diversity because it hasn't been cultivated. There's always ways to get involved. In professional associations, a lot of them have, you know, emerging leaders or young professionals, developing professionals, segments of the group. I actually not a huge fan of that.
Kent Wyatt (29:49): I think by separating your certain age demographic from your group, all you're doing is saying yeah, you don't have enough experience to sit at the big kids table. So why don't you go over here and sit at a little kids table do a couple things and we'll let you know when we're ready for you now, ELGL we're all at one small little table and trying to get involved in as well as we can, but you really have to, it does go back to being proactive. If you're listening to this, no matter what association you're in. Even if you talk to somebody and like, yeah, we don't really have any opportunities cheat being persistent, especially if it's an organization that you want to have a presence in. I would say be willing to volunteer for a board, but also take that step further, be willing to contribute to their website through an article be willing to present at a conference.
Kent Wyatt (30:40): And maybe you have to pay your own way to that conference, but you have to gonna have to do something sometimes to really raise the bar and show people that you're serious about it. I think at first ELGL people thought, Oh, that's nice and cute, but this is probably, this is probably gonna be around for six months. And we've had people kind of tell us that that's what they used to think of us. So in a lot of it, you really, you build up your reputation through hard work and showing that, you know, we're done talking about this, we're done. We don't need to do another round table discussion. Let's put some action items to what we're going to do. So, you know, simply put, you gotta find a way to get involved. And if you try counseling with your professional association and you're just not making any headway, maybe it's time to try something else or launch your own associate. Now that's what we did. That doesn't mean you can't work with other groups. You know, we worked with everybody from the rural affairs council, so the American planning association you can have still have those connections, but if you're not finding a need met, you're probably not the only person that's in that position.
Melissa Anzman (31:47): Absolutely. And don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. I think it's so easy for all of us. I mean, I'm, I'm guilty of this as well to look and sort of comment on, well, that's not really for me that doesn't meet my needs. So why would I bother instead of saying, you know, what, if I'm, if it's not meeting my needs, it's probably not meeting others as well. So figuring out a different way or a different approach to step outside and get involved.
Kent Wyatt (32:15): No, I, I think you know, you're a great example of that. Macs list is a great example of that Portland area, people who have done that, and it's easy to complain about things. We all see that in our jobs, you'll be planning about their job, their responsibility, not having enough responsibility that you can only complain about it so much until you need to do something about it. And there's enough opportunities. You know, you've seen it through your site and we've seen it through ours. How social media websites have really broken down the barriers. I mean, there's people who go to our site that still might go to the Oregonian website or some of the newspapers, but we're right up there with them because it's broken down the barriers of disseminating information and also building those networks where 10 years ago, ELGL would still just be at Portland organization and probably limited to just 25 to 35 year olds. And the advent of technology has really leveled the playing field in being able to make your impact on the world.
Melissa Anzman (33:15): I love it. Any closing thoughts for everybody?
Kent Wyatt (33:18): My, my closing thought is a question for you, what, what, what do we need to be doing? We have, let's say we have somebody who's mid level looking to transition jobs. How can they stick out in the job market based on what you see?
Melissa Anzman (33:33): Yeah. You know, it's, it depends. But the, the number one underlying thing that I think people don't do enough of is putting themselves out there. So simple things like I can't tell you how many clients say to me. Oh, well, I applied for the job. And my next question is always, well, tell me, how did you follow up? How did you reach out? How did you make a connection? How did you, you know, and most people just stop with the application and it's not enough anymore. It's almost, I recommend it's almost like going back to old school methods to stand out. So when you, I don't want to age myself, but you know, I've, I've applied through jobs through sending something via snail mail, right? Like my resume.
Melissa Anzman (34:20): And following up, you know, like with a phone call or a note or something special and specific, and I feel like there's a lot to, to learn from that individual high touch interaction that people are leaving on the table. That particularly when you're trying to stand out would take you a very far way. So things like your organization and association others, you know, Mac's has a lot of opportunities for it as well, but really taking opportunities or creating them for a high touch interaction is the best way to stand out. And it's scary as heck. Like I'm not gonna lie. It's not something I even enjoy doing, or that comes naturally to me, but it works.
Kent Wyatt (35:06): I think that, I think that's a great point and a, and a column I did for our website last week. You know, thank you notes to me. I can tell you in the four years, three or four years, we've done the ELGL on one hand who sent thank you notes for, for things that we've done to help them. And that's not saying that we want pass on the back, but simply sending a thank you note and recognizing somebody and whether that's just somebody who cuts your hair. Well, that's somebody who did a good job helping you at the grocery store. You know, so few people that, but that's, that's an easy way to stand out. It's still kind of personal, you know, that sending me emails, thanks to me is not, not the same.
Melissa Anzman (35:45): Agreed. No agreed. Cause I don't need another email. Like I don't know about you, but I don't need another email in the
Kent Wyatt (35:52): Yeah. But I think that advice kind of goes somewhat counteracted as to what you know, Jill is about. Cause we are really tech savvy loves social media love, put it out on a website, but you do have to strike that balance. I give him my, my dad is a nearing 70 in any organization that only sends the newsletters he unsubscribed from it doesn't join. You have to reach all your audiences. So you can't neglect neglect, add, thank you. Notes to me is such a simple way to do it because so few people do it these days.
Melissa Anzman (36:28): Yeah, absolutely. And I think just before we wrap up, you did touch on something else. I just want to stress on in that you have to be able to communicate through several different channels, whether you're looking for a job looking to hire or what have you, what works for you and what your preference is. Isn't necessarily the same as the person who you're trying to connect with. And that's something that, that catches a lot of people up, you know, if you're a Twitter and you tweet for a job and that person gets really annoyed by that, like that's a problem. So, you know, understanding that there's so many different communication methods and channels and figuring out the right one for that specific indication or situation, the stand out is super helpful. But you know, I don't think you can go wrong with a handwritten note for anything, for any situation. Right.
Kent Wyatt (37:18): That's a great point. I would probably throw another one of your shows. I think that's the disadvantage that the younger generations that because they've grown up less aware of other means of communicating, it's about tweeting it's about Facebook. And you really, you know, we've been effective and get the most out of the both ways when we have individual meetings with people and whether that's helping them with their career, talking to them about, you know, a column that they could do for us, nothing, nothing replaces into Google contact and that's more difficult cause it takes time. And, and I'm sure you've heard it. We've all heard it. You know, I'm too busy to do that as a visitor to do this. But we had our membership, the people who renew in our organization are the ones we've met with. We've had that personal connection with before, before we leave, what, who would what bands would be at your retirement party? Oh, no question, Dave Matthews. Yeah. You can't go wrong with that,
Melissa Anzman (38:17): But before we go, Kent, can you just remind everybody where they can find you online? Please?
Kent Wyatt (38:20): Definitely. Elgl.org is our website. You can find us on Twitter the same searching ELGL.
Melissa Anzman (38:28): Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure having you on the show. I hope you enjoy today's episode with Kent. Wyatt has a lot of great insight and information all about how to get involved and be sure that you're living the best life that you can. So at your retirement party, it's a good one. If you'd like to get the show notes for this episode, you can go to launchyourself.co/session15. Again, that's launchyourself.co/session15. And if you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes and leave us a great review until next time.
Melissa Anzman (39:02): Thanks for listening to the launch yourself podcast. Join the conversation at wwwd.launchyourself.co.
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