If it’s the beginning of the new year, that means it’s time for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force’s annual “New Year, New You” webinar series. Every year, we kick off January with a series of webinars designed to help you jump-start your career. As usual, we partner with NABJ Task Forces and members to create this programming.
Usually, you must be a paid NABJ member to participate, but for January, anyone can join us. But going forward, you will need to be a paid member (local membership doesn’t count) to participate in future webinars. Click here if you want to join NABJ.
Below is a list of the webinars we have scheduled this month. And if you have ideas for future webinars email us here with your ideas and we’ll work on making them happen. I thank all the NABJ members who have stepped up to make this happen!
New Year, New You: The Resume Edition, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m. EST
The #FreelanceFebruary series of NABJ members-only webinars will help you answer that question, covering topics including what it takes to get started, finding a #SideHustle and creating an online portfolio to showcase your work.
Journalists have many skills that make ideal side hustles, but you can’t just create them out of thin air. Learn how to get your hustle in this NABJ members-only webinar on Monday, Feb. 13 at 8:00 p.m. Panelists Nicki Mayo of Nicki Mayo News LLC, Dr. Sybril Brown, a hustler and journalism professor at Belmont University, Tenisha Taylor Bell, owner of Perfect Pitch Media Group LLC and Benét Wilson, owner of Aviation Queen LLC will discuss how they started their hustles and what it takes to keep them going. Register here — your NABJ membership number is required.
What if you don’t want to become a freelancer and you want to look for a new job instead? Put your best foot forward with an online portfolio to showcase your work. Web sites, for all of their benefits, can be tough to sift through as ideas about technology and branding change every day. In this webinar, hosted by Marissa Evans of the Texas Tribune, you’ll get tips on how to choose the best web platform for you, the do’s and don’ts of a quality website and best practices for putting your best digital footprint forward, including live critiques. Join us on Saturday, February 18, 11:00 a.m. EST. Again, register here — your NABJ membership number is required.
DJTF will schedule webinars through the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans Aug. 9-13, 2017. Do you have an idea for a webinar? Send it here.
First, I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this annual series a success: DJTF, the Print Task Force, the NABJ Student Council and the Media-Related Members Task Force. I also thank all of the NABJ members who took the time to listen to the webinars, either live or via recording. Below are links to all the recordings:
Next up is #FreelanceFebruary, where NABJ members will offer tips and advice for starting and sustaining your freelance business, whether it’s full time or part time. I’m excited to announce our first NABJ members-only webinar this month: “Do the #SideHustle,” on Monday, Feb. 13 at 8:00 p.m. EST. NABJ members Dr. Sybril Brown, Tenisha Taylor Bell, Nicki Mayo and I will discuss how we started our side hustles and what you need to do to keep them going. Click here to register for this event.
By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ VP-Digital
The Call for Proposals for the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair is now open. The organization relies on volunteers to put on workshops that help members stay relevant in their journalism and communications careers. As a past program chair (2012 and 2013),
As a past program chair (2012 and 2013), I regularly heard from members who complained about not seeing the workshops they wanted. I always asked, “did you submit anything?” Nine times out of 10, it was a no.
So ensure that you get the programming you want to see in New Orleans and submit a proposal here by the February 15 deadline. You must be an NABJ member to submit a workshop. Below are 10 panel ideas you may want to consider. Good luck!!
- Ways to search for that next job
- Copyediting your stories when there’s no copy desk
- Using your journalism skills in non-journalism jobs
- How to use the latest data journalism tools
- Want to start podcasting? Here’s how
- Ways to shoot live video (Facebook Live, Periscope)
- How to break into INSERT BEAT HERE
- How to develop and produce multiplatform stories
- Multimedia training for veteran journalists
- Tips for breaking into freelance journalism
For journalists, being able to tell the stories on our beats and in the nation’s neighborhoods is central to our job. Being able to tell these stories in a way that is compelling is especially necessary in a time where information options are numerous. In this webinar, a group of experienced journalists—Tory Parrish, reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Gary Witherspoon, a former editor for the Boston Globe and Newsday, and Brandon E. Robinson, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in SLAM and Ebony magazines and is the host of the ScoopB radio podcast—will share what makes a good story, how to go and get them, and how good research and good questions go hand in hand.
In this webinar, held on Thursday, Jan. 27, a group of experienced journalists—Tory Parrish, reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Gary Witherspoon, a former editor for the Boston Globe and Newsday, and Brandon E. Robinson, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in SLAM and Ebony magazines and is the host of the ScoopB radio podcast—will share what makes a good story, how to go and get them, and how good research and good questions go hand in hand. Click here for a recording of this NABJ members-only webinar.
Thanks to everyone who joined me tonight for the resume webinar. I hope you found it helpful. If you missed it, click HERE for the webinar recording.
Below are links to articles that can help you craft a great resume.
If you’re looking for a list of journalism organizations to join, Arizona State University has created this great list.
For those who want to brush up on their skills, I recommend the following training sites:
Finally, if you’re looking for inspiration, check out “12 of the Most Creative (and Effective) Resumes in the World,” courtesy of The Atlantic. And check out Canva, which has a whole section of resume templates that are easy to use.
Please feel free to email me with any further questions. The next New Year, New You webinar — Do the #SideHustle — will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. EST. You can get more details and register for it HERE.
The 2016 NABJ/NAHJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is happening in only 37 more days. In order to have a successful convention, you need to be prepared. Below are 10 things you need to do now to be on your game in Washington, D.C.
- Buy your plane ticket. The closer you get to the convention date, the more expensive that airfare will be. I’ll be driving to D.C. from Baltimore, but I bought my ticket for #NABJ15 in Minneapolis in February. The closer it gets to the convention the more your ticket will cost. I tweet airline fare sales regularly at @NABJDigital or @AvQueenBenet. Also, set a fare alert on Airfarewatchdog.com to be informed about the lowest fares.
- Business cards. Get them now. Vistaprint has a great selection of templates so you can have cards that stand out. Click here for two specials that expire on June 30: $1.99 for 100 no-frills cards or $9.99 for standard business cards (minus shipping). I’m also a big fan of Moo cards, which come in different shapes and sizes, and allows you to highlight photos or copy on the back. Mine shows off my aviation pictures from around the world. They cost more than Vistaprint (starting at $19.99 for 50 cards), but I feel it’s worth the investment.
- Resume/online portfolio. Now is the time to make sure your resume and online portfolio are completed so you can impress recruiters at the convention. Need help? Check out the DJTF webinars covering online portfolios and resumes. They’re free to watch, but you must register. And in a shameless plug for my new Resumes By Benét business, I can help you get ready for the convention or your next career move at very reasonable rates.
- Check your social media profile. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check your Facebook profile and Twitter timeline and make sure there are no embarrassing photos or posts because potential employers will be checking.
- Look at the convention schedule and list of exhibitors. Work out a plan on what workshops you want to attend and create a schedule on your smartphone. Prioritize who are the must-see employers on your list, start making appointments and get a jump start on the crowds.
- Start making a list of all the people you want to see in D.C. The schedules of those attending the conference are very tight. Start now to create that list of must-see people and map out appointments, interviews and chat times. And consider breakfast meetings, since schedules tend to slip as the day goes by.
- Find ways to save money. Going to the convention is not cheap, but you can do it and not break the bank. Find folks to share a hotel room at the NABJ Convention Roommate Bureau. If you’re checking a bag, tuck in some non-perishable snacks and water. Reach out on NABJ’s listserves and social media channels for ride shares to and from the airport or take the Metro subway, which stops right in front of the Marriott Wardman Park at the Woodley Park station on the Red Line. Check out sites like Yelp and Zomato to find places in the hotel’s Woodley Park neighborhood and around the city to eat that are less expensive than the hotel’s offerings. Search Hotwire and Priceline for nearby hotel deals.
- Check your wardrobe. See what clothes fit and what don’t. See what needs to be cleaned or altered. And if you need to buy things, do it now. Consider thrift shops like Savers.com or Goodwill, where you can find real bargains, especially on designer labels. See this suit I wore in Minneapolis last year? It’s a designer Elie Tahari suit I bought at Savers for $10.99. My dress for Salute to Excellence? $12.00.
- Check yourself. Our convention is all about fun and family, but it’s also a professional event. You never know who will be watching. So enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it.
- Hang out with your friends now. The convention is the time to meet new people and grow your network. It is not the time to hang with the same group of people that you do at home. As much as you love them, they are not going to get you a job, so break away and expand your horizons.
The Digital Journalism Task Force is doing its annual convention preparation TweetChat on Tuesday, June 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET. NABJ convention veterans will offer great tips and advice to get ready for D.C., and they’ll also answer your questions and share stories. Follow along using the #NABJNAHJ16 hashtag.
Benét J. Wilson is the vice president-digital on the NABJ board. She is a long-time member of the Digital Journalism Task Force and is secretary of the Online News Association board. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, a freelance writing company.