BCM Staffing CEO Shares the Top 2 Skills BCM Professionals Need
- Nov 12, 2019
Business continuity professionals: We often get left out when it comes to career advice! So, on our latest episode of The Continuity Forecast, we took a different turn: We considered how business continuity management professionals can actively grow their career.
Cheyenne Marling was our guest — and she has over 20 years experience working exclusively within the BCM continuity. She works with 60,000 talented individuals across 90 countries, placing them in best-fit roles within BCM.
Cheyenne Marling is the Managing Director of BC Management — a talent, staffing, and data research provider that works exclusively within the BCM profession. She has an honorary MBCI and is also a lecturer at MIT.
The 2 credentials companies look for in BCM employees: leadership + soft skills
Companies hiring BCM professionals are seeking candidates who are true leaders within their profession. That’s especially important as you look at higher level job opportunities within an organization or program management.
Companies know that if you’re a leader within your profession, they can expect you to be a leader within their organization’s BCM program.
Most of us think of STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — when we think of the necessary BCM skills. However, companies are also looking for professionals who have well-developed soft skills — individuals who can communicate across the organization.
So, how do you develop leadership and soft skills?
To Develop Your Leadership Skills
Cheyenne had 3 tips on developing your BCM leadership skills to advance your career:
1. Offer to give a presentation at an industry event
Companies want to know about your communication expertise and also understand your engagement with the BCM community at large. So, Cheyenne suggests giving a presentation at your local association and work up from there to larger events.
In the worst case, you’ll learn a ton — Cheyenne says everytime she gives a presentation, someone asks an unexpected question, and she learns something new. In the best case scenario, you’ll learn and stick out to future employers.
2. Publish a paper
Here’s something Cheyenne said very few BCM candidates put the work into — getting published. Even if you can’t provide information about you company’s event plans specifically, there’s still an opportunity to talk about the industry broadly, and get your name out there.
3. Serve on a business continuity or event board
Lastly, consider joining a BCM board. Again, demonstrating your leadership within the BCM community proves this topic is personally important to you.
Pro tip: If you want to develop your presentation skills, you can join some organizations outside the industry, such as Toastmasters, to really drive your presentation skills.
Soft Skill Development
So, there’s a little less prescription when it comes to development of your soft skills.
Here’s the premise: When companies seek BCM leaders, they’re looking for someone who can champion a program throughout the organization. This requires communication with the frontline — the end uaser — all the way to the CEO. So, you will have to interact with a variety of audiences who come from a variety of backgrounds, and it’s necessary you can inspire all of them.
So, you’ll need to show a potential employer that you:
- Understand a variety of audiences
- You know how to communicate effectively to each of them
The impact of certifications on the BCM profession
I asked Cheyenne about the impact of certifications on BCM professionals, and her answer was this: Be selective.
Her advice: Look at the top 3-4 certifications within your field. For BCM only, of course there’s BCI and DRI international. If you’re looking to combine BCM with other skills, she suggested PMP certifications, and ITIL certifications.
Recognize the BCM industry is expanding
In the last decade, the BCM role has expanded to include security and governance professionals, enterprise risk management, third party risk-management planning, and plenty of other functions. This expansion has allowed for far more room within the business continuity profession, as more and more nuanced come under the BCM umbrella.
So, stay in the know on the industry, and consider how your secondary skills can help you specialize within BCM.
Business never stops.