BCM Staffing CEO Shares the Top 2 Skills BCM Professionals Need

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.

The Continuity Forecast Episode 23 The skills BCM Professionals Need

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

More than ever, companies are looking for individuals who can champion and drive the program forward


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.

Soft Skills

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

A red checklist on a grey circle backgroundHere’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.

Be selective on the certification you look at. You don't want an alphabet soup after your last name.

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.

To hear more from The Continuity Forecast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.