Why can’t I be a IT Specialist and a Public Affairs Specialist (Dream JOB)?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Beth (Musselman) Clemons 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #137470

    Kanika Tolver

    Currently, I am an IT Specialist and I love enterprise level technology, database technology, IT security, etc.
    But, my real passion is Social Media. But, all the social media jobs go to Public Affairs Specialists.
    I love blogging, developing new blog sites, new Facebook communities/pages, and I enjoy twitter.
    Government social media is fun. I really want to change my career focus to social media and still keep up with cutting edge technologies.
    Currently, I am the team leader of the social media team at my agency. I was chosen for the project because of my passion and love for social media.

    Any advice on career change? I am looking for my dream job within the government, where I can have fun and make a difference.

  • #137484

    Kanika – your best bet is to start applying for PAO jobs. However, there are specific requirements that most folks hiring PAO’s look for, I’m not sure what organization you’re with but the Army has a PAO intern program that gets you through all the required training and places you in a 1035 position upon completion. If you’re outside of the Army I would suggest just grabbing a PAO within your organization and asking their advice.

    Hope that helps some and good luck!


    Beth E. Clemons

    Web & Social Media Manager

    Office of Public & Congressional Affairs

    U.S. Army Contracting Command

    Phone: 256-955-7648

    Blackberry: 256-683-7198

    Visit ACC online:

    Website: http://www.acc.army.mil

    Career Opportunities: http://www.armyhire.com

    ‘Like’ us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/USArmyContractingCommand

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    Join our Linkedin group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1900835

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  • #137482

    Faye Newsham

    @Kanika – you might also think about another degree which focuses on Social Media. NJIT has a MS in Professional and Technical Communication that looks pretty social media relevant. @beth certainly provides some great advice too.

  • #137480

    Steve Ressler

    Hi Kanika –

    I am very happy that you wrote about this topic and it was very smart of your organization to appoint you team lead of social media at your agency. It is my belief that Social Media does not belong to any particular department although people will have you believe that it does. It is a cross-functional team effort. I don’t really believe in Social Media experts but one thing I do know is that the ones that I admire have a sound mix of marketing, sales and IT. With all of the elements that you have listed. I just found out that in the private industry they are creating individual business lines with Social Media titles under the Project Management Office with the skills that you listed so there is hope.

    Best –


  • #137478

    Jay Johnson

    Be a polymath and you’ll never have to specialize again. Admittedly, it does make branding hard. 🙂

  • #137476

    Ed Albetski

    Kanika, as an IT guy who once chaired a committee that oversaw a lot of social media issues, you might want to see if any customer service training is available through your IT unit. I know our helpdesk folks had to take this. This will serve you well in any Public Affairs positon, or any position where you interface with the public. Good luck!

  • #137474

    Adam Arthur

    One area of focus you can direct your efforts in: informatics. The science of building the IT systems that others will use to accomplish their jobs is pretty darn awesome. I’m a Communications Specialist, but I manage an entire team of IT specialists who perform the development of collaboration systems and virtual technologies. They all socialize their experiences, so they are all heavily involved with using social media and Gov 2.0 strategies.

    The full culmination of our efforts is manifesting in two weeks – the Public Health Informatics 2011 Virtual Conference. You should attend…it’s free to register!

  • #137472

    Kanika Tolver

    Great comments everyone.

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