As part of Keywee’s efforts to be a helpful, educational partner for the NYC publishing and digital media community, we were fortunate to host Bryan Davis from The New York Times and Shannon Doubleday from Bloomberg Media for a candid discussion about careers in digital publishing and audience development. We talked about their career paths, advice for others in the space, and the skills they look for when hiring for their teams.

 

Below are a few insights from the event, and here’s a short video with some of the highlights:

 

 

You can watch the full event video below.

This job you hate… might just be a valuable stepping stone

Bryan started off with a pointed question: “Who here has ever worked at a job they hated?” Many people raised their hands, including both our panelists.

Bryan shared that although he may have hated some of his past jobs at the time, each one of them, from mowing lawns, to DJing, to working in a pizza kitchen, had helped him get to where he is today. Shannon agreed, sharing how her experience as a writer and her time abroad make her better at her job today.

This philosophy feeds into their hiring practices. When hiring for their teams, Bryan and Shannon both consider diversity of experience and interests. In addition to having varied work backgrounds (Bryan works with a rocket scientist), the most interesting candidates have an outside “passion about interesting, weird hobbies [and it] allows them to step away” and present creative solutions to problems they face at work.

 

Don’t stop learning

Bryan and Shannon both touched on the importance of self-learning subjects that interest them beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. Great teammates are constantly eager to acquire new knowledge, and not necessarily just through academia.

Shannon explained how she “can code a little [and that it helps her] speak to those who create the product” more efficiently. Bryan is learning Python for similar reasons. Developing skills that seem outside of your job description can accelerate your career (and personal) growth.

“The job you’re going to have in five years doesn’t exist yet.”

We discussed what it takes to thrive in a career in the media world. Bryan elaborated on his five-year plan, or lack thereof. In his words, “the job you’re going to have in five years doesn’t exist yet.” His advice is to focus on skills and interests you want to develop rather than the exact position you want in five years.

Shannon agreed, noting that the rate of change of technology means there may be some skills in the media world that will be foreign concepts to her in 20 years, the way some aspects of her job are to her parents today. The two panelists concluded that the skills that make someone an early-adapter are transferable to any role, and even any industry.

 

Fill out the form to watch a video of the full discussion:

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