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Last year we kicked off our #IChoseIC campaign with a webinar delivered to university students encouraging them to consider internal communication as a career of choice. Alongside the webinar, we shared the stories of 19 internal communication professionals who told us about their journey into the IC profession and the reasons why they love their role.

We know that the majority of IC professionals ‘fall into’ internal communication and, as an Institute, that is something we want to change. We want to ensure we are creating a talent pipeline of people who have actively sought out a career in internal communication and who are aware of the requisite knowledge and skills it takes to be a successful IC professional, thereby ensuring the profession is fit for the future and its practitioners are able to face the challenges and leverage the opportunities which are to come. We want to shift the narrative from ‘I fell into IC’ to ‘I chose IC’.

The way that we see it, there are two strands to this work – raising awareness of internal communication as a career of choice, and ensuring there are opportunities available for people to gain experience, exposure and entry to the profession.

We’ve already made a start on the first strand – in 2020, we: 

  • Delivered our #IChoseIC webinar with the support of Jody Lewis, Sam Boniface, Alex Gapud and Andrea Mattis
  • Published 19 blogs sharing the stories of IC professionals and their journey into the profession
  • Delivered a session at the University of Bradford’s virtual career fair
  • Spoke to students at Liverpool Hope University about internal communication careers and sat on a panel discussing how to get started in the IC profession

In addition, our members supported us on our mission:

  • FutureNet committee member, Kim Sklinar, spoke to students at the University of East London on the topic of ‘Should my degree define me?’
  • Fellow FutureNet committee member, Binu Jacob, Spoke about career pathways to students at the University of Cardiff
  • Jody Lewis spoke to students at Brunel University about alternative creative industries
  • We recorded an interview with Sam Boniface for year 11 students at an academy in Northamptonshire about the IC profession
  • Richard Streeton co-presented a session with us for University of Lincoln journalism students

We couldn’t have delivered these sessions, published the number of blogs, or reached the number of students we did in 2020 without the help of our members whose passion and enthusiasm for the IC profession has (we hope!) been infectious.

We’ll be continuing this work in 2021 and are looking forward to supporting a number of events and initiatives which are already in the diary with the likes of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, University of Loughborough and University of Lincoln, including a Business Challenge week which is designed to support BAME students to develop the knowledge and skills required to enter various professions and an initiative called Success in a Box which will provide secondary school teachers with materials and a lesson plan to teach their students all about how to enter the IC profession.

We’re also pleased to be launching our #IChoseIC Ambassador programme which will give more members the opportunity to support the work that we’re doing this year and spread the message of internal communication as a career of choice. #IChoseIC Ambassadors will:

  • Be listed on our website, including details of any particular specialist subjects which they can speak about or specific events/initiatives they can support
  • Be called upon to be involved in outreach initiatives and events
  • Be able to claim CPD hours for any events or initiatives which they support
  • Have the opportunity to mentor young people who are keen to enter the profession
  • Receive a 10% discount code for IoIC training courses for every event or initiative they’re involved in

More details about the programme will be available on our website before the end of February. If you’re interested in becoming an #IChoseIC Ambassador or would like to find out more about how you can get involved, please email [email protected]

We hope that through the work we’re doing to increase awareness of internal communication as a career of choice, more and more people will proactively seek out entry level internal communication roles and opportunities or internships, and so it’s vital that we work to ensure that those opportunities are available to people from all backgrounds – whether they’ve just finished an undergraduate degree, have left school and are looking to go straight into work, or have taken a career break to find out what it is that they truly want to do.

Such opportunities are becoming increasingly available, but the majority of them still require applicants to be able to demonstrate a certain number of years’ experience or an undergraduate or even Master’s degree. Starting in April 2021, we’ll be encouraging employers to offer opportunities for people to gain exposure to, and experience of, internal communication with less demanding pre-requisites which will enable a wider pool of people the ability to apply.

We will, of course, be supporting employers to do so by sharing advice on how (and why) to offer such opportunities; listing employers who are able to offer work experience, placements, job shadowing, or internship opportunities on our website free of charge; and connecting the people who are looking for such opportunities with the organisations who are offering them. All the while, we’ll continue to increase our knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the Institute can proactively increase the ability for people from all walks of life to enter the internal communication profession. If your organisation might be able to offer opportunities for people to gain IC experience, please email [email protected]

We’ll be sharing updates and future plans throughout 2021 so do keep an eye out for those and please do get in touch if you’re keen to support the #IChoseIC campaign in any way. You can also write a blog on how you started your career in internal communication, we have a blog series that you can read here. If you'd like to contribute with a blog please email [email protected].

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