Judy Answers Your Questions

Judy Smith - Top crisis manager.

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first Ask Judy column, where I’m answering questions submitted by you guys . Over the years, I’ve been lucky to have spoken in front of groups, and I always include a question/answer period so anyone in the audience can let me know what’s on their mind. Thanks for visiting—let’s jump in!

From Demiko:

I recently started a new position I am thrilled about, however, whenever I work in Corporate America versus small government contractors or non-profits, I seem to always run into that one woman that becomes intimidated by me or is so insecure it spurs jealousy and I end up spending a large part of my time trying to avoid getting tangled up in traps laid by these individuals. I usually just end up quitting because I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. I don’t want to find myself in this cycle this time. Can you give me advice on how to work through this to create a win-win?

Judy’s response:

Demiko, I get it. Depending on the circumstance sometimes quitting is the right move, but sometimes it’s not the best solution to truly fix a situation. Sometimes when we find patterns repeating themselves in our lives, we need to look inside ourselves and see if there are actions we can take to change this dynamic. Of course at the end of the day you can only control your own actions but if you find the same issue arises again, perhaps look inside yourself to see if there are ways you can communicate more effectively with the colleague. This can be uncomfortable, and obviously you can’t control how that person will react.

From Ayushi:

Hi Judy! How do I plan my career to ensure I succeed? Is it possible to force ambition on yourself and if I don’t feel it does that mean I haven’t found the right job yet?

Judy’s response:

Ayushi, for me, I knew I’d found the right path when I felt passionate about what I was doing. To me, passion is organic. When you’ve found the right career you will want to give it your all. You’ll feel destined to do it. So wait until that passion grabs hold of you. It will seize you.




In addition to the questions submitted here to the site, I also like to answer a few rapid-fire style.

Did you know (or did you already have a feeling) when you started what your career would become? What is your advice for someone who has a vision but no connections?

All you need is a vision. I started my career at a non-profit. It turned out to be the most amazing gig. I learned that the more you work, the more connections you’ll make. Never let lack of connections affect your vision or get in the way. Dream big, do it well and go after it with passion. In the process you will develop all of the connections you need.

How does one deal with workplace bullying from higher ups within a system?

Sadly we all face bullies in life. I believe strongly that people must stand up for themselves, and you should here. Your company should have a human resources department or mechanism to safely report that kind of misconduct. Once you do you should know you’re not alone. More and more people these days are getting the courage to report workplace bullying—from the people above and below them. No one should be subjected to bullying behavior.

What’s your best advice for undergrads hoping to work in politics/crisis management?

Work in politics at a state level. Politics by nature gives you great experience in dealing with emergency situations, breaking news, and people from diverse backgrounds, which helps you add to the toolbox you’ll need to be a crisis manager. So I say get involved in local politics—it’s a great way to make a difference and be on the front lines of issues and events that are important to your community.

Judy Smith advises Presidents, celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, and was even the real-life inspiration for Scandal’s Olivia Pope. In other words, when it comes to solving problems large and small, she’s the best. She can help you face—and overcome—the toughest challenges in your professional and personal life, so you can unleash your full potential.

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