Judy Answers Your Questions

Judy Smith - Top crisis manager.

Hi everyone! Welcome to the second Ask Judy column, where I’m answering questions submitted by readers. 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. I want to expand this to include all of you. I’m here to listen to your concerns and offer advice to help you overcome what’s holding you back from reaching your full potential. Thanks for visiting—let’s jump in!

From Alexa:

I’m 23 and have been in the property management industry for 5 years. I worked my way up and have wanted to continue doing that. I recently was let go from my job and I am having trouble with a few things: 1. Staying motivated while not gaining any traction looking for another job and; 2. I have been wondering if this is an opportunity to try something different. In the event that is it, I’m struggling with the confidence to do that.

My questions is what advice would you give someone in their early 20’s who is unsure of their future? I feel like I don’t even know where to start to figure it out.

Judy’s response:

You just can’t give up, and you have to stay focused. I think it’s absolutely an opportunity to try something new. What else are you really interested in? I think I’d be looking for a job in that field, and also possibly explore other interests. Now is the time to try. You don’t lose anything, because you don’t have a job right now.

From Meghan:

I am so inspired by you and your career. I spent 8 years managing personnel crises for a Navy command and now 2 years in the public affairs career field managing all sorts of interesting situations (same command). I’m looking for opportunities to hone my skills and explore more career options in crisis management, but am having a hard time visualizing my path.

It seems opportunities often stem from opportune connections. While I’m valued where I am now for being a great problem-solver, potential future employers don’t know that about me (yet). What is your advice for getting your foot in the door in a new arena where you are an unknown quantity?

Judy’s response:

I think it depends on the arena so you can come up with a targeted plan. So you can come up with that new area of work.

From Silvia:

Hi Judy, I’m Silvia Risko, from Argentina. I am 55 years old, I am a lawyer, mediator and ontological coach. I need advice to draw up an action plan to start my own firm. How should I do that? How do I begin?

Judy’s response:

To get started you need to figure out what you want your core offerings to be and if you want to specialize in a particular area. If there is something that you are passionate about, that’s what you should focus on because it will help you drive the business. You also need to consider what the competitive landscape looks like when deciding where you want to start. Will you need to hire anyone right away? Give some thought to what resources you already have to determine if you will need any outside funding in the beginning. One of the more important things to think about is where you will get your first clients.




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

From @skayterwow How do you ask for a promotion 8 months into being in a new company?

I think you first have to give some thought to why you believe you are ready for a promotion so soon. You have to be able to clearly list those reasons and explain how has the company benefited from you being there. What value do you bring to the table. This has to be based on their measurements of success. If you can clearly articulate it then go for it! Ask for the promotion.

From @icytheartist How would you handle a bad rumor about your client that’s gained lot of media attention?

You want to figure out if the rumor is true or false. And if it’s not true, you have to determine if you or the client thinks it’s important enough to correct. If you decide to correct or not respond, you want to weigh the pros and cons. You want to consider if that rumor impacts your brand, how it will affect the stakeholders and their opinion of the brand, etc.

From @thecrisisadvier What books and lectures should one read to become an expert crisis manager, like you?

I tend to focus more on staying up on current events so that you are familiar with the landscape if a crisis does arise. It’s also helpful to look at crises that have happened in the past and how they were handled. What went well? What went wrong? And then work to develop your own instinct about how you see the crisis and how you would approach it.

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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