NAMIC-Atlanta: The Writing’s On The Wall – Blog

ATLANTA, GA – April 12, 2017 — Sometimes we let life guide us, and other times we take life by the horns. But one thing is for sure: no matter how organized we are, or how well we plan, we can always expect the unexpected. So what do you do when that unexpected event takes place in your career? The Atlanta chapter of National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) hosted a panel of seasoned professionals, moderated by Kia Painter, Holland Exec Director, Org Effectiveness & Employee Experience, Cox Communications  and Julie Harrison, Division VP of Organizational Effectiveness, Comcast Cable, who educated us with best practices to navigate your career through times of change.

(L-R): Kia Painter Holland, Quincy Johnson, April Smith, John Holly,
Ed Perry, Alana Leverette, and Julie Harrison
Photo Credit: Simons9 Photography

#1 Making a change

Working in corporate America is rewarding but can also be unpredictable. Unexpected layoffs or deciding to move to a new role can bring on a mix of emotions. Should I leave my current, comfortable situation and take on this new role? Am I making the right decision? The panelists gave us a few things we should consider when it comes to making a career change:

  • “Are you busy or are you being challenged?” – Quincy Johnson
  • “Figure out what makes you happy. Look at your current organizational structure and determine if there is room for upward mobility.” – Ed Perry

Panelist April Smith encourages job seekers to learn their industry and make the most advantageous move for their career. Listening to corporate earnings calls and researching where your company is headed will provide all the facts necessary to help you make your next move your best move.

#2 Importance of leveraging business relationships.

To say the job market is competitive is an understatement. You have to be one step ahead of the next applicant to keep your resume from falling into the infamous black hole. Here are two tips from our panel to building strong professional relationships that can help you get your foot in the door:

  • Learn from people outside of your network and be able to succinctly tell your story. – John Holly
  • Let people know who you are and that you are open to new opportunities. Share your intentions and be genuine. – Alana Leverette

It’s not always what you know but who you know. April Smith reminds us that “your connection can get you in the door but you have to do the work [to secure the job].”

#3 Growing your career

While landing a job may be the end of your search, it is the beginning of your career. We can’t become so inundated in our day to day activities that we aren’t continuing to build on our strengths.  A couple of ways that we can maintain visibility in our careers is to:

  • Join industry specific ancillary organizations and pay attention to what is going on in the industry. Seek to take on leadership roles within these outside organizations – Quincy Johnson
  • Intentional networking. Just as you schedule events in your regular day, you must also schedule time for networking activities. – John Holly

We can’t always control what happens at work but we can set ourselves up for continued success for the future. Just remember that you can be valuable to anyone — you just need to prove it to them. If you want to have someone help you, help them first. The more you do for others, the more they’ll do for you. When you insert yourself in large business circles, your own circles start to grow.


  • Kia Painter – Exec Director, Organizational Effectiveness & Employee Experience, Cox Communications
  • Julie Harrison – Division VP of Organizational Effectiveness, Comcast Cable


  • Quincy Johnson – VP of Strategic Products, Turner Broadcasting System
  • April Smith – Project Manager, Cox Communications
  • John Holly – VP of Human Resources – HR Operations, Organizational Change Management, Employee Relations, Cox Communications
  • Ed Perry – Director of Business Development, Assurant
  • Alana Moton Leverette – Marketing Director, Comcast Business


Founded in 1980 as a non-profit trade association, NAMIC is the premier organization focusing on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Tell company colleagues and others in the industry about NAMIC and encourage them to join.