Washington Business Report - Feb. 9, 2014

New job for DC Chamber CEO Barbara Lang

It's official. Barbara Lang will still be deep within the DC business community when she launches Lang Strategies, LLC on March 31, when she steps down as President and C.E.O of the DC Chamber of Commerce.

"People will think that we will be... lobbying. That's not what we will be doing. I've done 12 years of that," she says of her work building the DC Chamber of Commerce into the advocate for businesses in the District and the entire region.

Lang told Washington Business Report, where she released the news, that she will be managing principal and CEO of the new business, located at the Evening Star Building at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave., NW in the district.

Lang hired a staff of five to serve corporate, government and nonprofit entities. She says her new group will focus on business development, political strategy management, executive leadership, business tactical planning, assessment and problem solving.

Communicate and motivate, top headhunter advises

One of the top headhunters in the country has clear advice for those looking for top management positions in the Washington, DC region.

"People are looking for individuals who are clear communicators, people who understand the bottom line, people who understand how to motivate people -- and have had practical experience doing it," says Nels Olson of Korn Ferry. "So you really need to have a track record in those things to be successful."

New data released February 5 show the unemployment rate in the Washington area dropped to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent in December, according to the federal Labor Department. The news is even better for top executives. Olson told Washington Business Report that the time is right for anyone looking to be placed in top firms -- all thanks to DC's balance.
"The good news about the Washington job market is that with the government [presence here in the district], we don't have the ups and downs that other markets have," says Olson, who is Vice Chairman and Co-Leader of the Global Board and CEO Services Practice with Korn Ferry.

"Right now, in general, the market is very strong."

Olson recently helped fill the job of Commissioner of the NFL with Roger Goodell, and the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Boston.

The George Washington University graduate recently found perfect matches for the boards at Lockheed Martin, The Carlyle Group and Tyco Electronics. He specializes in filling positions in industries such as finance, technology, consumer, industrial and healthcare.

Olson acknowledges that with the advent of new technologies and social media, experienced employees can't afford to ignore new aspects of the professional world that perhaps didn't even exist when they entered the work force.

"Having an appreciation for the consumer of today -- whether it's social media, digital media -- understanding what motivates consumers today is certainly important," he says.

Tap into passion for job security: author

Financial columnist Kimberly Palmer has story after story of people who are liberating themselves from financial strain by going into business for themselves.

Palmer spoke about her new book The Economy of You on Washington Business Report. Joined by professional coach and trainer Mary Abbajay, the two experienced business women agreed that many workers can build stability by becoming a money-making engine for themselves, and tapping into their passion. The two say the career move can be empowering and gratifying.

Concrete tips in the book include figuring out the ideal side gig; ideas for keeping start up costs low; advice on juggling a fledgling enterprise and a full-time job; strategies for building a social network along with branding and marketing basics.