job seekers

Ghost Note Agency: The Power of Diversity

ghostnote-agency-website

Diversity, impact and resilience are recurring themes in the life and work of Adeleke “Ade” Omitowoju.

His focus on creating an impact and promoting diversity led to his position of Co-Founder & CFO of Ghost Note Agency, a full service digital and creative firm, and founder of Technoir, an organization founded to showcase, fund and celebrate diverse companies and ideas.

With Ghost Note, Omitowoju knows he has done his job when he is able to make a difference.

“We measure our impact by our clients. We are here because of them and we are here for them. If we can amplify their efforts, build their audiences, grow revenue or make a difference in their communities, we have done our work,” Omitowoju said.

Ghost Note’s impact measurement delves deeper than transactions, conversions or following for their client’s work.

“Bonds and relationships are organic and have to be authentic. That’s why we try our best to work with clients in industries that we understand and can effectively deliver value. The bits and bites of digital do bring in the measurements such as social and web but our goal is to make sure that our client’s brands are top of mind of the people they are trying to reach. That is what a bond is about… Beyond the transactional,” Omitowoju said.

There is a constant changing process to differentiate Ghost Note from the growing digital agency community.

“I come from a business background and every day and every week we are evolving. We are defined by our experiences and there is no playbook for competing in this space. We combine intuition, drive and passion,” Omitowoju said.

Ghost Note is currently looking for new talent to push the boundaries and provide more value to their clients.

“We are looking for creative self-starters who are passionate about marketing, communications, creative and communities. Generally, hard skills can be taught but soft skills are so essential in making sure you can connect and collaborate with people of all demographics. The unicorn candidates are hard to find but being in DC (a city of diversity), puts is in a good position to find the right fit,” Omitowoju said.

Ghost Note is in a great position to focus on building their team incorporating diversity of gender, race, culture, thinking and belief.

“It’s proven that diverse companies make more money and stay in business longer… So it’s safe to say diversity is very important to us. Being a company founded by four black male millennials puts us in the position to broaden our spectrum as we seek to onboard new talent (things get intense sometimes with 4 guys in an office). We have worked with people of all backgrounds and are amazed at how diverse worldviews and cosmologies can bring so much value to the creative process,” Omitowoju said.

Omitowoju shares his experience and perspective on diversity and entrepreneurship panels. He feels it’s essential to be prepared for the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

“It’s a marathon. There are small hiccups and failures along the way, they are a part of the path. You have to become emotionally resilient.”

He emphasizes making “measured decisions” before taking a leap into the unknown.

“You have to know yourself. Know who you are when you’re stripped of everything. It’s feast or famine. When it’s feast you can keep moving. When it’s famine, you have to ask are you able to navigate through that intelligently,” Omitowoju said.

He says you shouldn’t let anything, including fear inhibit your ability to be your true self.

“Don’t be afraid of anybody. You should be your true self regardless of your environment.  I had dreads in business school,” Omitowoju said.

The St. Thomas native brings his own authenticity to his work with Ghost Note and Technoir. He started Technoir to become a vehicle for entrepreneurs of color.

“We (Ghost Note) saw that there weren’t more people in the space that looked like us. We knew there were black and brown entrepreneurs tackling the issues. We had 500+ people at the first event. We wanted to create a platform where people with tangible solutions could be seen. Technoir has become something of a vehicle for the audience,” Omitowoju said.

It’s not all serious at Technoir events, 2015’s “Technoir 24” included workshops at General Assembly, Lobby Day on Capitol Hill and concluded with their Innovator’s Classic, a pitch competition and networking mashup.

“We want to have fun. It’s a large tech culturally driven celebration of black and brown entrepreneurs. It’s a big party. It was built in that way to provide more value to our community. There aren’t channels and mediums for that audience. Technoir partners and supporters are also able to take action,” Omitowoju said.

If you’re interested in working for or with Ghost Note Agency you can visit their website at http://ghostnoteagency.com. You can find out more about Technoir on their website at http://wearetechnoir.com.

How to Keep Up the Momentum For Your 2016 Career Resolutions

Just because the "New Year" feeling may be starting to fade, doesn't mean your resolutions need to lose steam.

Here are a few tips to make sure you keep the momentum going for 2016 and finish strong in your career goals.

1) Expand Your Network, But in a Targeted Way.

The internet and mobile economy has made the world much closer. It's never been easier to connect to folks that share your interests, goals, and mission. But with that, it's also been much easier to clutter your network with connections that don't add value or purpose.

 
This year, be sure to do an audit of your connections. Revisit groups that you subscribe to and focus them in on only the skills and topics that are going to add to your development.
 

Make sure to do a connection audit, for example if your goal is to get a new job in design work, then you might want to follow a few creative design boards on Pinterest, while cutting out a few of your LinkedIn groups that message you about past interests on which you are no longer spending time.

You may also consider joining a few new Meetups like this new one for DC Careerists. While it's okay to have multiple interests in different spaces, it's best if they are mutually supportive and few, which will help you move into our next step below.

 
 

 

2) Develop Your Specialty.

Companies, especially startups, are more and more looking to hire candidates with multiple skill sets. But this by no means, means that you should not brand yourself as a specialist in a particular field. While a new company might say they are looking for a "jack of all trades", it's actually really hard to identify one. You can set yourself apart by having a specialty with supporting skills.

 
Set yourself apart by becoming a specialist in one area, with your secondary skills supporting that one.
 

For example, imagine a great developer with sales and marketing experience that also does PR work and can manage your accounting books. Where do you start this person? What if designing a website is more important to the hiring company than the accounting side? Chances are you've already forgotten one of this person's skills even though it was just a few sentences ago.

Use this time of your 2016 to look at your skill sets and see where you would like to focus and/or bolster your professional skills this year. Organizations like General Assembly are a good resource to take a few training courses that will really define you as a specialist, which is a great segue into our next step.

 

3) give your Professional Brand a test drive.

After you have identified what your specialty is (or will be), test it out in your network to see if it holds up. Try the following activity: Ask 3 of your friends, 3 of your family members, and 3 people in your professional network what you do for a living. Chances are, if you are like most people, you'll find some pretty humorous material. Oftentimes even your current/former coworkers in other departments may not have a clear definition.This can be for a number of reasons, but ultimately it boils down to how you communicate your value to others. Your elevator pitch of who are and an example of what you do is key.

 
Create a one or two sentence elevator pitch about who you are as a professional. Also think of one relatable example you can give that will help people remember.
 

For example, if you are a PR consultant for public policy organizations, you might be able to say something like: "I help organizations educate the public about changes in health policy. Basically I'm the Olivia Pope of the healthcare industry." Sure you can give them a huge, dry, bulleted breakdown of what exactly this means, but chances are if the person you are talking to isn't in that industry then they will soon forget anyway. You want to make it memorable and easily repeatable. This will add much value to you when these people can refer new contacts to you.

Also, this is now the time to start branding yourself as a thought leader. Remember that specialty you picked for yourself? Well that is what you want to build your brand around. Try to connect to organizations that need this expertise (organizations are always looking for speakers for their events). Or if you aren't the public speaking type, publish a few articles on LinkedIn around topics related to your specialty.

 
 


4) Don't Do It Alone!

Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do to energize the rest of your path toward your 2016 career goals is to bring others with you. Reach into your close network of friends or colleagues and build a small support team that can help one another reach their goals. These people's goal is to hold one another accountable to whatever your goals are throughout the year. Even if it's just something as simple as calling or emailing to check in to say "Hey, Mike! Hope all is well. Just checking to see if you made that move to London you were trying to make. I came across this job opening there you should check out. They're looking for an Olivia Pope!"

 
But make sure it’s not one sided. Be sure to add value to others in your network and you can rest assured that your network will remember you when they can help.
 

Everyone is looking for a mutually beneficial relationship, as you give back, your network will give back to you. Whether it's forwarding a great article you read that you think lays within their interest, or referring them to great new career opportunities, the more value you add to your network, the more you get out in return.

Add these great few tips to your 2016 and you can bet that 2017 will be even more momentous.

In-Demand Skills for Getting Hired in 2016

It’s a new year and new skills are top of mind. If you’re looking to brush up your knowledge or dive into something new this year, a career in tech is the journey most traveled.

Some of highest demanded skills in 2015 that are carrying-over into 2016 are in the tech sector.

According to LinkedIn’s Hottest Skills of 2015 on LinkedIn United States, 22 of the top 25 skills are tech. Cloud and distributed computing took the number one spot while mobile development and user interface design came in the number 3 and 7 spots respectively.

If tech has always meant development, this list will surprise you with mobile development coming in third and language specific development making the list beyond the top ten.

 
 

Some of these skills have been “hot” for the last few years and show no signs of cooling down because of the qualified tech professional supply “shortage.”

 
Robert Half Technology predicts the demand and supply imbalance in IT hiring is likely to continue in 2016.
 

That should be motivation to know the jobs are out there. With demand being so high, there is opportunities for junior, mid-level and senior level technology professionals.

According to Robert Half Technology’s 2016 Salary Guide, ASP, C#, Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, virtualization skills and Windows 7 skills are top technical skills in demand from employers.

Beyond the skill baseline, employers are looking for well-rounded qualified candidates with a diverse mix of soft and technical skills.

 
Communication, problem-solving, collaboration, team-oriented and creative tops Robert Half Technology’s list of soft-skill attributes.
 

With skyrocketing demand and opportunities galore, if you’re looking to work in tech, now is a great time to explore your options.

If you know someone who is diverse, skilled and is looking to make a move into tech or to a great new company, don’t hesitate to refer them to us.