Career resonance in my view is a state of existence where you are happy, healthy, balanced, busy and emboldened. Your life is self-fulfilling because all aspects are generally working together to make you high performing and personally and professionally satisfied with your career and life. In my coaching practice I see this phenomena from time to time. To me this is the ultimate state of being and where the rubber meets the road. It is not to say that it is nirvana but with purpose, passion and persistence you can thrive in a manner that feeds your performance and success. One such example is my friend Kim Bardakian, who I have known for a number of years in San Francisco PR circles. Kim epitomizes the outcome of “purpose, passion and persistence.”
I asked Kim a few career questions to illustrate my thinking. Take a read.
How did you land your current role as the Director of PR & Partnerships for Visit Oakland?
I was working as a PR and event consultant in Oakland and my contract was coming to an end. I put out an email to my network about potential new opportunities and received a response from someone at Visit Oakland who I had known in the community. She told me about a new position that was opening up and encouraged me to apply. Ironically, the job I applied for was different from my current role. After the initial interview, my boss created my role which plays directly to my strengths—media and relationships. So when people tell me, "Kim, this job was made just for you!" Well, it kind of was!
How did your career lead to your current role?
My career has always centered around PR, event planning and marketing. I began my career at Sony PlayStation, when the company was not even a year old. Our team helped build it to an internationally recognized brand in just a few years. It was hands down the best first job out of college! From there my PR career took off in a variety of industries, including apparel, technology, spas and even a stint at the Catholic Church. Now if you can promote the Catholic Church, you can promote anything!
How much work did you invest to get to your current position?
With my current job, I feel like it's the ultimate culmination of all of my previous experience, combined with the diverse people I have met along the way. Having lots of different experiences have help me excel in my current role since I have long standing relationships in a wide variety of industries. Best advice: never burn bridges, you never know when they come back around.
What characteristics drive your passion?
Passion can't be taught. It's in you or it's not. You feel it or you don't. Fortunately, with this position at Visit Oakland, it's innate to me. I'm often told my passion comes through when I talk about Oakland-- to press, friends or basically anyone who will listen. I love my job and the ability to promote all the positive aspects of Oakland. I get to share what you might not know about the city from things to do, new restaurants to try to where to check out the best views!
What advice would you give people aspiring to land a role that satisfies their career?
As cliché as it sounds, find an industry that you love. Or a product that excites you. Once you delve into that world, you will be inspired to learn more, engage more and simply do better. It's imperative to also network within the industry you want to work in. Join a board or committee to meet the leaders and decision makers. Roll up your sleeves and get involved. Arrange for informational interviews with people you admire and or just want to learn more about their role. Ask questions. And always be ready to help others and make introductions to those who need it. You never know when they come back around later in your career.
Kim is the Director of PR and Partnerships for VisitOakland, the tourism bureau for the city. She uses her experience, network and passion in her current role to help promote the destination to the media and generate partnerships throughout Oakland.
Previously, Kim worked in-house with a number of growing consumer technology companies including Pandora and has agency experience with OutCast where she developed PR programs and events with Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, Dell and Yahoo! Kim began her career at Sony PlayStation where she founded and implemented the highly successful product placement program.
Kim currently serves as a Board Member for PRSA San Francisco Chapter and involved in a variety of other PR and media organizations. A native New Yorker, she holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. She proudly resides in Oakland, CA where she is an avid tennis player.