As promised in my FNCE 2013 Recap, I’m going to recap a few of the sessions I attended at FNCE for you guys. I’ll try to do one every Saturday for the next few weeks! There was tons of valuable info shared and I think all of you should benefit from it as well! I realize you’re not all RDs but much of the info could be applied to various jobs or just to life in general. I took notes and tweeted a lot during the sessions so I’ll do my best to recap what all the wonderful speakers said.
So here we go:
Beyond Traditional Dietetics: Turning Your RD into Real $$$
Speakers: Leah McGrath, RD, LDN & Susan Mitchell, PhD, RD, LDN, FADA
- RDs make too little for all their education and training. The average RD salary is $59,000. However, there are high-paying jobs in all areas of dietetics. There’s nothing wrong with getting paid for your passion.
- Most RDs struggle with salary negotiations and marketing. RDs need to get comfortable marketing themselves and asking for the money they deserve!
- Times are changing and skill sets must change as well. Most RDs are not doing food styling, recipe development, nutrient analysis, etc…but these are up and coming trends! Are there opportunities to work with food shoots, test kitchens, create healthy recipes, develop a new products? Yes! Take advantage of them!
- We must turn chance into opportunity, opportunities into strategies and strategies into success!
The top 4 skills for success are in the areas of writing, media, public speaking and social media.
More and more RDs are going beyond their standard education to gain experience in these areas. But how can we develop these skills?
- Look at other successful people. What are they doing? What sets them apart?
- Push yourself outside your comfort zone.
- Collaborate with colleagues.
- Hire a business or media coach.
Here are some skill specific suggestions:
Skill #1: Improve Writing Skills
- Take a class. Practice writing skills daily. Have someone critically read your work.
- Seek writing opportunities. Offer to write for newsletters, blogs etc at work, in the community, online. Build your portfolio.
Skill #2: Social Media Skills
- Develop expertise in 1-2 social media platforms. Choose ones that fit your brand, not just what everyone else is doing.
- Observe those with a strong presence. Follow/read blogs and tips from experts. Learn best practices from webinars and workshops.
- Social media is a commitment, not a campaign. It becomes part of who you are and what you do.
- Keep interactions personable, not personal.
Skill #3: Media Skills
- Get media training. You can always learn something.
- Develop and prepare a media kit.
- Practice setting up props and answering questions. Review segments afterwards and learn from them.
- Opportunities don’t always come knocking. Sometimes you have to do the knocking. There are opportunities out there and if they can’t find an RD, they’ll find someone else that’s not as credible. Make yourself available
- Send talking points ahead of time so you don’t get caught off guard.
Skill #4: Public Speaking
- Learn from professional speakers.
- Join a speaking group like your local chapter of the National Speakers Association or Toastmasters.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Seek opportunities to speak your passion.
- Make sure to get paid what you’re worth. Do your research.
- Go outside dietetics and network with other professionals.
- Find and talk to a mentor.
- Hire a business coach.
- Don’t be afraid to ask.
Success is what you make it. Define your focus. Evaluate your skills. Develop your weaknesses. Go for your dreams!
Do you struggle in any of these areas? What are you doing to make yourself better?