Depending on the industry, there are several different paths to becoming a crisis manager, but they all have a few things in common: post-secondary education, public speaking ability, and written communication skills. In addition to these qualifications, most employers seek candidates who have worked under duress and have a thorough understanding of the industry. Typically, this experience is gained through several years of work in a communication or senior management role.
If you want to work as a crisis manager, the first step is to complete a post-secondary education program at an accredited institution. This program includes training in communications, rudimentary psychology, and business law, and is required for anyone who wants to work as a crisis manager. Many colleges and universities offer part-time crisis management certificate programs. These courses are designed to equip students with the skills they’ll need to deal with any crisis, regardless of industry.
All crisis managers must be able to communicate effectively in public. The ability to communicate a complex message to large groups of people quickly and clearly is critical during a crisis. These abilities can be honed through a combination of practice and self-reflection, as well as a formal training program. A person who wants to become a crisis manager will frequently take courses or hire a coach to improve his or her public speaking skills.
Anyone interested in becoming a crisis manager must also have excellent written communication skills. Many businesses provide free courses in business communication or writing, but anyone interested in working as a crisis manager will need more advanced training. To help transform standard business writing into crisp, effective writing that is clear and concise, look for certificate programs or a writing coach.
An industry-specific strategy or a position-specific strategy can be used to find a position as a crisis manager. Candidates with significant experience or training in a particular industry should focus their job search on positions in that industry. A crisis manager’s experience and training in the skills required for the job will make him or her very marketable. This is very common in the healthcare and engineering industries, where understanding the nature of the crisis and determining the best course of action necessitates a high level of technical knowledge and credentials.
Candidates with a more extensive work history should look for a crisis management position in a company that prioritizes public relations. Recent college graduates are in the same boat. Within the public relations or communications departments of large companies that provide services to the general public, crisis management roles are frequently found.