Career Reinvention Trends: Cities Hiring 'Chief Innovation Officers'
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Well, reinvention wins again and its in the form of a new job title that’s gaining popularity in city governments. Chief innovation officers are being hired in cities including Kansas City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Leandro, Calif. and Davis, Calif. But what exactly do they do? Ashley Hand, who started the Kansas City’s first chief innovation officer just three months ago, told Fortune her role is “fostering a culture of innovation. Identifying the city’s future technology needs and then acting as a ‘facilitator’ to make them reality is part of the job. Hand’s background is anything but technology. She’s an architect by training who has worked in marketing and as a management consultant.”

Fortune also reports that this trend is likely taking a page from corporations such as Dell, Citi, and Coca-Cola, all companies that have hired CIOs to help them remain competitive in their respective markets.

This goes to show that in today’s fast-paced job market, reinventing one’s brand or applying traditional skills to nontraditional — or previously nonexistent— jobs is essential and lucrative. It’s yet another push to find unique and out-of-the-box opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.