Without A Safety Net: Tony Effik On How He Leveled Up His Career

Kwame Som-Pimpong
Written by Kwame Som-Pimpong
Effik
Always ready, always thinking about what’s next: NBCUniversal executive Tony Effik shares key strategies for navigating a career. Photo: Moguldom

How strategic are you in jumping from one opportunity to the other as you progress through your career? Tony Effik shares two key strategies for navigating your career strategically on Episode 38 of the GHOGH podcast with host Jamarlin Martin.

Tony is senior vice president of client strategy at NBCUniversal where he helps clients figure out how they’re going to activate their brands across NBC’s portfolio. He is also an adjunct professor of marketing at Columbia University.

Seek out objective difference

Tony points out that as you advance higher in your career, it is more difficult to distinguish between high-level executives. At the higher levels, people get opportunities because of the relationships they have. Because of that, it is key to find something that objectively differentiates you from your counterparts. 

To find his key differentiator, Tony looked around at what was happening in the advertising industry. He started to believe that data science was going to be a game-changer for the industry. He did the work to build expertise in the space and to align his brand with it by becoming an adjunct professor at Columbia University. That was his signal to the industry that he was objectively different.

Looking for ideas on how you can brand yourself as objectively different?

Here are some resources:

Keep going

In case you feel yourself getting comfortable, Tony stresses that he has to keep hustling to stay ahead. His trigger for not getting comfortable is knowing that he doesn’t from a background where a safety net is available for him. Because of his continuous pushing, Tony says that he’s always ready. He’s always thinking about what’s next. This approach has given him the edge he needs to remain ahead.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 38: Tony Effik

Jamarlin talks to Tony Effik, SVP of Client Strategy at NBCUniversal, about where the digital media business is going. Tony talks about directing strategy across the largest multi-billion dollar media portfolio, opportunities with subscriptions, and the business of podcasting.

Looking for inspiration to continue going? Here are some resources:

Tony leaves us with major keys on how to best maximize our careers: seeking your objective difference and not getting comfortable. Let’s get to it and GHOGH!

Kwame Som-Pimpong advises clients on incorporating human-centered design into their strategy development processes. He is also a writer covering business, technology, policy, and their intersections with black people. He earned a BA in Political Science from Davidson College and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. He can be reached at kwame.som.pimpong@gmail.com.