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Career Levels of the Communication Profession

Strategic Adviser

  • Through the consistent application of the principles, the Strategic Advisor assumes increased stakeholder responsibilities, project and business management roles, and financial administration. The Strategic Advisor provides strategic communication advice to the organization’s leadership.
  • The work of the Strategic Advisor becomes interdependent, taking responsibility for assignments other than their own and developing other leaders with communications responsibilities within the organization.
  • These professionals have strong leadership skills, broad business perspectives, and diverse expertise, exploring diverse communication techniques within various disciplines.

Generalist/ Specialist

  • At this milestone, the communication professional branches into a role with a specific focus (Specialist) or a broad multi-disciplinary focus (Generalist) that provides opportunities for a more strategic approach, applying a deeper understanding of the Global Standard purpose and principles.
  • The Generalist/Specialist leads projects or client engagements independently, developing credibility with stakeholders while building relationships related to areas of interest.
  • Many professionals choose to work in either Generalist or Specialist roles in the same or several organizations throughout their career.

Business Leader

  • A Business Leader plays a crucial role in shaping the organization’s future by advocating for promising people, programs, and ideas that align with the organization’s direction. They lead the application of the principles within their organization and hold the leadership to account.
  • They have developed competence in several areas and are well-regarded in the profession, often operating in a global, national, or regional role. They effectively represent the organization on critical strategic issues and contribute counsel, coaching and function at a peer level with other senior executives.
  • The Business Leader is adept at identifying new business opportunities, motivating buy-in and gaining resources through a well-articulated and clear strategy. They effectively represent the organization on critical strategic issues.


  • When launching their professional career, the communication professional develops initial knowledge, skills, and behaviors, across the Global Standard purpose and principles.
  • The professional contributes under relatively close supervision and direction from a senior person, exercising initiative and creativity within a well-defined area.
  • The professional masters basic tasks and demonstrates competence within a communication strategy or campaign.