Upping Your Game in the New Year with Jim Arnoff

On January 28th, CMA hosted Jim Arnoff at the Center for Remembering and Sharing. Arnoff has been working with the CMA community for over 15 years sharing his background in entertainment law, career counseling, and idea-pitching. During this interactive workshop on “upping your career game” in the new year, Arnoff focused on appropriate and forward-thinking language, potential career advancement obstacles, and tips and tricks for marketing ideas and skill-sets. 

Each attendee introduced themselves at the beginning of the session with a “mock pitch” of sorts sharing their name, interests, projects they are working on, and what they will accomplish in the future. He encouraged the group to speak with confidence, name drop, company drop, award drop, and embrace previous accomplishments as much as possible (no, it is not considered bragging). As attendees “pitched” themselves to the group, Arnoff interjected, coached, and created a comprehensive list of tips, tricks, do’s, and don’ts (summarized below). 

After the introductions, Arnoff facilitated in the creation of two lists. The first focused on how to further “up your game” post-pitch. The second centered around obstacles (or perceived obstacles) that stand in the way of career advancement.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts that came out of the evening that anyone can use to help them “up their game” in their professional life.


  • Let your enthusiasm and passion shine through by being authentic
  • Be confident and commanding and commit to what you are sharing
  • Be specific when talking about your experiences – titles and names of projects are powerful
  • Leave room for personal conversation in order to naturally build connections and trust
  • Network and build relationships by being of service and offering support
  • Have an amazing development slate in case your first idea is not the right fit for whoever you are speaking with


  • Say what you “want” to do. Instead, say what you “will” do
  • Use minimizing words/phrases like “kind of,” “sort of,” and “I guess.” 
  • Use the word “jobs.” Instead, use words such as “positions” and “opportunities” 
  • Try to convince people or prove something to them, instead tell a story about yourself to foster a natural conversation
  •  “Compare and despair” by competing with those around you – focus on yourself and look to others for inspiration
  • Be a yes person – have a creative backbone and hold to what you believe in

If you are a paying CMA member, we have a membership perk we’re offering from Jim for coaching. Once you’re logged into your CMA account, just click the Member Resources tab on our page and then select Member Benefits. The details of the offer are listed toward the bottom of the page (along with a bunch of other great benefits & membership perks).