If you are in the market for a new job with a new company how do you identify the skills, knowledge, and training the marketplace values and the right messages for the potential employers? Let’s look at a few simple steps.
The first step is to research the current marketplace to identify the skills and job requirements. (I give more tips on searching the current marketplace in my February 15th post.) Don’t worry if you cannot find your ultimate dream job, the point is to identify the kinds of companies that are hiring and the types of positions that are available.
Getting a job offer can be a challenge. Look at yourself from the hiring company’s prospective. More than likely they have waited longer than they should have to fill the position, meaning that their employees are overworked, overwhelmed and over stressed. Now they have to take precious time and resources to advertise for the position, sort through stacks of resumes, conduct multiple rounds of interviews and train the newly hired person. It is a time intensive and resource draining process. Making a poor decision and hiring the wrong person not only results in extreme frustration and stress, but also can cause a company to lose a big project, an important clients, or worse, credibility among peers, clients or companies within the industry.
If you have the skills for the job, the message you should be sending is that you are the one and only candidate – and that you will succeed. Your resume and the answers you give during an interview must give a clear message that you are results driven and have the skills, strengths, and experiences required to succeed at the job.
The number one frustration among my coaching clients is that they are ready to move up to bigger clients, projects, or a promotion, yet are not being given the chance. If that is how you are feeling, then I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my clients: It is up to YOU to prove you will succeed in that expanded role.
One of the single most difficult things to accomplish in your career will be to convince your current company that you will succeed in a higher level position. It’s not impossible, but it IS challenging. That is because your managers have already formed their perceptions of you based on how you have performed at your current level at your day-to-day responsibilities.
You must look at yourself from their prospective. If you want a promotion from within your current company, find out the job requirements and expectations. You need to fully understand the kinds of work experience, level of education, and personal characteristics required for the position you desire. It may not be necessary to have ALL the job requirements for the new position, but it will be critical to have all the major requirements. If you feel you can successfully do the job, then send the message that you have the proven skill set, knowledge, and training the new position requires – and that you will be successful in the new role.
It is not your employer’s responsibility to “take a chance on you” or “give you a shot”. It is up to YOU to prove you will be successful in that role before you get the promotion.
Everything you do and say sends messages to your manager, senior managers, clients, peers, and subordinates. Your words, actions, presentations, reports, work deliverables, and professional accomplishments shape the perceptions others have about you and the value you provide.
You were hired, or promoted, to perform a very specific job function. You were hired over the other candidates because your clients or manager believed that you would successfully deliver something of value. Your message should be that you consistently deliver that promised value.
You should be continuously role modeling those strengths, talents and personal characteristics your company values. You should strive for others to view you as a person with particular expertise who provides high quality and results. In this way, you stand out from your peers and gain credibility that fuels your personal brand. You are also helping to create an emotional connection with your employer so the thought of losing you to a competitor makes him cringe.
So, what is your promise of value? And is it the “right” promise of value? The answer really depends on your current career situation. Over the next couple of weeks I will explore suggestions for your Promise of Value in three different career scenarios.
1 – Employed and struggling in your current position.
2 – Employed, performing successfully in your current position and ready to move up the value chain.
3 – Ready to transition into a new role, company or industry.
As always, I would love to hear your comments or personal experiences related to my posts.
The secret to having a powerful brand is creating a crystal clear message that connects with your audience. Disney’s brand message is “The happiest place on Earth!” Subway is “Eat fresh!” Ford is “Ford trucks are built tough!” Every successful company has a promise of value that they provide to customers. And that promise of value is consistently delivered and reinforced through their products and all types of messages including radio, TV, advertising, in-store displays and media relations.
Personal branding is about delivering a “promise of value” to your manager, clients and peers. Whether it’s developing a mind-blowing marketing campaign, leading a team of high performers, or turning an unprofitable product group into a strong cash cow, your personal brand is fueled by the value that you consistently deliver.
When it comes to finding your signature talents, do not judge yourself against all the other industry experts. That bar is too high and not the intention of this concept.
Let me share a story. When I was working for a regional retail chain in Phoenix, my job included writing and producing the company’s radio and TV commercials. After two years, the senior managers asked if I could write and produce a corporate video to train our field team on a new product line. I said, “Absolutely!” and immediately went back into my office and started hyperventilating. I had no idea how to write and produce a corporate video. Luckily, I had producer friends who walked me through the steps. Within one year, our company’s suppliers started hiring me to write and produce their corporate videos.
I continued producing corporate videos for two more years and was offered a job at a global high-tech company as a worldwide communications manager. Even though I had no experience in high tech, in fact, at that time I barely knew how to program my cell phone, I decided to make the transition from retail to high tech. I went from being a confident, successful marketing professional in the retail industry, to being a tiny, little fish in a humongous ocean of about 90,000 engineering, high-tech fanatics. It was intimidating, to say the least.
I wanted to build my credibility, visibility, and personal brand with my network of peers and senior managers. But how could I do it? I decided to anchor on one of my signature talents – being a corporate video expert.
My producer and director friends would laugh me under the table to hear I was positioning myself as a “video expert”. Of course, it’s only in my mind that I used this term. I never said it out loud, especially since the company had its own corporate video department full of highly qualified producers and directors. But, I knew my videos were pretty good and I could share this knowledge and teach other department managers to create their own internal videos – which is exactly what I did. By bringing attention to one of my signature talents, I became the “go to” person for producing internal videos. I quickly provided value to an extended network of department managers, thus raising my credibility and personal brand within the company.
I was giving a career advancement seminar in Chicago when a participant raised her hand and said she couldn’t do the exercise (identifying your signature talents) because she didn’t have any signature talents. This shocked me because I had co-presented with her a couple of years earlier and was amazed by her knowledge on the topic, which was event planning. I responded by telling her that from my opinion, clearly, she was an expert in event planning. But her response was that she really didn’t view herself as an expert in that area.
If you are also having difficulty identifying your signature talents and you have more than five years of professional work experience, I have two thoughts for you. First, many times during our career we find ourselves in a negative environment such as having conflict with a manager, colleague, or client. And if you’re in a negative environment right now, you may be hearing some inner voice tell you that you are not good enough to be an expert in anything. If that’s the case, then quiet down that voice. I’m here to tell you – you DO have expertise that benefits your employer and clients – or else they wouldn’t have hired you!