Creating More Career Opportunities

 

I consider myself wealthy, not based on money, but because I have so many opportunities available to me in my career. Successful professionals aren’t lucky.  They’re what I call “career smart.”  They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with one purpose: to advance their career.

Being career smart is NOT about accepting whatever job is handed to you, but instead it’s about creating opportunities that allow you to have a career that inspires you.  

Want to learn how to do it?  Below are three of my biggest strategies to help you become career smart, create more opportunities and achieve a career that fills you with purpose, meaning, and passion!  

  1. Get into a career where you can thrive (not just survive!)
    It’s impossible to thrive in a career if you’re just going through the motions at work.  If you’re walking around tired and bored, then others are sure to see you that way.  You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you!  How can you start that transition?
    Think about what kind of work you WANT to be doing.  Identify three key ingredients you need in your career to be happy and fulfilled such as leading teams, working on creative projects, developing new technologies, etc.  Once you’ve defined the three key ingredients, then do whatever it takes to drive your career towards that vision. 
     
  2. Share your value!
    Everything you do and say sends messages to your senior managers, clients, networking contacts and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, status reports, resume, and interview responses all shape the perceptions others have about you. You should be sending a crystal clear message that focuses on the value that you consistently deliver to a company or client.Your “value” is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments, and personal characteristics such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc.  All of these things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants. The key is to role model the “value” that you provide by consistently demonstrating it, living it and breathing it.
     
  3. Open your mind to new possibilities.
    I love the funny saying, “If you want to make God laugh – tell him your plans.”  🙂 One of the biggest mistakes I ALMOST made was declining the privilege of serving on the American Marketing Association’s National Council.  What a HUGE mistake that would have been! I narrowly was only looking at it as just another volunteer opportunity that would burden me with a list of task and deliverables.  Fortunately, a mentor helped me see the bigger picture which was a tremendous gift that could strengthen my leadership skills, deepen my marketing expertise, broaden my professional network, and advance my career ten fold.  (After accepting the position and serving just one year, I was named President of the AMA’s National Council which advanced my career up to a completely new level.)Be open to experiencing new career opportunities.  You should be giving serious consideration to each and every possibility that comes your way. Never decline an opportunity without first getting a fresh perspective from people in your circle whom you respect. 

And finally…

Whether you’re considering a new job, or a new assignment in your current organization, answer the questions, “What could be the best possible benefit?”  “Could this help me learn a new skill or strengthen a current skill?”  “Could this be a stepping stone to help me achieve my ultimate career goal?” 

Step up, branch out, and start being receptive to new possibilities.  There are always opportunities around you.  You just have to go after them! 🙂

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Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.  To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360′s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages

The Art of Promoting Yourself without Bragging

  

As a leading career coach, I’m seeing that a lot of clients have one common challenge:  talking about themselves!    

More specifically, How can you talk about yourself in your networking opportunities, interviews and to hiring managers without sounding like you’re bragging?
 
Talking about yourself can be one of the most difficult challenges in making a career change, but the fact is, people aren’t going to know what a superstar you are unless you tell them! 🙂
  
I use to be intimidated by this, too, until I learned some very important lessons.   To help you, I’m sharing three (3) of my networking strategies to help you reinvent your career faster…
  
  1. Talk about your projects, teams, and the value they delivered to the organization. 
    It may feel uncomfortable talking about your achievements, but the fact is you won’t get noticed (yet alone hired!) if you don’t talk about them!Here’s a tip – focus on the projects and teams you contributed to, and the value they delivered to the organization. 

    Talk about goals, or stretch goals, that were met and how they benefited the organization to help increase revenue, save costs, or gain more market share.

  2. Focus on results. 
    Many career changers make the mistake of focusing on their previous responsibilities they’ve had in past jobs.  What I want you to do is talk about the results you’ve helped achieve on your projects, programs and teams. All programs are measured in terms of success metrics (or else they wouldn’t get funded) so if you don’t know the results – go back and ask the project managers or department managers. 

    Here’s a bonus tip!  To add even more credibility and rise about your competition, I want you to quantify your achievements with a number, dollar, or percentage.For example, instead of saying that you managed a sales team for a specific product, instead, say that you led a team of 5 sales professionals who increased sales by 25% and generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years!  Quantifying your successes says that you are a driver, high achiever, and that you get results. 

  3. Attitude is the key ingredient! 
    I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion.  To get the job at the NBC-TV station in Monterey and beat out the other 100 job candidates, I was passionate about the company AND the position.  Even though I didn’t have the kind of experience that was required, I told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job.

    There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside.  A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing.  When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job.   

And finally… 

Great companies are ALWAYS looking to hire great talent – and that means you!  So, if you’re serious about getting into a new career, then follow these three tips, power up your confidence, and believe in yourself!  You’ll significantly increase your chances of getting hired, decrease the time it takes, and be much more likely to transition into a new career that inspires you. 

  

Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.  To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages