Taking More Control Over Your Career

It’s easy to think sometimes that successful professionals are lucky.  But the fact is they encounter as many obstacles and roadblocks as anyone else. 

So how do they keep ahead of the pack and constantly get pay raises, promotions, and the best opportunities?  Because they are what I call “career smart“. They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with the purpose of advancing their career.

Being career smart is NOT about accepting whatever job is handed to you, but instead it’s about finding opportunities inside that job, or elsewhere, that allow you to create a career that inspires you. 

Below are three strategies to help you be career smart 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 dull and listless (like the Clairol Herbal Essence girl before she shampoos her hair), 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!
 
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.  Send the “right” messages.

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.

Send 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.  Be open to 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.  I naively was only looking at it as another volunteer opportunity that cut into my professional and personal life.  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 assertive, and aggressively seek out new career opportunities.  Give serious consideration to each and every possibility that comes your way. Never decline an opportunity without getting a fresh perspective from people in your circle whom you respect.  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?” 

Successful professionals aren’t lucky.  They are career smart.  They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with the purpose of advancing their career.  So step up, branch out, and start being receptive to new possibilities.  There are always opportunities around you.  You just have to go after them! 

Your Assignment…

Become career smart!

Determine what kind of career you WANT.  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.

Then, start talking to managers, mentors, clients, and potential employers about the kind of responsibilities that you want.  By talking about the career you want, you’ll be much more likely to achieve it!

Finally, be receptive to new opportunities.  Whether it’s an opportunity for a new job, a new assignment, or even a volunteer position, ask yourself, “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?”  When you start taking on new opportunities you’ll be one step closer to achieving a career where you can thrive – and not just survive!

How are you going to become career smart?  Share your ideas with me so I can see them and support you!! 🙂

 

5 Strategies for More Job Offers

It’s scary out there.  In a world of constant career turmoil there seems to be a tsunami of lay-offs, re-orgs and career setbacks happening across the globe.  So how can you turn the tides so that you’re in a position of more control, confidence, and just plain happiness?     

 

 

 

 

 

The answer is by investing in yourself so that you have more career offers and opportunities!

A new client I’ll call “Jim” recently called me and said that he had gone through a change in management which resulted in losing his 7-year position as the General Manager of a prestigious golf course.

He told me that after one year of searching, he had taken the “only job he could get” which was working part-time in the golf pro shop at a different golf course. After talking for a few minutes, it became painfully clear why Jim wasn’t able to get back on his career path.

  1. Invest in Yourself.
    Jim shared that the golf industry was changing and that companies were requiring a specific kind of training and certification to be a General Manager. But Jim wasn’t stepping up and getting the training. He’d rather fight the system (which he was losing) and not invest $2,000 for the training in the hopes of one day getting hired again as a General Manager. What Jim was actually doing was down sizing his career, his morale, and his paycheck by electing not to invest in himself.

    Never let your career sit on a shelf longer than 6-months. Never!  Keep the same drive and discipline that you had when you were employed. Get focused. Get a plan. Make it happen. Wallowing isn’t allowed.  Create opportunities by using your “in-between” time to get any training or education you may need.  If you’re not working, then start freelancing or consulting. Join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, boost your resume and expand your network.
     

  2. Fish where the fish are.
    Another mistake Jim was making was not having a solid job search plan. Where are your potential employers? Find out by reading trade magazines, industry publications, company websites and classified ads in your local newspapers to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.

    Then, start attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and  association meetings.  Also, join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to get connected to industry leaders and company decision makers. Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire you, hire you, or introduce you to potential employers.
     

  3. Be a resource to others.    
    Never give the impression that you’re hungry for a job.  Instead, you want to be seen as someone who drives initiatives, solves problems and leads teams.  This is one reason why you want to consult, freelance, or volunteer while you’re in between jobs. 

    Get personal with your professional network.  Send out links to reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think might interest them.  Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers.  Influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful.
     

  4. Give your resume the “it” factor.
    When it comes to resumes – looks are everything!  If you’ve been applying for jobs that you’re qualified for, but you’re not getting the interviews, then you need a stronger resume.

    Hiring managers can have stacks and stacks of resumes piled high on their desk which means that if your resume doesn’t have the “it” factor – you’re toast.  Don’t lose out on a great job because your resume doesn’t stand up against your competition.  Instead, invest in a professional resume critique. You’ll get specific strategies based on your goals, strengths and accomplishments to get the attention of hiring managers and put yourself in high demand! 
     

  5. Interview smart.  
    If you’re getting interviews, but not job offers – then you need stronger interviewing skills.

    Interviewing brings up a lot of anxiety mostly because it seems that the interviewer has so much power and you, the one being interviewed, has so little.  But there are things you can do to balance the scales of power.  Invest in a session with an interview coach before your next interview.  You’ll get crisp, solid strategies to learn how showcase your strengths, answer the tough questions and what to say to close the interview. 

The point is that if you’ve been unemployed or at a lower level position for longer than six months, then you need to shake things up!  Try different career strategies and start thinking outside the box. And never, ever give up your drive, ambition and courage that it takes to move your career forward.

Your job is out there waiting for you. You just need to go get it!

Your Assignment…  

Invest in yourself so that you have more career offers and opportunities!

Make a plan right now to get any training or education you need to get your next job. Think ahead to the career that you really want.  Read job postings to understand the qualifications and skills that are required.  If you need training or education, then schedule time on your calendar to research options, costs and time commitments.   

If you need experience to make your next career move, then invest your time in freelancing or consulting. Join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, boost your resume and expand your network.

Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire you, hire you, or introduce you to potential employers.  Schedule time in your calendar to attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and  association meetings.  Also, join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to get connected to industry leaders and company decision makers.

If you’re feeling stuck and need some help reinventing your career, then consider hiring a career coach.  A career coach can give you the tools, support and the roadmap to help you advance your career.   Be prepared to come into a session with your toughest questions, biggest challenges, and an open mind to get new ideas, strategies and best practices to get your career on track!

How are you going to invest in yourself?  Share your strategies with me in the “comments” section below…  🙂

4 Ways to Make Yourself Marketable

Do you ever wonder how some people manage their career in a way that seems – effortless?   A constant stream of plum projects, job opportunities, and even promotions seem to come easy and drop in their lap.

So how exactly do they do it, and more importantly, how can you do it?

The answer is “stickiness.”

In advertising, sticky products, companies, or brands keep people coming back for more.  The stickier the product, the more likely it will fly off the shelf and be in high demand.

In the business world, sticky employees stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and discover hidden job opportunities that non-sticky people never even know about.

Below are four ways to make yourself sticky…

1. Get excited about your career!
Sticky people enjoy their job and enjoy sharing information to help project teams and companies advance.  Having a great attitude, a sense of humor and a results-oriented, competitive spirit makes others want to be around you.

One more thing.  Confidence is a must.  Arrogance is a showstopper.
2. Become a jack-of-all-trades within an organization.
One way to be sticky is to become knowledgeable in several key areas so that you can float seamlessly between projects, teams, or even companies. This is an excellent strategy during turbulent times as companies are cutting staffs and shutting down lines of services.

Letting organizations know that you’re nimble, have two or three key skillsets, and add value in a variety of ways gives you a leading edge against other professionals they may be considering promoting, or hiring.

Another key ingredient for being sticky is having a professional network that’s deep and wide so that if you can’t answer a question or solve a problem, you know where to go to get the answer or support you need.
3. Carve out a niche for yourself.
Conversely to being a jack-of-all-trades is being an expert or the “go to” person in a specialized area.  Learn everything you can through training, reading books, and mentors and then apply it to your teams and projects.

Become “the source” for information and sharing your knowledge freely with others will help make you sticky and indispensable to an organization.

 

4. Be a resource to others.
People are the jet fuel behind your career.  They can promote you, hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.  So whether you’re employed or not, having a powerful professional network is critical to your career.

The key is becoming a resource for others.  Send out quick e-mails with links to books, white papers, press releases, news articles, or websites that you think may interest those in your network.  Volunteer to introduce your connections to others who may help them solve a problem, offer advice, or potentially advance that person’s career.

One of the key benefits of being a key resource to others, is the more likely you are to get career support when you need it such as a personal recommendation or a new job lead!

 Your Assignment…

Make yourself sticky!

Identify three (3) people in your professional network who you could help RIGHT NOW by either giving them a piece of information, sharing some advice, or introducing them to someone else that you know.

By taking the time and initiative to help out others in your network, you’ll be creating a network who wants to help you advance your career.

The point is to take control of your career.  Making yourself sticky means that companies and others in your professional network look to you as a valuable resource.  So step up and get sticky!  You’ll find that you’re able to stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and managing the ups and downs of your career will seem – effortless!  Ahhhhhhh

How are you going to make yourself more marketable?  🙂

TV Interview – Career Tips for Keeping Your Job!

Yesterday, I was interviewed by NBC-TV Phoenix to share a few of my tips on how to be resilient in the workplace…

What do you think? Share you comments or thoughts… 🙂

Do you keep saying to yourself, “I need a new job!”

Do you keep telling yourself, “I need a new job!”
Are you thinking it every day?

Do you dream of starting a fresh, new career where people appreciate you? Where you can focus on your strengths and talents, and be valued for your expertise? Or maybe reinventing yourself into an entirely new job role or industry where you’re doing something more meaningful and inspiring?

Maybe you’ve been pushing away that thought because it seems impossible, or overwhelming, or maybe because you simply don’t know how to change your career?

But what if you can no longer silence the dream? When that voice keeps coming back to you, louder and stronger, saying “I need a new job!”, and no matter how many times you push it out of your mind it keeps coming back. What do you do then?

The reason so many people stay in unmotivating and unfulfilling jobs is because it’s easy to do. It’s familiar, it takes minimal effort, it’s easy to blank out and be a zombie for 8 hours a day, and there’s comfort in knowing you’re getting the bills paid.

It’s easy because there’s minimal risk and minimal effort. But there’s also minimal reward. Doing drudgery work actually drains us of energy, makes us cranky and lowers our quality of life. Do you think that if you’re energized about doing work that excites you, that you’ll be making more significant contributions, and therefore, have more opportunities for promotions, advancement and a higher quality of life?

Earlier in my career, I made the mistake of believing that if someone hired me, then that was where I was meant to be. BIG mistake!! Later in my career, I learned that I need to set the bar higher for myself. I learned that jumping into a new, and sometimes scary, career was worth the risk. I also learned how to create more options and how to make better decisions about where I work and who I work for.

I fully believe that life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you’re unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued. I’ve had a few of those jobs myself and I remember waking up every morning and dreading going into work. During those times, the highlight of my day was usually having lunch with a few close colleagues. If the highlight of your day is eating lunch – then it’s time to make a career change.

I’ve reinvented myself four (4) times and each time, I successfully landed in my dream career! For me, I tend to stay in a career 4-5 years, and then through natural curiosity (or ADD? ;)) I tend to want to jump into another job role or industry. And each one of my career changes started out the same way – by allowing myself to dream about career possibilities and then creating one clear vision.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT… Give your dream a shout out!!  Tell the universe your career dream by writing it down (you can even write it down below in the “comments section.”  

Once you write it down, you’ll be well on your way to making it a reality! 🙂

Giving Youreself Time for Rejuvenating, Replinishing and Dreaming…

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I just returned home after renting an ocean-view condo in Long Beach for one month.

One full month of playing at the beach, building sandcastles, staring out at the ocean and daydreaming, digging my toes into wet sand and then watching it all wash away.

When I’m at home, I spend my days helping clients transition into their dream career and in my “free” time I share my tips in TV and radio interviews, speaking at conferences across the country and writing for my blog and newsletter!  

So the only time I have to think about my own career is when I go on vacation. 

It’s important to carve out time in our busy calendars to rejuvenate our spirit and daydream about possibilities.  (In fact, this is one of the key assignments I give to my clients which is why I believe they have such a high success rate!)

My dream is to be able to take off one month during the summer, AND the entire month of December off (I looooove the Christmas holidays ;))    That would mean working 10 months of the year, and taking 2 months off.  I’m not there yet, but with each year, I get closer to making it a reality. 

So tell me, What is your career dream…?  🙂

What your Interviewer REALLY wants to know about you…

Do you know what your interviewer really wants to know about you?

Preparing your answers for an interview is so much eeeeeasier when you know what the interviewer really wants to know about you! Once you understand what those are, you can be more prepared, more confident and feel less anxiety during the interview process.

Here are three (3) of my exclusive insider secrets into the mindset of interviewers and what they really want to know about you…

  1. Can you do the job?
    Do you have the skills, knowledge, and training to successfully perform the job? These questions are usually very black and white.How you should prepare: Read the job description 4 or 5 times to fully understand all of the job requirements. Select the top 2-3 critical skills that are most important.Think back on your career and select some “success stories” that you’ve had with each of those skills. Specifically, talk about the situation, how you demonstrated that skill, and the results. Keep it short and simple. Practice saying your success stories out loud. Your answers should be specific and focus on results and accomplishments.
  2. What “extras” do you bring?
    For most job openings, about 80% of the work has been defined. In other words, a hiring manager knows about 80% of the work that the new employee will be responsible for, but not the remaining 20%. That is because they want to know, “What can you (the new employee) ADD to the position?”What extra skills or areas of expertise do you have that can ADD VALUE to the company? For example, if you’re going for a job as a Pubic Relations manager, you may have some experience in marketing or desktop publishing that is not required for the job, but might be valuable to the company. This “extra” skill may position you as the TOP candidate for the job.How you should prepare: Before you go into a job interview, think about the additional skills and talents that you can bring to the position. Be sure to work these skills into the conversation, but only after you have discussed those skills and qualifications that are REQUIRED for the job.
  3. Where are you at risk?
    Every new employee is a risk to an organization. Whether it’s a specific requirement that you don’t meet, or a skill you don’t have, or potentially being overqualified for the position, or taking a medical leave of absence, etc. So, spend some time thinking about where YOU are a risk.How you should prepare: During the interview, beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where you a risk and reassuring him why it won’t be a problem. For example, when I was interviewing at the NBC Affiliate TV Station (where I worked for 4 years), the Operations Manager was asking a lot of what I thought were too detailed questions about my experience. I jumped in and said, “I’ve read the job description over and over, and I’m absolutely confident I can do this job. The one concern I have is that I don’t know how to work the equipment in the news room.” She looked at me, breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Oh! We can teach you that!” She hired me the next day and I worked for her for 4 terrific years :)Addressing your risks is also the reasoning behind the question, “Tell me about any weaknesses you have.” When you are asked this question, I recommend that you respond by bringing up an area for improvement, but quickly add what you are already doing to strengthen that skill.For example, let’s say that you are interviewing for a position for a Sales VP and the position advertises that the applicant should know a specialized software application. If you are not familiar with this tool, you could say that you do not have a lot of experience with it but that you are taking an on-line training class to sharpen your skills (but only say this if it’s true!)

    This approach shows that you are serious about your professional development and take the initiative to grow and improve your skills.

And finally…
Do you have any interviewing tips to share?  I’d love to hear about 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.

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Resume Secrets to Get More Career Opportunities, Job Offers and even a Higher Salary!

The biggest challenge in today’s tough job market is how to stand out from competition and put yourself in high demand with hiring managers. Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview. It can also position you as the TOP candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.

So what does a great resume look like?

As a leading career coach, I help professionals and executives reinvent themselves and transition into a new career every day.  Below are five (5) of my resume secrets to help you get you more career opportunities, more job interviews and even a higher salary!

  1. Feature the “right” key words.
    Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings. Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description. Read every skill, qualification and requirement listed in the job posting. Those are the “key words” that you’ll want to showcase throughout your resume.

    I always like to list key words using a bullet format in bold fonts towards the top of the resume. This way, the hiring manager will see your key strengths within seconds of picking up your resume.

    **BONUS tip: Repeat key words throughout the “experience” section of your resume to show that you have a history, or pattern, of building those skills.

  2. Show results.
    This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes. So many professionals make the mistake of focusing on responsibilities on their resume when they need to instead be focusing on RESULTS. In other words, how did you add value to your previous organizations?

    Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers. For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month, and an average of $10,000 per client. That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients! So one of your career highlights should be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.

    **BONUS tip: Quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.

  3. Highlight leadership and teamwork.
    Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. Highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects, programs and teams that you’ve led.

    If you’re light in leadership experience, then highlight any leadership responsibilities you may have had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church, or extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.

    **BONUS tip: Use strong verbs such as: Initiated, orchestrated, implemented and led.

  4. Be specific and clear.
    Don’t waste your resume space (or the hiring manager’s time) by using “filler” words or vague overarching comments like, “received awards for various contributions”, or “launched several products”. List the specific awards you received, or the names of the products you’ve launched. By doing so, you’ll be giving your resume substance and credibility.

    Don’t worry if it’s a product nobody’s heard about or is difficult to explain on your resume. You want the hiring manager to be curious about you. That’s why they have interviews – so they can get more information about your qualifications.

    **BONUS tip: Be brief. Be specific. Provide enough information that will leave hiring managers wanting more.

  5. Relevant, targeted and customized.
    Employers don’t have time to read about every single skill and job that you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Are you qualified to do their job? Customize your resume to go for the job and company you want. A hiring manager will notice you so much more if your resume is specifically targeted to that position for which you are applying.

    **BONUS tip: Only include those jobs, skills, and successes that will help you get your next job.

And finally…

How confident are you that your resume is going to stand out from your competition?
Invest in having your resume professionally critiqued. Getting personalized recommendations from a resume expert could not only get you more high quality job interviews, but also more career opportunities and even a higher starting salary!
If you’d like me to create a fabulous, professional resume for you, check out my resume web page.

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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.

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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