Are you living a “small” career?

 

 

Nothing is worse than living in a small world in your career.  Doing boring work where you feel under-utilized, under-challenged and under-valued in your job.

I’ve found myself there a couple of times during my own career and I’ve learned that you if you truly want to have a career that excites you, then you have to step up, take ownership and look for ways to expand your skillset, your scope and your leadership abilities.

 

That’s what I admire about Vid Vidysagara’s story.

In my new book, The Bounce Back, he reveals how his career had once flatlined as a Project Manager and how he took control to move into a management position with more visibility, influence and leadership responsibilities.

Here’s an excerpt from Vid’s story…

“I was in a rut. I was a project manager working for a technology company, and had 6 years of successful performance reviews. But I was working long days and felt pigeonholed as an expert in a particular area with no opportunity for growth.

Then, one day I noticed that a project owned by a senior leader urgently needed resources. This project had been shunned by many others, due to the tough goal set and the unattractive nature of hard work required. Despite being overstretched, I volunteered. I just wanted the chance of doing something different and working with a senior leader of the company.

Although my day now was stretched even longer, I found that this volunteer opportunity brought some excitement and differentiation to my otherwise boring routine. By definition, a “project” has a start and end date, so I knew the situation would be temporary and was determined to make the best of my investment. A few months into the project, there were some personnel changes that were made and I was given a terrific opportunity to become the project leader.

After the project was successfully completed, I volunteered for several more high profile projects. By increasing my visibility, network and reputation with Sr. leaders, I have been given numerous opportunities to branch out into other challenging areas and grow in my career in management.”

Vid goes on to say how he believes that there are always opportunities around (even though at first they may not look very attractive), and that he has gone on to mentor several employees on how to look for opportunities to help them build their credibility and influence, develop a new skill, or even help secure employment.

I love Vid’s story because it’s a wonderful example of how he stepped up and made things happen. Rarely, if ever, do plumb jobs and assignments land in your lap. You have to go after them! You have to look for volunteer assignments where you can stretch and flex your professional muscles. It’s okay to get into a career rut. It’s just not okay to stay in one. 🙂

Are you living small in  your career right now…?

 

————————————————————————————-

Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

How a Finance Guru got Four (4) Job Offers in just 3 weeks After Being Laid Off

Whether you want a new career because you’ve been laid off or because you’re ready to leave frustrating and unsatisfying job, there is one key skill that will be critical to your success – your ability to be a rainmaker for your own career and create job offers and opportunities.

I love that Chris Rock says, Being rich has nothing to do with money. It has to do with having opportunities.

My good friend Cindy Hoyme is the poster girl for creating opportunities!  She had been a rock star in the financial industry for 30 years, when 8 months ago her boss brusquely told her that her job had been eliminated due to the down economy. Suddenly unemployed, and the main bread winner for her family with a daughter in college – she had to find a new job FAST! In my new book, The Bounce Back, Cindy reveals how she networked her buns off to receive a remarkable four job offers in three weeks!

Here’s an excerpt from Cindy’s story…

“After 30 years in the financial business and many job changes due to better opportunities, I was faced with a sudden job loss. I felt abandoned by the person who had hired me and I had been working with for 10 years. With a daughter in college and financial obligations, I needed a new job and needed one fast. I had not updated my resume in years, nor had I kept up with my networking.

Waiting was not an option for me. I updated my resume and then contacted everyone I knew that had called me when they were seeking employment. I set a goal to have one appointment a day. I set up 21 appointments in three weeks, getting to know every Starbucks in town. I kept a normal schedule and did not hesitate to call almost anyone.”

Cindy goes on to talk about a variety of strategies she used to get reacquainted with past colleagues, managers and clients, which in turn, helped her land appointments, interviews and eventually four potential job offers.

“The interviewing and job seeking process is much different now than it was 10 years ago. It wasn’t shopping my resume on the Internet that got me my next job, but instead it was by word of mouth. In my industry talking to people and getting connected is still the way to secure good positions.

Thanks to developing and expanding my large network, I had four potential job offers that came together around the same time. I did not want to take the first offer but, instead, evaluated what I really wanted in my next career and what kind of people I wanted to work for. With the power of prayer and lots of good friends and acquaintances, I landed on my feet with a great company. I feel grateful and very fortunate, especially in this job market, for my new career. During the transition, I also researched and looked into certifications to pursue a second income in the future which now is a possibility.”

What I love about Cindy’s story is that she learned how to be a rainmaker for her own career.  She didn’t sit back and wait for job openings to pop up online.  Instead, she fast tracked her job search by going straight to her professional community asking for job leads, referrals and recommendations. Not only did she receive four job offers in just three weeks, but now she’s proactively creating opportunities to help secure her new job, and her future!

————————————————————————————-

Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Would you leave your safe job for the chance at something better?

Where’s the point that you would stop settling for an average or mediocre career, and put it all on the line for a chance at something better?

Rich Dubek found his tipping point after spending 20 years working in television as an award winning reporter in Phoenix. He talked about the frustration he had, the risks he took and the strategies he put in place to set himself up for success in the next chapter of his career in my new book, The Bounce Back.  Here’s an excerpt from Rich’s story…

“I had been a successful, two-time Emmy award winning Senior News Reporter for many years at a local NBC television affiliate. I loved my job, and I had recently broken some major national stories, exceeding all the lofty goals set by my employer. But I had worked long hours under the most stressful of circumstances as I continued to “pay my dues,” sacrificing time with my family in the process.

After 15 years with the same TV station, I set my sights on a new goal – to move from being a TV news reporter, into a TV news anchor. In the rapidly changing media world I knew news reporters were getting younger and cheaper, while being asking to do much more for less. In addition, the bottom line – not the quality of work as a reporting journalist – was rapidly becoming the priority for TV news management and this didn’t match with my personal values or ambition.

I was on top of my game when my employer wanted me to sign a new 3-year contract. I only asked my employer for one thing: The opportunity to advance my career with fill-in anchor opportunities in addition to my reporting duties. They offered me a pay increase but clearly stated I would not have the opportunity to anchor.

I realized that I needed to assess my long-term goals. Did I want to lock myself into a job I already had mastered for three more years, with no option to branch out and learn new skills? Was it worth missing out on my wife and teenage sons’ life events such as holidays, basketball games and band gigs?

If I left the TV station, what would I do? Go to another TV station where I might get a better opportunity but more likely would be stuck in the same industry with the same standards and demanding work schedules? Or do something entirely different?

A couple of things were clear: I really enjoyed telling stories, producing videos, and helping people become better communicators, and I had built a successful career doing these things. I didn’t want to move to a completely new career, I just wanted to apply my skills in a different way. I had also heard about the freelance media world, where “news people” could continue to work in the business but on their own terms. This sounded appealing. After my assessment of the situation, and a long talk with my wife (whose support was and still is critical to my success), I knew it was time for me to take the leap of faith. I decided to walk away from my successful job and paycheck and go out on my own.”

Rich goes on to tell about how he made the decision to quit his job, and the strategies that he put in place to set himself up for success as he ventured out to start his own successful business, AZ Freelance TV.   He talks about how making a decision about changing careers isn’t just about a new job, but that it’s also considering factors such as lifestyle, family, independence and self-management, as well as income and benefits.

Just because you get hired in a job, doesn’t mean that you have to stay there forever. Your drive and passion can change over time, and with that, may come the need to change your career. Career changes are hard, but the key lesson out of Rich Dubek’s story is that when you plan ahead, mitigate the risks and set yourself up for success – you actually can have it all!

————————————————————————————-

Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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…  🙂

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! 🙂

————————————————————————————————–

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

 

How to Create, Market and Role Model a Powerful Personal Brand

Personal Branding is a hot topic these days, but do you really know what it means?

 

And do you know how to leverage your personal brand to get the career you really want?

Getting bigger promotions, better clients and a more meaningful career depends largely on how you’re perceived by senior managers, colleagues, peers, and potential clients or employers. To maximize your career opportunities and get into a career that actually inspires you to get out of bed in the morning, let’s start by strengthening your personal brand.

Step #1. Identify your value.


Having a powerful personal brand means that you consistently deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. In other words, it’s the skills, experience and value that you provide to your employer or clients. Whether it’s bringing in new streams of revenue, managing highly valued projects or developing creative marketing campaigns, your career is fueled by the value that you consistently deliver to employers.

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 combined make up your “value package,” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates and even job applicants.

Read the full article on the Fresh Start blog.  🙂

Bouncing Back After a Lay-Off

Three of my clients were hired last week(!) including Cindy, a financial analyst in the mortgage industry who had been laid off 3 months earlier. In fact, Cindy received two (2) job offers in the same week!

After being in the banking industry for 20 years, and with the same company for 10, she found herself abruptly out of a job just before the Christmas holidays. She first contacted me six weeks ago, saying that she needed help finding a new job fast!

Specifically, her challenge was “How do you get a new job, when you were laid off in your last position?”

As Cindy’s Career Coach, our first step was to go through the grieving process.  Cindy had been so focused on finding her next job, that she hadn’t been able to let go of all the pain, dissappointment and embarrassment that comes with being laid off.  It’s natural to have those feelings, and it’s important to work through those emotions so that you can let them go and move on to your interviews feeling confident and assured.

Many, many professionals have been laid off in this economy, so there is no shame in being laid off.  Where it gets tricky though, is knowing how to answer questions to showcase yourself in the best light. 

By learning more about Cindy’s talents, strengths and accomplishments I helped her map out her network, and prepare a 3-step strategy to help her promote herself in a tactful way! 😉  


So, how do you speak about your strengths and successes in a tactful way without making it sound like you’re bragging?  Below are 3 key strategies to help you tactfully toot your own horn without sounding cheeeeeesy…

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.  On your resume, in your interviews, and in your networking opportunities – instead of talking about your previous responsibilities, talk about tangible results you helped to achieve. When you quantify your achievements with a number, dollar, or percentage, you add credibility to your successes and rise above the competition.

For example, instead of saying that you managed a sales team for a specific product, instead, say that you led a sales team that 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 offer 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.
 
 

3 Easy Ways to Put Yourself in High Demand with Hiring Managers

As a leading Career Coach for professionals and executives, my phone rings every day with professionals  (just like you!) looking to make a career change.  I know what a tough job market it is right now, but my clients are consistently able to put themselves in high demand with new clients, managers and hiring managers.  In fact, 3 of my clients are interviewing this week!
 
If you’re looking for your next career opportunity – then I have three (3) of my biggest career changing success strategies to help you change your career faster…

 

1. Keep yourself marketable. If you’re looking for a new job, then use your “in-between” time to get any training or education you may need. Job requirements can change over the years. Industries can change. So make sure you stay current with the demands of the market by assessing your skills and qualifications with what the market is demanding. Most industries have a kind of license or certification that’s highly valued – such as project management certification, marketing certification, financial planning licenses, and so on. So keep yourself marketable by staying current with required training and education.

Another strategy for keeping yourself marketable when you’re not working, is to start freelancing or consulting. This shows hiring managers that you take initiative and that you’re considered an expert in your field by others. Also, join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, expand your network, and boost your resume.

2. Fish where the fish are. In other words, know where your potential employers are. Find out by reading trade magazines, industry publications, company websites and websites that advertise job openings like CareerJournal.com, and CareerBuilder.com to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.

You can also learn about companies that are hiring by attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Another good idea is to 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 others who could potentially hire you.

3. Be a resource to others. When you’re in the market for a new job, you never want to give the impression that you need a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s a leader, a driver, a mentor to others, and someone who’s resourceful – who knows how to get things done and get results. This is one reason why you want to consult, freelance, or volunteer while you’re in between jobs.

So here’s a tip – instead of sending the message, “I need you to give me a job”, you should send the message, “I’m someone who is resourceful, insightful and has a specific area of expertise.” In other words, “I’m someone YOU should get to know!” This is a major shift in the way others perceive you.

One way you can do that is to send out personal notes with links to cool videos, reports, press releases, or websites that you think might interest them. Another tip is to invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers in the industry.

The bottom line is that successful professionals are drawn to other successful professionals and those who are resourceful. So get personal with your professional network and show them how you can help them be more successful.

And finally… 

 
If you’re ready to make a career change, get some professional help.  You’ll have an easier, quicker, less stressful journey ahead of you when you have a partner who can give you the roadmap on how to reach your goal.
 
Check out Career Coaching 360’s personal career coaching packages with a variety of services and budgets available.    Also, hear what our raving fans are saying about we helped them reinvent their career!

Powering Up Your Personal Brand for More Career Opportunities

Cover of "CAREER SMART: Five Steps to a P...

Cover via Amazon

What is your personal brand saying to others?  Getting bigger promotions, better clients, and a richer career depends largely on how you’re perceived by senior managers, business associates, and potential employers.
 
 People are the jet fuel behind your career. People can promote you, hire you, mentor you, inspire you, or introduce you to others who could hire you.
 

To help you transition into a career that inspires and motivates you, I’m sharing below some tips from my book: “CAREER SMART – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” (which is now on Amazon’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books)…

  1. Send the “right” messages.
    Everything you do and say sends messages to your senior managers, clients, peers, networking contacts and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, reports and work deliverables all shape the perceptions others have about you.You influence people through your actions and your words so make sure both are in synch. Send a crystal clear message that focuses on the 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.If you’re currently working with a company and you’d like to stay there, then you may want your message to be that you deliver high quality and results.  For example, if you’re in sales then your message should be that you consistently generate revenue.  If you’re a creative director then your message should be that you consistently develop fresh campaigns that increase sales.Take every opportunity to send your value message through project updates, status reports, presentations, hallway conversations, business networking events, in your resume, and in your interviews.  Talk about the results or the success of the projects and teams you’ve led, or the benefit they added to the company like generating more revenue, saving costs, or making the company be more competitive.  If you want to be seen as a problem solver then talk about the challenges that your team overcame, and the key lessons that you’ve learned.

    The key is to role model the “value” that you provide by consistently demonstrating it, living it and breathing it. 

  2. Go for the “High Value” Projects
    Getting on the right projects and delivering strong results is the single most effective way to boost your personal brand. That means aggressively going after those projects that generate money, save costs or make the company more competitive.Just like everyone else, you have 8-10 hours a day at work. Now, you can either spend those hours parceling out your time in bits and pieces working on a variety of tasks and assignments, or you can concentrate your efforts on making major contributions that generate BIG results.
    Consider where you can make the biggest impact for your organization and aggressively go after those assignments.  Successful professionals don’t leave it up to their managers and senior leaders to drop plum projects in their lap.  They drive their career by volunteering for, or even creating, projects that make the biggest impact.
  3. Get into a career where you can thrive (not just survive!)
    It’s impossible to have a powerful personal brand 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.  Start by identifying the three key ingredients you need in the work itself 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. 
     
Bottom line: you need a powerful personal brand if you want to have more choices and options in your career. So what is your personal brand saying about you?  Powerful personal brands don’t just happen overnight.  It takes time, focus, and commitment, but the payoff is a deeper, more meaningful career.

And finally… 

 
If you’re ready to make a career change, get some professional help.  You’ll have an easier, quicker, less stressful journey ahead of you when you have a partner who can give you the roadmap on how to reach your goal.
 
Check out Career Coaching 360’s personal career coaching packages with a variety of services and budgets available.    Also, hear what our raving fans are saying about we helped them reinvent their career!
 
Enhanced by Zemanta