Career Sampling – 5 Ways to Test Drive a New Career

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Everyone has bad days at work, but if your bad day stretches to a hundred bad days(!) then you may want to start thinking about reinventing your career.   

Twice during my own career I found myself in a frustrating and unchallenging job and stayed longer than I should have.   Mostly because I was delusional and thought that if I proved my loyalty and stayed with the company long enough they’d reward me with a “new and improved” job, (did I mention the delusional part?), but also because I was afraid of trying something new, and potentially failing.  

If you’re in a similar situation and the thought of charting into unknown career territory makes you want to curl up under your office cube, then you may want to try what I’m calling ”career sampling” – the art of dipping your toe into a pool of new career opportunities, before diving in head first.

Career sampling is a great way to test drive a new career without investing a lot of time, or risking your paycheck.  Here are five great strategies to help you determine if a new career is right for you… 

  1. Take on an extended assignment. 
    Look across all the departments within your current organization to see if there are any projects or teams that interest you.    Many times managers and project leaders jump at the chance to have someone join their team – even if that person doesn’t have any experience.  This is a great way to test the waters of a new career. 

    Also, are there any external initiatives that inspire you?  Many companies have community programs and special events that you may be able to support.  Finally, talk to your manager, peers and other department managers to see which professional and civic organizations they’re involved in.  Take advantage of opportunities that could help you learn about new industries or job roles.
     

  2. Try freelancing or consulting.  If you’re thinking about owning your own business, try setting up shop first as a freelancer or consultant.  You’ll be able to set your own hours, develop your business plan and gain some experience before investing all of your time, money and energy full time.  It’s also a great way to earn some extra cash! 
     
  3. Work part-time.  A great way to test drive a new job role, company or industry is to start out part time.  Investing a little time up front to take on a part-time position is a much better strategy than investing all your time and realizing you’ve made a bad career choice.If you think you don’t have the right experience, a great attitude and eagerness to learn can help get your foot in the door.   And once you start proving yourself and showing results, a promotion to a full time position could be just around the corner!
     
  4. Volunteer your time. This is the quickest way to gain insight and experience into a new career. As your Career Coach, I encourage you to research company websites, read trade magazines, and attend industry conferencs and business networking events to learn about volunteer opportunities.  Volunteer your time and talents, and in return, learn all you can about that industry, different job roles, and the skills and qualifications of others who have been successful in those job roles that interest you.
     
  5. Join a Professional Organization.  Most cities have organizations such as the American Marketing Association, American Medical Association, Small Business Association, American Society for Engineering Education, etc. which provide excellent education, training and networking opportunities.Consider attending meetings, becoming a member, or stepping up to join their Board of Directors.  Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about various industries and career opportunities.  

If you’re itching to change your career for something more meaningful or inspiring, then try career sampling.  It’s less risky, less stressful, and a smarter way to transition into a career that’s right for you!

 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.

Here’s to your success! 🙂

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Tips for landing a part time job…

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If you’re thinking about using some of your great skills and expertise to make put some extra cash in your pocket – then a part-time job may be worth looking into.   CareerBuilder.com recently published a survey stating that of 2,400 hiring managers – 13% plan to hire part-time employees in 2011, and 34% said they will hire contract or temporary workers this year.

Here are two great resources to check out –

Want more tips to help you drive your career?  Check out our video library at Career Coaching 360!

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REINVENTING YOURSELF: How to change job roles, industries or professional goals…

Our Direction
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Craving a new career?  Tired of being under-valued, under-appreciated and unmotivated?  If so, then maybe you need to take a new direction and reinvent your career.

Reinventing your career successfully simply means repackaging your skills, qualifications and accomplishments so that you can transition into a new job role, company, or industry. Below is my personal career coaching 5-step blueprint for reinventing your career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!
In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work.

  1. Define your passion –  If you’re not sure where you want to go then read trade magazines, industry publications and on-line job postings. Visit a bookstore and browse through books and magazines to see what grabs your attention. Allow yourself time to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you!

     2.  Identify your transferable skills –  These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.

Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are ALL great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.

     3. Match your transferable skills to job roles –  Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.

Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the job requirements and the skills you have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even volunteering.

Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.

     4.  Blow up your resume.  The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.

Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that are relevant to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Can you do their job? Get resume help now.

     5.  Attitude is king!  Remember, great jobs don’t just land in your lap. You have to know what you want – take action – and go after it! Your job is out there. You just need to go get it!

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. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!

 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.

Here’s to your success!  🙂

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New Year, New Career! 3 simple tips to help you reinvent your career faster…

As a Career Coach, I’m seeing that many professionals make the mistake of posting their resume on a job board, or handing their resume to a recruiter, and then just sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. In today’s tough job market, you need to be much more strategic in making a career change. My career coaching clients have had great success including doubling their opportunities and cutting their search time in half by following my three simple job hunting rules…

1. Think Up, Down and Sideways.
The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same title they had in their last job. Instead, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up, as well as larger companies and going one-level down.

Since many companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function, you can double your opportunities by applying for jobs in different industries.

For example, if you’ve been working in advertising agencies, then also include businesses that have in-house advertising, marketing, or communications departments. Or, if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a certain industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same jobs in other industries.

Also, it’s not mandatory that you meet 100-percent of the requirements in the job description. Attitude and confidence are also key factors! A good rule of thumb is to have at least 75-percent of the skills and experience required, and express in your cover letter and interviews that you’re a quick learner, flexible, and passionate about the position and the company.

2. Create a strategic job search plan.
You want to fish where the fish are, so find out where your potential employers by reading job boards (CareerJournal.com, theLadders.com, etc.), as well as industry publications, business journals, and company websites. You’ll be able to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and where the hot jobs are!

Company websites. Create a list of companies where you would like to work.
Visit their website weekly for on-line job postings, and announcements for departments expanding.
On-line job boards. Some job search sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs, or jobs with no contact information. Why waste your time?

Instead, make a list of job search sites that offer high quality jobs. Conduct a search on Google or Yahoo for the job role and the city you want (example: software engineer, Portland). Review all the sites listed on the top three or four pages, and bookmark only those sites that list promising job opportunities.

You’ll find that each site varies in the quality of positions listed (lower-level to senior-level, as well as salary ranges), plus the type of industries, or vertical sectors, listed. Some sites may also do a better job than others updating their lists, or publicizing openings in your city.

Focus your attention only on those sites. Once you’ve created a list of your top job search sites, make a commitment to review those sites weekly.

3. Work your NetWORK.
Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you. Get re-connected with past employers, customers, and colleagues. Meet new contacts by attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events, and association meetings that target the industry (high tech, health care, etc.), or the job role (marketing, finance, management, etc.) you want. Try to attend a couple of events each week.

Finally, never give the impression that you’re hungry for a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s resourceful, knowledgeable, and has a wide network. Send out personalized notes and e-mails with links to reports, case studies, press releases, videos, and websites that you think may interest them. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers. Influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful.

The goal is to create a pull relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (not running away from you!)

When you’re searching for a new job, remember to stay focused in what you want, stay positive, and believe in yourself. It takes persistence and patience – but you WILL find those companies who jump at the opportunity to hire you!! 🙂

Should you leave your current job…?

Being in a passion-less job is a career killer. Managers, clients, peers, and potential employers will see you as someone who lacks desire, drive, and enthusiasm. If you’re craving a career that inspires you, then you need to step up and take action. As your Career Coach, I encourage you to ask yourself three (3) questions to help you decide whether you should leave your current job…

The first question you need to ask yourself is, What do I really want in my career?
What is it that will give you the feeling of being happy and fulfilled in your job? Is it status? Prestige? Fame? Respect from your peers? Credibility within the industry? Money? Less stress? An easier lifestyle? Stop a minute and think about it. You need to define the specific things or “gets” that you want to ultimately achieve in your career. You should be able to narrow it down to one or two very specific objectives. Once you are able to identify your ultimate career objectives, then the next thing you need to do is take stock of your current career and where you are today.

The second question you need to ask yourself is, What are the “gives and gets” in my current situation?
This means taking a quick inventory of what you are currently giving to your manager, company or clients, and what you are getting in return. Let’s first look at the “gives” of your job. Write down the value that you are providing to your employer by being in your current job role.

For example, do you have knowledge, experience and skills that are valued by your manager or clients? Are you an expert in your job and providing work that is valued? Are you consistently delivering high quality projects that are on time and on budget? Are your clients thrilled with your work? Does your manager think of you as a valued contributor? Do you have the most relevant training and certification to do the job effectively? Are you adding to the bottom line by bringing in new business and maximizing opportunities, or saving costs by streamlining processes or bringing in advanced technologies? Are you leading projects and initiatives? Are you training and mentoring team members and peers? Are you providing some kind of unique expertise and viewed as the “go to” person for that knowledge or skill?

I encourage my career coaching clients to also identify another kind of “get.” Those are the negative “gets” in your current position. Every job has a certain amount of frustration and stress, but does your job give you an excessive amount? Does it make you feel inferior? Incompetent? Overwhelmed? Undervalued? Underutilized? These negative “gets” should also be identified. Think about any negative gets that you have in your current situation and write them down.

Now it’s time to review all of your “gives”, “positive gets” and “negative gets”. Are the gets that you are receiving the gets that you really need to feel valued and inspired? If not, then you may want to consider making a career change.

The 3rd question is, Before I leave, is there anything else I can glean from my current situation?
There are times in everyone’s career when you hit a roadblock, and it’s best to simply move on. But before you disconnect completely from your situation, I encourage you to glean anything else you can from your current employer or client.

Are there any projects you could join or lead that would allow you to gain knowledge or experience in a new area? Could you strengthen your leadership skills or boost your credibility by leading a project? Is there a project you could create that would challenge you and help you grow professionally?

Also, is there anyone in your current environment who could guide you, mentor you, or teach you about a product, technology, or the industry? Is there anyone else you could work with who could give your career a boost just by saying that you worked together?

And finally…
If you’re ready to make a career change, and want a partner who can give you the roadmap on how to reach your goal, then check out our personal career coaching services and packages with a variety of services and budgets available. Also, hear what other professionals and executives (just like you!) are saying how they reinvented their career!

Going after your dream career.

Do you dream of doing something different in your career? Something energizing, fun and creative that actually fills you with energy and passion?

I fully believe that life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you feel unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued. I’ve had a few of those jobs and I remember waking up every single morning and dreading going into work. The highlight of my day was stopping at Starbucks every morning to get my daily dose of lattes.

If you’re in that same position and now you’re ready to reinvent your career, then I’m here to help you! First, I’m going to tell you why it’s hard to do. I know that’s probably not what you expected me to say (or want to hear), but I’m going to tell you why it’s difficult to reinvent your career, and then I’m going to help you overcome those challenges so that you can get into your new career and get on with loving your life!

The reason that most people stay in an unmotivating and unfulfilling job 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. I recently attended a leadership training in Oregon and the instructor said, “Those who take on more risk, get more opportunities.”

Do you think that’s true? Do you think that when you step into a new organization that allows you to stretch and grow, that you might actually be inspired to go into work every day? 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 and career advancement?

Stepping onto a new career path is not easy, but it can absolutely be done! I’ve jumped onto a new career path four times, and it was well worth the risk! So, how can YOU make a successful career change?

1. Define your passion. In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? In which job role would you like to work? Software Engineer? Financial Analyst? Management?

If you’re not sure, then read trade magazines, business publications, and talk to your friends, neighbors and colleagues about their job. The key to being in a career that excites and inspires you is to find out where your passion is.

2. Lead with your transferable skills. Once you’ve determined where you want to go in your career, lead with your transferable skills. Those are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing people, managing projects, managing budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, and proposing new ideas that helped an organization generate revenue, save costs or increase market share.

These are excellent skills that can help you get your foot in the door at a new company. You’ll want to highlight these on your resume, and talk about them in your interviews and networking opportunities.

3. Attitude is king. I’ve found that reinventing your career mostly depends on two things: passion and confidence. Don’t worry if you don’t match all the job requirements. I got my TV gig even though I missed the two (2) biggest requirements – I didn’t have at least 2 years of TV experience and I didn’t have an audition tape.

To compensate, I focused my resume on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter. Then, in the interview, the hiring manager told me I got the job because I was passionate about the company and the job!

Reinventing your career takes some perseverance, determination and a bit of risk taking. But the rewards are HUGE! Your next career is out there waiting for you – you just need to go out there and get it! 

If you’re stuck in your career – get professional help! Career Coaching 360 helps professionals and executives change into a more meaningful and inspiring career, and we can help you, too! Check out our career coaching packages created to fit any budget at: http://www.careercoaching360.com/careercoaching/ Also, check out our resume and interviewing services.

Four Signs You May Be Targeted for a Lay-Off

As a career coach, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “How do I know if I could be laid off?”

Although there are not any hard and fast rules for companies to warn employees about upcoming layoffs, there were some key indicators that you may be targeted for a lay-off, and that you should start preparing a “Plan B” for your career…

  1. Your Physical Health – Many times, we ignore signs around us that a layoff could be in our future by telling ourselves that we provide too much value, and are too well liked to be laid off.  So even though you may be able to logically dismiss the thought that you could be laid off, there are physical signs that are harder to ignore.For example, if you start getting a pit in your stomach when you drive into work, or your heart beats faster, or you get a headache – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment could be drastically wrong.  Also, if you find yourself hitting the snooze button 46-times, hating Mondays, or having wild mood swings including depression, anger, or becoming introverted – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment may be toxic and that your subconscience is telling you something is wrong.
  2. Your Environment – Look around at the organization where you work.  Have there been layoffs, or talks of layoffs?  Are programs or services being cut? Is funding being reduced in your department?  These are all signs that the company may be in trouble financially, and employee lay-offs could be a next step.Another environmental sign is a shift in management’s attitude.  Right before lay-offs are announced, there is a kind of heaviness in the air throughout the building.  It’s a depressed, shush-shush environment. Is your manager more stressed than usual? Are you getting less face-time with your manager?  Do senior managers seem preoccupied, and not attentive to employee needs or concerns?  These are all environmental signs that a lay-off could be near.
  3. Your Job Role – Have your assignments shifted to performing less valued and lower visibility projects?  Do your deliverables align to the company’s strategic objectives, or department’s quarterly goals?  If not, then here’s what I want you to do… I want you to do everything you can to transition onto more high priority assignments.  I want you to volunteer to get onto those higher profile projects by talking to your manager and the Program Manager telling them how you could add value and make contributions to those projects.
  4. Your Influence – Are you finding that your opinions are no longer valued?  Are you being left out of business decisions or meetings?   Do you find that your sphere of influence is shrinking?  If so, here’s what I want you to do – I want you to increase your visibility and your credibility by talking about the results you’ve helped to achieve on your current or previous projects.  Volunteer to help out on high visibility projects, and ask your manager what you can do to help him out or to help out the department or team members.

Again, these are not sure fire signs that you’re doomed for a lay-off.  However, if you’re experiencing one or more of these changes, then you should definitely be putting together a “Plan B” for your career – an action plan to help you hit the ground running and transition into your next career should you receive a pink slip.

If you’re feeling stuck in your career– get professional help! Take control in your career by investing in some professional advice, such as —

    1. A Professional resume writer
    2. An interview coach
    3. Or a career coach

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

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YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  Invest in yourself and your career, by meeting with a career coach who can give you a proven, step-by-step roadmap that will help you transition into a new career! You’ll see how easy it is to leverage your talents, strengths, and successes and transfer them into a new job role, company, or industry. 

Career Coaching 360 helps professionals and executives change into a more meaningful and inspiring career, and we can help you, too!  Check out our career coaching packages available on-line at:  http://www.careercoaching360.com/careercoaching/ Scroll down the web page to see our complete menu of services!

Creating a Powerful Personal Brand

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Personal Branding is a hot topic these days, and I have 5 ways you can create a powerful personal brand and leverage it to get into the career you really want…

Step #1. Understand 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, developing creative marketing campaigns, or whatever, 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 things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants.

Step #2. Get into a career where you can thrive (and not just survive!)

Being in a passionless job is a career killer! 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. It’s impossible to have a powerful personal brand if you’re just going through the motions at work. You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you!

You want to be working on projects that excite you and teams that energize you! Start gravitating towards those projects and assignments where you can thrive. Or, if you’re in between jobs right now, then you want to focus on talking about those kinds of projects and accomplishments that you worked on in your networking and on your resume.

Step #3 Send the “right” messages.

Everything you do and say sends messages to your manager, senior managers, clients, peers, and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, reports, work deliverables, all shape the perceptions others have about you and the value you provide.

So you should take every opportunity to send a very clear message that you are a hiqh quality and results-driven contributor. Talk about the successes of your projects and teams, and the benefit they’re providing to the company. Talk about the obstacles that your team overcame, and the key lessons that you learned.
This is how employers and potential employers can view you as an asset to their company.

Step #4 Act as if your are on a stage.

Think about how you want others to perceive you. Do you want to be recognized as being smart? Strategic? Having specific expertise? A great leader? Whatever it is, you should be striving to send that message loud and clear.

Every day you have opportunities to shape and manage your personal brand. In every presentation that you give, in every meeting you attend, in all your conversations with other professionals – think of yourself as being on a stage. It’s your opportunity to shape and manage the way others are perceiving you.

Step #5 Network strategically.

If you want bigger promotions, better clients, and a richer, more meaningful career you need to work with people who value and appreciate you. So focus on creating a strong support system of what I call, career influencers. These are people who can hire you, promote you, inspire you, teach you, and open doors to new opportunities. Nurture your relationships with these people, and ask about their career path and strategies for blasting through career challenges. Seek out people who can give you the roadmap, guidance, and inspiration to help you advance your career.

Powerful personal brands don’t happen overnight. It takes time, focus, and commitment, but the payoff is huuuuuge. Imagine a world where you wake up every morning excited about your career! 🙂

3 Strategies for an Easier Career Change

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It’s a tough job market right now, and if you’re looking for your next career opportunity – then I have three (3) 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.

There you have it – three great strategies to help you make an EASIER career change including: keeping yourself marketable, fish where the fish are, and be a resource to others.

If you’re stuck in your career – get professional help! You never want your career to be sitting on shelf longer than it has to – it means thousands of dollars every month in missed income that you should be making! So if you’re not getting results, then invest in some professional advice, like —

a. A Professional resume writer, or
b. An interview coach, or
c. Or a career coach

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan

How do you deliver your message to your personal network? In other words, how do you promote your value and accomplishments without overtly bragging and selling yourself in a cheesy, I’m-the-best-thing-since-the-invention-of-cheese-fries kind of way?

Just like successful businesses have marketing plans, you need to develop a personal marketing plan. Your personal marketing plan should include two tracks: internal and external. Internal marketing includes strategies within your current organization; external marketing focuses on promoting yourself outside of the organization.

Depending on your current situation, you may want to have a combination of both tracks or focus on just one. For example, if you are currently employed, but have decided to leave the company in the near future, you may not need to create an internal marketing plan yet. If you like your current company and want to move into a new position, you will want to increase your visibility and build your credibility with colleagues, managers and senior managers so they will champion you for that new role or promotion.

The goal of your marketing plan is to find ways to deliver your message to those who can help you advance your career. By continuously raising your credibility and visibility within your personal network you’ll not only strengthen your personal brand and open new doors of opportunities, but you can also create an emotional connection with them that makes them not only want you on their team, but feel they need you. I will explore ways to promote yourself inside and outside your organization in upcoming blog posts.