Twice I've Been Hired During the Month of December

holiday

If you’re out searching for a job, but thinking about stopping your job search during the months of November and December because nobody is hiring – think again.  That would be a BIG mistake.

Twice in my career, I’ve been hired during the month of December.  No, I’m not talking about temporary jobs like stocking holiday sweaters at the local Gap store or delivering holiday packages for UPS.  I’m talking about real, permanent, full-time job offers I received with large marketing and advertising agencies.

There are three great reasons why it’s actually EASIER to get hired in the months of November and December, than any other time of the year –

  1. First, many companies may still have budget left for 2103.

    Many organizations have an infrastructure in place of “Use it or lose it”, meaning that if they don’t use up their dollars that have already been budgeted and approved for hiring new employees, then that money will be gone on January 1, 2014.

  2. Second, companies want to gear up for 2014.

    Many organizations want to hire new employees now so that they can hit the ground running at the beginning of the year.

  3. Third, there is less competition.

    Many job candidates stop searching for jobs or go on vacation (because they believe the myth that nobody is hiring during the holidays) so the competitive pool is much smaller. Which means that the odds are in your favor 🙂
    Here’s a tip – if you get invited to an interview during the holidays and you want that job, and you need that job – then make it a priority.  Figure out a way to go to that interview and then go see your Aunt Betty in Minneapolis.  Or, if it’s a phone interview, don’t let them hear your brother-in-law laughing in the background to the cat getting fried in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

So how did I get hired?  Networking.  I went to every holiday party, event and mixer I could find.  At first, I felt really awkward saying that I didn’t have a job, but then I just started owning it saying something like, “Actually, I’m looking to take that next step in my career right now, and looking for opportunities as…” an Account Manager, or as a copywriter, or whatever.

I also called up old friends and colleagues and started the conversation by saying, “Hey, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!”  Most people are in a more relaxed and sociable mindset during the holidays (even department managers, hiring managers and company leaders), which makes it easier to connect, and easier to ask for job leads, referrals and recommendations.

For one of my job offers, I called up the President of the company who I use to work for and asked if he could look over my resume to offer me any advice.  That phone conversation led to a meeting, which then led to two interviews, and a job offer the day of his holiday office party.

So if you’re looking for a new job this holiday season, then rev up your job search by putting on your best holiday sweater and going out to socialize.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get a nice beefy paycheck in your stocking this Christmas! 🙂

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3 Clever Ways to Create More Career Opportunities

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Who is really responsible for your career? 

Who is the decision maker?

Who is the driver? 

You are. 

If you’re in a career that fills you with small-ness, resentment, anger, boredom, regret or frustration, then it’s time to ask yourself two questions… “How much longer will I accept this situation?”  And, “What can I do to change it?”

Well, I can’t help you answer the first question, but I can give you some ideas and suggestions for the second question.  😀

I believe that we are all the architect of our own career and we each have the ability to create a career that gives us meaning, purpose and joy.  In order to do that, you must become a rainmaker for yourself.  In other words, you must master the art of creating and identifying career opportunities. 

There are three kinds of opportunities you’ll need to master –

1.  Banked opportunities. 

These are opportunities that land in your lap and you say, “Yes, please!”   These are gifts that you willingly accept and cash in such as a new job, promotion, higher paycheck, or an opportunity to lead a bigger, higher profile or more exciting projects and teams. These are the opportunities you’ve worked so hard for, and then one day, they plop down in your lap.  These are the most popular and eeeeeasiest kinds of opportunities to receive. 

2.  Deflected opportunities. 

These are opportunities that land in your lap and you say, “Nope.”  An opportunity comes knocking and without blinking an eye, you’ve all-too-quickly assessed that you’re too busy, too inexperienced, or too unworthy… or that the assignment is too big, too intimidating or too off-your-radar to accept it. 

Twice I turned down a promotion when I was a disc jockey at a radio station in Monterey, California to become morning show host because it terrified me and I didn’t think I was good enough.  I made a deal with my mentor that if the General Manager asked me a third time, I would take the promotion. Fortunately, he did.  And fortunately, I did.  What a wonderful, beautiful, awesome experience it was. 

Three times I foolishly turned down a volunteer position on the national council of the American Marketing Association because I didn’t think I had time.  I finally accepted, and that amazing position turned out to give me the leadership skills and marketing expertise I needed to land my 6-figure job at a high tech Fortune 100 company.

Stop selling yourself short and wasting your opportunities by saying “no” because they don’t fit in your ridiculously tight career box.  Open up the top of your box. Give yourself breathing room to stretch, grow and learn.  Maybe the universe does have a better plan for you.  Maybe the universe is your biggest cheerleader and trying to give you opportunities to advance.  Stop saying “no”, and re-train yourself to say “yes.”
     

3.  Hidden opportunities. 

These are opportunities that are there for you – but you must go find or create them.  These are the most missed opportunities of all.

Today, I’ve been working at a Fortune 100 company for 13 years and recently my department went through a grueling re-org.  My boss left the company, her boss left the company and many of my peers left.  My world was crumbling. I found myself in quicksand and sinking fast.  The only way I could find another internal job and get the recommendations I would need in order to stay with the company, would be to reach out to my internal network and ask for help.  It felt embarrassing to send out a note asking for help.  But after I did, within 48 hours I received 2 job offers, 3 leads, and 2 letters of recommendation.  I wouldn’t have received anything if I hadn’t reached out and asked for help. 

In my recent book, “The Bounce Back”, Cindy Hoyme talks about how she reached out to her network when she needed a new job.  Within 3 weeks she had 4 job offers. Would she have had those job offers if she hadn’t asked her contacts for help?  No.  She possibly, may have found other job leads, but without the recommendations from her network, it’s highly unlikely she would have been hired.

Vid Vidyasagara talks about how he went from being a stagnated, under-challenged project manager to becoming a Sr. manager by asking if he could join two high-profile programs.  Would he have received a promotion had he not volunteered for bigger, higher profile projects?  No.

A client of mine, John, created and sold his vision of a new career path for him and his team to Sr. leaders where he works, and now he’s on his way to more promotions, advancement and a higher paycheck.  Would this have happened had he not met with Sr. leaders?  No.  

Hidden opportunities are around us all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  They just require a little extra work.  They require that you to do a little hunting and digging to seek them out. If you’re looking for a job have you reached out to your network to ask for job leads and recommendations?   If you want a promotion have you stepped up to take on more responsibilities and lead higher profile projects?  If you’ve reached the top of your career path inside an organization have you tried negotiating with Sr. managers to create a new or extended career path?  

Never let your career stall. Instead, step up and take control.  Go find your hidden gems.  Go collect all those opportunities that are yours to find and keep. Get your BOLD on, and start mastering the art of banked, deflected and hidden opportunities.  Once you do, your cup will runneth over 😎

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of the award winning book “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – which is on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books. She is also President and Founder of Career Coaching 360 which provides resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages for executives and professionals who want to change their career.

For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com 

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas

 
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Step up, find your voice and learn how to tell your “career story” with confidence!

 

 

You are the “story teller” of your own career.

Every day, people are making judgements and assumptions about you based on what you’re telling them.  So if you’re sending the message that you’ve been short-changed, passed over or stepped on in your career, then people will see you as someone who doesn’t have much value in the workplace.

However, if you send a strong, clear message that you’re a key contributor with some big successes under your belt – others will be more likely to give you job leads, job offers and bigger career opportunities.

 

 

Here are a few tips to help you frame your “career story”…

  1. Stop being humble.

Being humble can be a career killer, or at its very best, a career stifller.  Yes, it’s a nice quality to have, but if you never talk about some of the successes you’ve had with your professional network, then you career is sure to sit on a shelf for the next 10 years.

I had lunch yesterday with one of my best friends from college who went on to become an Emmy winning TV news reporter and now advises Corporate leaders as a Media Strategist. He mentioned that he’s ready to expand his business, but he’s not the type of person to brag about himself.  This is a man who has interviewed 3 U.S. Presidents (Carter, Clinton and Bush Jr.)  How would organizational leaders ever know to hire him if he doesn’t “put himself out there”?

Talking about your accomplishments builds your credibility. It lets people know what you’re good at, what you can accomplish, and what you have to offer.  It makes you stand out from the crowd.  If you want to get noticed, then you’ll need to learn how to talk about your achievements, not in an arrogant kind of way, but more in an “I’m a key contributor who gets big results” kind of way.

Write down 2-3 of your biggest achievements over the past three years.  Now, practice saying out loud in a sentence or two how you contributed to those successes and what the impact was to the organization.  For example, “I was the technical lead for a new internal tool that was launched on the SAP platform.  The tool is now saving the company $100,000 a year.”  Or, “I was the Creative Director on the marketing campaign for the xyz product which helped the company gain 3% more market share.”

The key to getting more job offers, leads and opportunities is leaning how to talk about your successes.  Nobody will know what you’ve accomplished unless you tell them.

        2. Frame your story in a positive way.

One of my favorite chapters in my new book, “The Bounce Back” gives strategies on how to frame your story to hiring managers after you’ve been laid off or experienced a career setback.  Managers, Sr. leaders, customers, and hiring managers create their perception of you based on what you tell them.  So if you talk about your career in a positive, confident way – then they are going to think of you as a positive and confident employee.

For example, earlier in my career I was laid off and then hired as the Regional Marketing Manager for a Fortune 100 company.  I believe that a large part of the reason I was hired was because of the way I told my story to the Vice President (who hired me and became my direct manager.)  During the interview, I talked about how the company that laid me off was a great company and how much I loved my role and responsibilities. I truly believed in what I was saying and so my tone was very genuine. Then, I addressed the reason for my layoff which was, “I didn’t realize when I took the position that I was expected to fill the shoes of two employees. Even though I had some big results and was good at my job, I just simply couldn’t fill both of their shoes.”  The VP called me the next day to tell me I was hired.

Everybody has setbacks in their career. Everybody!!  The key is to frame your career story in the most positive, honest and confident way possible. 

         3. Don’t take yourself out of the game because you fumbled.

I had a TV interview last week and the reporter asked about my book. I froze up.  I got nervous, said “umm” and garbled out a few sentence.  Man oh man, I wish I could have a do-over.  

It happens to all of us. Whether it’s a job interview, a big presentation or the perfect networking opportunity – sometimes, we just freeze up. It happens, and it happens to everyone.  The key is not to beat yourself up.  And don’t shy away from future opportunities to give a big presentation or go on job interviews.  The lesson is to learn from the situation and then do better next time.

Continue looking for opportunities to step into the spotlight and tell your story again and again.  If you flubbed up a presentation, then go ask the team leader if you can present again with some new data that you just received.  If you fumbled an interview, then send an e-mail to the interviewer providing a little more clarity on your experience or area of expertise.  For me, I wrote to the TV reporter and tee’d up a few more tips out of the book to share with her viewers, and right now we’re scheduling a follow-up interview.

Sometimes a do-over isn’t possible, and if that’s the case, then just get on with looking for your next opportunity and be ready to strut your stuff.  Don’t let a negative experience stop you from moving your career forward.  Get out there, find your voice and share your career story with confidence.  Your next career opportunity is out there – you just have to go find it! 😉

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Sherri’s gift to you is (3) THREE FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Don’t Waste Your Time Networking – Instead Build Relationships

Career Coaching 360 Coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

The goal of networking is NOT to start asking someone about job opportunities. The goal of networking is to build a relationship with someone. 

It takes two things to be successful in your career: 1) doing high quality work; and 2) having positive relationships with the right people.  The right people will help you get hired, promoted and introduce you to others who could potentially hire you, as well as give you a continuous supply of job leads, referrals and recommendations.

Whether you’re employed or not, it’s impossible to have a successful career without the support of others.  So how can you build strong supportive relationships with others? Here are a few key strategies that can help –

  1. Show an interest in them

Let’s say that you have an upcoming meeting, conference or a professional networking event.  Look at the agenda and ask yourself, “Who would I like to meet?” Maybe it’s someone you’ve never met, or maybe it’s someone already in your professional network.

Plan ahead and think about a topic that you think might interest them such as a new product launch in their division, or how you’ve applied one of their teachings that you read about, or perhaps offer them an idea you have on a challenge they are currently facing.  The point is to keep the conversation focused on that person (it’s not about you! -at least not yet!)

2.  Listen more than you talk

You connect with someone by being genuinely interested in him or her.  While you’re establishing relationships, you’ll want to listen more than you talk. This is worth repeating – you need to LISTEN more than you TALK 🙂  So to keep the focus on them, you’ll need to ask some good questions like, “How’s that big project going that you’re working on?” or “How is the new product doing that your company just launched?”

If it’s the first time you’ve ever met, then you don’t need to have a long, in-depth conversation. Instead, when you feel that the conversation has run its course, simply say, “I’d love to stay in touch – do you want to exchange business cards?” Or, “I can send you an article I just read on that very same topic.  Would you like me to forward it to you?”

The point is that you want to connect with your contact and do so in a way that is genuine, authentic and shows an interest in what they are doing.

3. Be a resource for them

As a leading Career Coach, I’ve noticed that many professionals make the mistake of sending a message to others that shouts, ” I need a job!!” The message is all about them, and not about the other person.  It’s a one-way relationship, instead of a two-way relationship.  It’s very selfish.  Who wants to be in a relationship like that?

Instead, you want to be sending the message that you’re a successful professional who’s resourceful, well connected, and who has some similar interests as they do. You want them to realize that you are someone that THEY should get to know!

Send out personalized notes and e-mails to your network with links to industry news, reports, case studies, press releases, videos, or cool websites that you think may interest them. Volunteer to write recommendation letters, and introduce them to others in your network. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to movers and shakers that you know. Be proactive and offer to connect them to others in your network that may help them solve a problem, offer advice, or potentially advance their career.

One thing that works really well for me, is offering to share my resources, tips, and lessons learned that may help them in some way. I’ve found that doing this provides the foundation for a long-term relationship. Also, one of the key benefits of building a connection and being a key resource to others is that you are more likely to receive career support from them including job leads, personal recommendations and referrals. 🙂

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LISTfor personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download 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!

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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

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

 

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.

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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.
 
 

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!
 
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NETWORKING STRATEGICALLY How to get more job leads, referrals and recommendations

High Speed Business Networking Event (Paris, 2...

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The goal of networking is NOT to start asking about job opportunities the instant you meet someone. The goal of networking is to create a connection or establish a relationship with someone.

As a Career Coach, I’ve noticed that many professionals looking to reinvent their career make the mistake of sending a message to others, ” I need a job.” But instead, you want to be sending the message that you’re a successful professional who’s resourceful, well connected, and who has some similar interests as they do. You want them to realize that you are someone that THEY should get to know! 

Below is my simple step-by-step process to help you build a powerful network to get more job leads, referrals and recommendations…

  • Seek out others in the industry or job role where you want to work.
    The next time you meet someone who works for a company where you want to work, or in a job role that you’d like to have, keep the conversation focused on that person (it’s not about you! -at least not yet!) Talk about their latest marketing campaign or product launch, or something new or interesting that’s going on inside their company. 
  • Ask to keep in touch!
    Next, you don’t need to have a long, in-depth conversation with each person. Instead, when you feel that the conversation has run its course, simply say, “I’d love to stay in touch – how about if we exchange business cards?”
  • Send the message that you’re knowledgable and resourceful!
    Follow up by sending a piece of information you think they might be interested in such as an article, or the results of a new study, a link to a cool website that relates to their business, or an announcement about an upcoming conference or networking event. You want to send the message that you’re someone who is well connected, resourceful and that you are someone that they want in their network! 🙂
  • Mention a few of your contributions and successes!
    Once the door is open, then talk about some projects or teams that you’ve worked on that have been successful. One thing that works really well for me, is offering to share tips, insight or lessons I learned about the project. l I find that by doing this, people who appreciate these successes will naturally gravitate towards me. And it provides the foundation for a long-term relationship.
  • After you’ve established a relationship, then drop the hint!
    If you’re looking for a new job, then go ahead and drop a hint that you’re looking for “other opportunities.”  

Believe me, when you use this simple step-by-step formula, if your connections know of any opportunities they’re going to let you know!

One final thought, I strongly believe that no matter where you are in your career, we’re always in a position to help out others. Is there someone else you can support by introducing her to a potential employer, or giving a recommendation, or inviting to a networking event? Sometimes we get caught up in focusing just on ourselves, but remember that when we help out others along the way – the universe gives back to us more than we ever dreamed possible.  🙂

  Bottom line: you need a powerful network if you want to have a powerful career. 

So start making connections and nurturing your professional relationships. You’ll find that once you have a strong team of career influencers on your side, doors to new opportunities will open and career will soar!  

 

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 our career coaching services to learn how we can help you advance your career. 

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