In her book, Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand, Sherri Thomas discusses how she realized that she is the driver of her own career. Sherri took time off to learn about herself and goals that she wanted to achieve. She realized that if she was the driver of her own career, then she needed to represent herself that way. The only way she could do this was by creating her own personal brand.
When we think of almost any celebrity today, we come up with a vision of them and what they represent. Take Martha Stewart, for instance. She represents everyday luxury and attainable beauty because she shows her audience how to create beautiful things. As jobseekers, we need to create the same feeling in our potential employers.
What is your personal brand saying about you?
Consider what people think of you when they say your name. Then consider what YOU want people to think about you. If you represent the qualities you come up with and role model them accordingly, doors will open for you. Start out by asking “what are your values?” They can consist of core values, passions, personal traits, signature talents, and accomplishments.
What is your message?
Share your knowledge or expertise in specific technologies, tools, methodology, industry trends, product development, marketing, or business. Key into the results you obtained and the leadership experience gained; BUT, most importantly, BE PASSIONATE! Apply for jobs that you have a connection with – you’ll be much more likely to get the job offer. Take the time in your job interview to interview THEM and see if they are the right fit for you; otherwise you’ll polar bear right back to where you were.
Who’s in your network?
A network is a group of acquaintances and/or associates that you keep in contact with through regular communication for a mutual benefit. These people are usually referred to as your career influences.
There are four types of career influences:
1. Those who can hire you or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.
2. Those who can champion you.
3. Those who can teach you something new.
4. Wish list.
Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Now that you’ve prepared yourself and have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can develop your resume. It is sometimes wise to invest in a professionally written resume, but more often you want to try to write it yourself. Learn about keywords, formats, and cover letters so you can customize your resume to fit the job to which you are applying.
Building a career that inspires you takes time, focus and commitment. You need to the take the time to complete these steps before expecting results. Benefits include more control over your career, more career opportunities, and most importantly, the ability to create a career that gives you meaning, purpose, and great personal satisfaction.