There is little getting around the fact that job search can be a soul-sucking process that eats at your self-esteem and sense of worth. If you engage in the typical search, you will likely be turned down—rejected—multiple times before you finally land. The process can take weeks or months depending on the industry in which you work and the level at which you hope to be entering. An entry level job may be filled more quickly, for example, than a high level, executive position. Related: 5 Tips To Stay Positive And Motivated While Job Searching As far as you, the candidate, are concerned, you rarely expect the process to take as long as it takes, but that is the key element: it takes as long as it takes. You can’t rush the process, and you can’t, unfortunately, wave a magic wand and make it all be over, no matter how much you might want for it just to be over. No, you have to practice patience and perseverance, even in the face of a protracted search. I would recommend that you adopt the fundamentals that are embedded in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements as you undertake your search. In that bestselling book, Ruiz offers four life strategies that could easily be translated into good advice for job seekers. For example, Agreement #1 is “Be Impeccable In Your Word.” During your job search, it may be easy to fall into the habit of whining, complaining, name calling, and son on. You may feel the need to denigrate a former employer or colleague, for example, or to blame someone else for your current circumstances. Avoid engaging in that sort of self-defeating dialogue, whether it is with another person or just within yourself. Maybe you did get a raw deal, but what good does it to do dwell on that now? It is time to move on and demonstrate your professionalism by taking responsibility for all of your actions and interactions, and using your words to build up instead of tear down. This includes the words you use to build yourself up rather than to tear yourself down. The second agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” This one is tough given that we are hard-wired as humans to look for insults and disparagements. We egotistically consider that we are center stage and everything that goes on around us somehow has something to do with us. While that may be true if you are two years old, it is not the case once you are an adult! Even when you feel that someone has somehow slighted you, it is more than likely that they are just busy and not aware that you feel insulted. Also, as far as your job search goes, you must remember that you may be one of a hundred or more applications. It is unreasonable to expect that you will be treated like anything other than what you are which is an applicant for a job that may or may not ever become yours. Don’t take it personally when you don’t get a call or an interview or the job itself. Someone more qualified than you or someone who they just liked better than you got the job. But don’t take it personally! Do you want to work where you are not the best fit or the most qualified or where you will might not be liked for who you are? Of course not! The third agreement is also perfect for the job seeker. It is, “Don’t Make Assumptions.” Don’t think that you can know everything that is happening behind the scenes, and don’t make up stuff in the absence of real information! You will just make yourself miserable imagining what is going on, and you can’t possibly know what is going on anywhere other than with you at any given point in time. You have to let go of the assumptions that you are likely going to want to create while you wait eagerly for the phone to ring. Finally, the fourth agreement is “Always Do Your Best.” At the end of the day, that is all you or anyone else can do. As a job seeker, however, doing your best means knowing what you are doing concerning your search. Are you working on your job search every single day? Are you following up on leads promptly? Are you sure your résumé is as strong as it should be? Are you networking and meeting people who might be good connections for you? If you aren’t sure, it may be time to solicit professional help. You probably thought you didn’t need a job search coach. You might be wrong. Even if you come from a Human Resources background, you may need an objective third party to look over all of your job search documents, and you need someone to help keep you accountable and on track. Beyond that function, however, your job search coach can help keep you motivated. Sometimes you just need a cheerleader…someone who will remind you that you can do this. You can have the job of your dreams. You can do what your heart desires. You don’t have to take the first offer that comes your way. You don’t have to settle! Staying positive and on track every single day can be tough, however. Every once in a while, it is okay to have a little pity party and let yourself have some ice cream or whatever your guilty pleasure is when you are feeling low. You are human after all. All of the rejections you may be getting take a toll on even the most confident candidate. But you can’t let the rejections get to you, and you can’t give up. This is your life! You get to decide how to live it. Don’t ever forget that. You can do whatever you want. Knowing that will help you stay positive throughout the process. I won’t sugarcoat it, though. Staying positive during a long job search takes resilience and requires that you maintain faith even when you may feel like giving up. The fact is, however, that you don’t have the option of giving up. You have to keep going until you find the job you want…and you can do that even if it takes a while. I sometimes have to remind my clients that “It takes the time it takes.” The wait can be excruciating, I know, but, but it goes with the territory that is the job search process. Read The Four Agreements, and use other uplifting, inspirational messages that will help you through this period of your life. Affirmations can help as well as surrounding yourself with a strong support group and the services of a career coach. This is an uncertain time in your life for sure, but you can use it to explore interests you may not have had time to explore before, so use some of your time for that. Do something fun that will take your mind off of your search periodically. And remember a favorite quote of mine from John Lennon: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.” Everything will be okay. Just hang in there.
For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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Are you in your 40s and thinking of changing careers? You're not alone. And you're certainly not crazy. In fact, if there's ever a time you can—and should—reinvent yourself, that time is now.
Below are four ways to start your career transition so you can successfully change careers in your 40s.
1. Stop Making Excuses
You've become accustomed to the fact that your 20s were the years where you figure out what you want to do with your life and then suffer through your choice for the rest of your life. Wrong! You are most definitely not the first person that has considered changing careers in their 40s and there are many stories of people just like you, succeeding against the odds. Now, once you've stopped denying that you are unhappy with your current job, you are thinking up excuses why it's ridiculous to switch careers. It's never too late to make choices that will benefit your health and wellness. Yes, a career you love will benefit you in all aspects of your life, including your health and wellness.
If you already know which career you want to change to, you are luckier than most confused career individuals. Don't try and jeopardize the journey ahead by making excuses such as:
- This is not the right time.
- My children need to finish school first.
- What will my partner think?
- I'm not qualified.
- I don't know where to start.
- I'm too old to change careers.
Though these might seem relevant at the time, it will only lead to more procrastination with a choice you know in your heart you want to make. And if you feel 40 is too late, how will it be when you are 50 and still unhappy with the job that you are doing? During your interview, the prospective employer will be able to pick up whether you are holding yourself back or making excuses and this will reflect on your being less "flexible" rather than open-minded and eager to develop.
2. Take A Leap Of Faith
For some, a career change can sound just as daunting as jumping out of a plane or swimming with sharks, but it's mostly the fear of failure that holds us back. Doing the same job and managing the same lifestyle has become the comfort zone and anything different feels like the end of the world. In order to really become satisfied with the life you are living and the career you are building, you have to take some chances. With every change there comes a fair amount of risk. Once you've analyzed the possible risk factors—and have distinguished between real and false fears—you might be able to gain control of the change.
Taking this leap of faith into the unknown of a new and challenging career can help you rediscover your true passion and purpose. The odds might always seem against you, and running back into the comfort that was your previously lifestyle might sound much more appealing than restarting the steps of your career ladder, but it will be much more satisfying and rewarding than being stuck in a job that you hate.
3. Take Your Experience With You
One of the greatest benefits of changing careers in your 40s is probably the fact that you have a world of experience to take with you. Unlike the inexperienced post-grad student applying for the job, you will have an impressive portfolio to offer. Even if you don't have experience in the career field that you want to switch to, your previous experience is still very much relevant. Apart from the actual skills and responsibilities, your work history will showcase your credibility. It will show the prospective employer what attributes and characteristics previous employers valued in you. Don't be afraid to quantify and mention your previous achievements; this will most definitely count in your favor. Just because you are switching careers doesn't mean your past experience is irrelevant.
Before looking for your new job, draw up a list of your skills, expertise, and experience. If you are making a career shift, you probably want to focus on something that either challenges you more, comes naturally, or something that you are passionate about. Organize your strengths and capabilities in such a way that you will be the "natural" choice for the hiring company.
4. Make Use Of Old Contacts
Being on this earth for over 40 years probably means that you've met quite a few people. Whether it was on a plane, at a networking event, or even at the gym, chances are you know people in all walks of life. Make use of your professional network to find a path to your new career. Don't make the mistake in thinking you have to do everything yourself.
Changing careers sounds scary when you don't know where to start. If you are making the transition from working as an office assistant to running your own fashion line, it probably won't happen overnight. Call up that fashion maven you've kept up with since college and invite them for coffee. Get some caffeine in them and start asking questions. Feed from those that are already successful instead of assuming you have to start from the bottom in order to succeed.
Switching careers in your 40s is not as daunting or difficult as you might think. Yes, you'll need a plan and it might take some time, but after the transition is complete, you'll be glad you did it.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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How long has it been since you last updated your resume? A few months? Years? During your last job search? If you haven't taken a look at your resume in a while, it's probably in need of some good TLC.
For every professional, not just job seekers, it's important to update your resume regularly. Careers take unexpected turns. You always want to be prepared in case you suddenly need to find a new job. Remember, every job is temporary. You don't want to waste time bringing your resume back from the dead when you should be focused on applying for new positions.
If you have cobwebs on your resume, here are three ways to bring your resume back to life so you can land more job interviews and get hired.
1. Optimize Your Resume With Keywords
In order for your resume to actually reach the hiring manager, it has to get past the ATS. Optimizing your resume with keywords is the best way to accomplish this. And you can't properly optimize your resume if you're not customizing it for each position you apply for.
Look at the job description before customizing your resume for the job you're applying for. Most job seekers don't realize that they could be missing out on job opportunities if they fail to do this. You need to customize your resume for each position you apply for, and it's because you need to get your resume past the ATS, which is only possible if you have the right kind (and amount) of keywords on your resume. Customizing your resume means you're including the keywords from a specific job description to give yourself a better chance of landing a job interview for that specific position.
After reading the job description, pick out the specific skills, technologies, and terms the employer mentions in the job posting and add them to your resume if they match up with your experience and qualifications. If the ATS reads your resume and sees that it contains enough of the keywords the employer is looking for, you'll "pass" as being qualified for the position and your resume won't get tossed. You won't get screened out of the hiring process because you'll be considered a qualified job candidate at first glance. A lifeless, unoptimized resume won't get you that far.
2. Update Your Formatting
Nothing makes it harder for hiring managers to get the information they need from your resume than outdated, inconsistent formatting. Maybe it hasn't been that long since you updated the content on your resume. But, when was the last time you updated your resume format? Have you just been adding more and more text to it? Moving sections and bullet points around? Stretching the margins so everything fits on one page?
If you actually want hiring managers to read your resume, you need to make it readable. This means making sure you're using a simple resume format and a clean-line font like Arial or Calibri. It also means making sure you have enough white space so you don't overwhelm the reader. If you're stretching margins and trying to cram everything onto one page, chances are your resume doesn't have enough white space. Use bullet points and one-inch margins to avoid large blocks of text that hiring managers will just skip over. You want to make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to see your value. Don't make it difficult for them to see your skills and accomplishments.
With an outdated resume format, you also run the risk of looking old and out of touch, which won't help your case if you're already worried about age discrimination. So, one of the best ways to bring your resume back to life is simply by updating your formatting.
3. Add Numbers To Your Bullet Points
What good is updating your resume if you don't show what you've accomplished since the last time you updated it? Take a look at your resume in its current state. Do all of your bullet points contain numbers? Do you have measurable accomplishments that prove you save or make companies money? If not, your resume still has some cobwebs. You still have some updating to do.
Breathe life back into your resume by quantifying your work experience. Add numbers to each bullet point in the "Work History" section of your resume. Think about what have you accomplished at work. Think about the service you provide as a business-of-one. What is your specialty? Do you get results? What have you accomplished that proves you're a valuable employee? If you can't quantify something, it doesn't belong on your resume.
Including numbers on your resume not only shows hiring managers what you can do, but they also help your resume stand out from the competition. They give hiring managers something tangible to measure your success and potential on. If there's one thing that can bring your resume back to life, it's quantifiable information.
Need More Help Bringing Your Resume Back To Life?
An updated, well-formatted, optimized resume is best way to market yourself to employers and stand out in the first step of the hiring process. If employers can't see exactly where and how you add value, then that's going to decrease your chances of landing an interview.
Thankfully, you can learn how to build a customized, strategic resume that gets past the ATS and impresses hiring managers in our "Resume Plan" course!
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A well-defined brand architecture strategy helps organizations grow, transform, attract customers, and build perceptions. In this post, we'll look at the different types and benefits of a brand architecture strategy, as well as a step-by-step guide so you can create a successful framework for your organization.
Brand Architecture Benefits
Without a well-defined brand architecture strategy, an organization can experience brand dilution. When brands start selling unrelated products that don't fit their brand promise, they overlap with other brands within the organization, working against each other.
A brand architecture strategy has eight primary benefits:
- Targets Specific Customer Segments
- Builds & Protects Brand Equity
- Enhances Awareness
- Platform For Growth & Expansion
- Boosts Stakeholder Confidence
- Solid Brand Messaging & Positioning
- Reduces Marketing Expenses
- Increases Organizational Flexibility
Three Brand Architectures
A brand architecture describes how a business organizes, manages, and markets its brands. There are three main types of brand architecture models: the monolithic/branded house, the pluralistic/house of brands, and the endorsed/hybrid. Figuring out which approach is right for your business has several implications: how people perceive your business, how new products or services launch, and how other brands get integrated. Let's take a closer look at these three brand architecture models.
MONOLITHIC/ BRANDED HOUSE: Under this structure, the company has a master brand with several sub-brands that usually share the same name with a qualifier to explain what the sub-brand does. This model capitalizes on customer loyalty.
- Google: Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Ads, Google Analytics
- Apple: Apple iPhone, Apple Pay, Apple iPad
- FedEx: Express, Ground, Freight, Logistics, Office, Services
The benefits of this strategy include:
- Efficiency: Focused marketing spending on a single brand strategy.
- Ease: Easier for consumers to recognize by keeping all offerings under one brand.
- Acceptance: Consumers are more accepting of new products and line extensions from a brand they already trust.
- Increased Awareness: As the master brand grows, the sub-brands receive increased awareness.
Some downsides to this strategy include:
- Reputation: Sub-brands are tied to the master brand's perception and reputation. If one brand experiences backlash, everything suffers.
- Dilution: If a brand is positioned too broadly across multiple categories, it can become diluted and ineffective.
- Risks: Mergers and acquisitions come with their risks (when Microsoft acquired Skype users lost trust in it). Source
- Ambiguity: It's difficult to maintain one brand identity across hundreds of brands as confusion over what your brand does sets in (e.g. Apple computers? Phone? Music? Wearable?).
PLURALISTIC/HOUSE OF BRANDS: In this structure, the master brand takes a back seat, giving the sub-brands the focus. Brands under this model have their audiences, brand identities, and marketing strategies. Businesses that want to reach diverse markets with a more tailored value proposition are likely to use this approach.
- Procter & Gamble: Crest, Dawn, Tide, Vicks, Bounty, Pampers, Pantene, Gillette
- Yum! Brands: KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill
- Unilever: Axe, Ben & Jerry's, Dove, Lipton, Popsicle, Klondike, Hellmann's
- General Motors: GMC, Chevrolet, Jeep, Buick, Cadillac
The benefits of this strategy include:
- Minimizes Risks: One brand can deal with the bad press while the rest of the brands and company can maintain their reputation.
- Reach: Each brand can broaden its reach through unique brand value propositions.
- Safety Net: An organization can take more risks knowing they have a strong brand to withstand the heat.
Some downsides to this strategy include:
- Cost: Managing multiple brands is difficult and expensive.
- Image: Confusion about the parent company's identity can occur.
- Reputation: The main brand cannot be relied upon to bolster the sub-brands reputation.
- Marriott: Bvlgari, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Residence Inn, Westin, Sheraton
- Nestle: Gerber, Perrier, Cheerios, KitKat, Toll House, Nescafe, Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, Coffee-Mate, Dreyers
- Kellogg: Cheez-It, Pringles, Gardenburger, Rice Krispies, Pop-Tarts, Eggo, Nutri Grain, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Town House
- Credibility: The endorsement provides credibility, reputation, and perceived confidence across the sub-brands.
- Efficiencies: Marketing effectiveness and reduced costs in conjunction with the master brand.
- Cross-Selling: Link between brands facilitates cross-selling.
Some downsides to this strategy include:
- Reputation: Sub-brands are tied to the master brand's perception and reputation. If one brand experiences backlash, everyone suffers.
- Increased Costs: With every new endorsed brand comes creative, legal, and time-to-market costs.
- Image: Confusion about the parent company's identity can occur.
How To Create A Brand Architecture
The purpose of a brand architecture strategy is to make your offerings clearer to your organization, stakeholders (i.e. investors, vendors, clients, agencies, etc.), and customers. This will guide you to which brand architecture type will best support your business strategy and those you serve. Here are three steps in creating a brand architecture strategy:
- CONDUCT AUDIT: The first step is to conduct an audit of your current organization's situation. This will help you determine what type of brand architecture will be most relevant for your organization. Things to evaluate in your audit include:
- How do your customers make decisions?
- Evaluate each brand's equity in comparison to other brands and the market.
- Conduct a competitive audit and SWOT analysis.
- Look at each brand, division, and corporate organization and how they are interconnected.
- IDENTIFY APPROACH: The next step is to identify the best brand architecture strategy that fits your organization's needs. Questions to ask as you evaluate your alternatives:
- List out the pros and cons of each brand architecture strategy
- Resources (budget/human) - How many brands can your organization afford to support? Do you have the resources to support each strategy?
- Do these brand architecture strategies meet your business objectives?
- Is having a connecting link between the master brand, brands, and divisions a priority?
- To what extent do your brands need to remain independent?
- Do you have a valuable and loyal customer following that you want to leverage?
- What is your growth strategy? Does your business entail pending mergers, acquisitions, or alliances? Are you planning new products, services, line extensions? And you don't want to impact your master brand?
- Are you looking to maintain a consistent brand identity throughout all of your sub-brands?
- Are there special circumstances (partnerships, licenses, etc.) that dictate tighter or looser brand linkages?
- Do your products or services target a particular market? Are you looking to expand into other market segments?
- How much disruption are you willing to endure reorganizing your brand architecture?
- To what extent should your brands cross-reference and promote each other? Will your customers be confused by cross promoting between your brands?
- List out the pros and cons of each brand architecture strategy
- DEVELOP STRATEGY: Now you're ready to develop your brand architecture strategy, execution plan, and timeline. Develop a brand strategy for each brand under the brand architecture strategy that you've identified that best fits your organization. Last, create a decision tree to maintain your brand architecture. A formal decision tree provides your organization with a guideline on the brand strategy across the portfolio.
Your brand architecture is critical to get right for your internal organization, external partners, and customers to understand. A defined brand architecture strategy helps organizations grow, transform, attract customers and build perceptions. Start building your brand leadership today. You've got this!
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