Often, when I speak with a new client about personal branding or when I get a question from someone on this topic, there are two questions that keep resurfacing. They are, “How do I develop my personal brand without sounding self-important and pompous?” and, “How can my brand be authentic if I’m tweaking it for different job opportunities?” RELATED: 3 Examples Of Great Personal Branding Left to their own devices, I often see people’s confusion result in the following: Concocting a “personal brand” that’s really not a brand at all- It’s just a vague description of something they have experience with. Example: “Ten years experience in project management.” (Or: finance or marketing, etc.) The problem: Lots of people have ten years’ experience in project management. It doesn’t tell us what sets you apart. When you’re in the market for a new position, a personal brand should be developed in conjunction with your focus so it speaks to the hiring person of that specific field. Keep in mind an employer’s bottom-line question – even if it is not asked – is whether you are worth your money. They want to know what you can do for the organization that makes it worth their while bringing you on board. Hiring is an expensive process! A wrong hire is extremely expensive. Communicating your personal brand gives the people you network and interview with something specific and memorable – or at least it should! Here are the answers to those questions – and your tips – to make sure you’re not committing “brand suicide.” You stay authentic by, of course, by...
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Question for you: Are you confident? About yourself? About your competencies? About your professional status? About your career in general? About switching careers? About your ability to make changes when needed and do what you truly love? Related: How To Be More Confident At Work I watched a video by Marie Forleo last week about this topic. (She focuses on women business owners so you may not know her. But the same principle applies to career professionals.) Marie said confidence is overrated, and I agree. Why? Because, if you let it get in the way of moving forward, you’ll never get anywhere. It’s nice to be confident and build your confidence up when you feel insecure (this is something that usually happens when I work one-on-one with my clients), but it’s true… if you’re waiting until you’re 100% confident to take that next move, you won’t go anywhere. Confidence is a great good in America; it’s often seen as a must-have to succeed at anything. Of course, how you project yourself influences how others see you, so there is definitely a psychological component there. However, it’s better to take a shot at something with the possibility of succeeding, than just day dreaming about it because you’re not 100% sure of the outcome. Guess what – you never will be! And even confidence will not guarantee success. I think especially for us, Renaissance Personalities, it is important to realize we’ll most likely feel some apprehension whenever we embark on something new. We spend a great deal of our lives outside our comfort zone. Not because we want to, but because staying put in something boring or something we don’t enjoy is just not an option. So, please realize that it’s okay and normal to feel hesitant and insecure about your next endeavor, or about aspects of your job or a new project. I do. It’s about keeping it moving. So, as much as I like to help my clients boost their confidence and make them feel better – which is still very valuable – I agree a warning is in place: don’t confuse not feeling 100% confident about your next step with some sort of “sign” you shouldn’t move forward with your plans or projects. In fact, usually, it’s the other way around. You push yourself out of your comfort zone and watch your confidence grow as you take steps toward your goal. Often succeeding, don’t you? My tips for taking the next step anyway, even when you don’t feel 100% confident:
Here’s something interesting: the way you respond to specific situations tends to be the way you respond across the board. This is nothing mysterious; it simply reveals some of our character traits underlying our behavior. The goal here is to be aware of your behavior patterns during your career transition. Related: 5 Tips To Navigating Career Transitions Successfully For example: If some of your friends you frequently hang out with make plans to get together without you, what is your first reaction? Do you feel rejected, do you get angry, or do you simply wonder what they’re up to and assume they were just about to ask you? Your reaction to this kind of situation is likely the same you’ll have when you don’t hear back after applying somewhere. (And, as an aside: There are SO many reasons you may not hear back after sending in your resume – especially in response to a job posting – that have NOTHING to do with you. ) Another example – a personal one this time: I tend to want to be prepared and have my ducks in a row. Not very convenient when you’re running a business. So, I’m trying my best to unlearn this trait. It’s also not handy if you’re in career transition, as it may prevent you from taking action until you are “ready” – which, if you’re like me, you’ll never be! Perfection is unattainable. Progress, on the other hand, is a fantastic goal.
Job search. Not your favorite pastime, I’m sure. For many, it consists of “unfun” (and even dreaded) action steps such as writing your resume, networking, doing research, and interviewing. Related: 10 Reasons Happy People Get More Job Opportunities So, let’s make it easier on yourself.
Do you have so many different interests and passions that the concept of settling into one career always felt awful to you?
There’s something I need to get off my chest and that’s how puzzled I am seeing some people making decisions based on “how it looks on their resume.” Do you do this? To me, that’s life imitating art. Or something warped like that. You may be surprised to hear me say this – as the resume expert – but come on, folks! Do you really want to relinquish that much power to your resume? What I see happening is people making career decisions – sometimes life decisions – primarily based on how it will look on their resume. Of course, there may be situations where you don’t have a big preference for the options you’re considering, and if one of them looks a lot better on your resume, then it could make sense. But this living for your resume mentality is sad. Here’s the thing: there probably is a reason you are driven to do something you think is not going to look very good on your resume. It may be you want to do something completely different, or take a sabbatical, or take a step back, or a few months off... So, do it! The feelings and intuition and passion that guide us on our paths in life are hard enough for most of us to follow anyway. You don’t need another self-imposed, made-up reason why you can’t (read: won’t). Because you know what? There are plenty of people in great careers at great companies with not-so-perfect resumes. And there are people with these so-called “perfect resumes” sitting at home being unemployed right now. It doesn’t matter! Who knows? During your sabbatical or your trip around the world, you could end up with inspiration to start your own business, meet your future spouse, or realize you want to switch careers altogether. I’m not trivializing the role of the resume here. I’ve yet to meet someone who moved from one job (or career) to the next without having to produce a resume. And it’s true hiring folks frown upon large employment gaps and stuff. So yes, it may be more challenging for you to create a strong resume next time around. However, your resume is just one way of introducing yourself to an employer. There is so much more to you and how you present yourself. My advice is to hire a resume pro for any kind of challenging background anyway. But for crying out loud... don’t put off life out of fear for the “almighty resume!” If you’ve got an interesting story to tell and you know what sets you apart, and if you can market and present yourself; “perfect resumes” be damned! Resume schmesume. Okay? Now, I want to know... are you guilty of “that won’t look good on my resume” talk? What have you NOT done out of fear it would “ruin” your resume? Tell me! And I’ll tell you whether you could revitalize that old dream or side step without fear from the resume gods. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Do you wish you would figure out your true passion in life once and for all? Have you ever found yourself hoping to live for a few hundred years so you can satisfy all your interests? Do you lose interest in things you thought would interest you forever? These are typical “Renaissance Personality” statements. I notice when I talk to people about this concept, a lot of folks jump up yelling, “Yes! I’m one, too!” Others are not sure. I’ve also noticed some people think they own a Renaissance Personality, but don't. Being aware of your personality type is the foundation from which you can make changes in your life and create a modern-day “Renaissance life” that is exciting and stimulating. So, if you’ve already identified yourself as a Renaissance Personality, you’ll be on your way to a new perspective on life in general and you as a person. But in case you’re not quite sure, let’s get really clear on what a Renaissance Personality is, and what it’s not. You can spot a Renaissance Personality based on these three characteristics – with thanks to author M. Lobenstine (“The Renaissance Soul”). They are as follows: