I’ve had several discussions with people considering their next career or business move, and the main feeling that people have shared with me is fear of the unknown (contrasted with a touch of excitement). This is generally due to a lack of confidence and knowledge on how best to present themselves in the interview process.
The first step is to remind yourself why you are looking for change and to align this to your goals. Once you have clarified that the change in your career is right for you, it’s important to build your confidence and build a powerful personal brand.
You are the product and you need to learn to sell yourself and have the awareness and insight about what you can offer. This is not just your skills (how you do the job) or experience (where you have been fortunate enough to practice those skills). We understand much more broadly these days that a great number of technical capabilities are transferable, and we have no doubt all heard some great success stories of career changes and shifts, and the exploration of new ways to flex and energise tired muscles.
What I am sharing here is about how you can personally contribute to a new organisation’s culture, beyond the role and requirements, and shine.
Personal brand is aligning your authentic self and your true purpose.
Here are some of my tips to help:
1. Understand your need/want for change
Most of us get caught up in external expectations. Why are you wanting to get to know yourself and why are you making the change? What is important to you? This is different for everyone. Be clear on the why.
2. Stop pretending to be someone else
Be the best you can be and understand your strengths and what you do well. You are amazing, and you have amazing talents!
What brings you joy?
Do you love to sit and think about a project or is being active what excites you?
Also consider the projects you’ve worked on that have been amazing and where you have been successful.
What areas of this project gave your energy?
3. Own It! Being able to articulate the true self straight away
With this new-found insight it’s about trying it on and owning it and writing it down. This will help you to update your social media profiles, and outline your most important “facts” so that you can pique their interest and make them think “I need this person in my company”.
4. Be curious about other people’s strengths
By understanding others around you and asking questions you will show genuine curiosity about the culture and the individual in front of you.
5. Work out, keep fit and stay strong
Your personal brand is like your health, you need to work at it, and keep it fit and strong in order to maintain its health and presence. Know the routines and workouts that improve your brand. Build your talents into strengths that will allow you to flex your brand when and where you need it.
This will be about developing an action plan for what’s next – how will you invest in your brand and strengths on-going to keep them fit and strong?
(Co-authored by Alexandra Kralevski)