Stuck in a Career Rut? Allow us to point you in the "Wright" Career Direction

3 B.A.D. Tips to Bolster Your Career Brand

 

Yes, this might sound like an oxymoron, but read on…

Earlier in the year, I had the privilege of speaking to members of CAMP, a networking group for internationally trained communication, advertising and marketing professionals (hence the name CAMP), in Toronto.

The title of the presentation was “You’re BAD!” Of course, it was not an attempt to characterize these individuals as BAD in the literal sense, but to remind them that they were (and are) Bold, Audicious and Dynamic, and that by virtue of the fields within which they work, they are uniquely positioned to be B.A.D. I encouraged them to forget the labels people place on them as ‘lacking Canadian work experience’, and continue believing in themselves, their successes and their dreams.

That message is also relevant to job seekers or anyone going through a career transition. If you are working on your career marketing documents (resume, cover letter, bio, online profile, and portfolio), your brand statement, elevator pitch, or whatever other job search collateral you are creating), you can adopt a B.A.D attitude. If not, you won’t be able to effectively tell your story and get hired. Reinvent yourself, have courage, and dare to do things differently! The job environment is such a competitive one that now is a good time to be BAD!

Below are several variations of the B.A.D. acronym. Choose the one that you think will bolster your career brand and adopt it as your own mantra:

  1. Be Big, Bold & Brilliant: Take that big, bold, brilliant step to get the job or promotion you have always wanted. Don’t let fear or negative comments from others prevent you from going after what you want. Claim your brilliance and allow it to shine through every area of your life.
  2. Be Ambitious, Authentic & Astute: Be ambitious. Don’t settle for anything small. Ambition drives determination, and determination or perseverance allows you to move forward and claim your place at the table. Now it’s time to take a gut check on your Authenticity: Who are you? Are you genuine, or are you wearing a mask? Are you satisfied with ‘Brand You’, and if you are, are you consistently living that brand? Your authentic answers to these questions will help you become the person you were destined to be. Be Astute. Do you have all the smarts required to succeed? If not, are you engaging in developmental activities that will help you acquire these skills?
  3. Be Dynamic, Decisive & Distinct: A Dynamic individual demonstrates confidence. Whether you are networking, interviewing or having a casual conversation, you need to exhibit an aura of confidence. Stop acting like a wimp!  Be Decisive: When you have a serious decision to make, tell yourself firmly that you are going to make it. The famous author, Napoleon Hill, said “Indecision is the seedling of fear.” In all your interactions, you need to position yourself as Decisive; someone who is willing to make a decision even at the risk of being unpopular. Any hesitancy on your part could indicate that you are unsure about yourself. You are Distinct. There is no other person like you. You have been individually picked and handcrafted for a purpose. This mindset allows you to accept the unique person you are and differentiate yourself from everyone else.

After reading all these BAD tips, images of conceit, self-centredness and egotism might be entering your mind, but reject those thoughts. This is not about bragging. It’s about standing up for yourself. Don’t downplay your accomplishments, and pass them off as being “Just a part of the job”, or “It’s no big deal”. This is the time for you to adopt a B.A.D. attitude and learn to market your distinct brand so you won’t miss out on another opportunity. Go ahead and be B.A.D.!

You can click on the photograph above to watch a 5-minute video with snippets from my presentation to CAMP. It’s from Rogers TV, so expect to see a 30-second commercial before the real piece. Watch it and let me know your thoughts!

 

3 Basic Tips to Boost Your LinkedIn IQ

Are you just getting started on LinkedIn? Are you someone with a LinkedIn account but an incomplete profile? Set aside some time today to work on your LinkedIn profile. “Why?”, you ask. LinkedIn has been described as your “Résumé on Steroids”. This means your profile is available online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. In addition, more than 85 percent of hiring managers use it to find candidates. With the potential for so much exposure, you should familiarize yourself with some LinkedIn basics.

  • First, replace the blank avatar in your profile with a professional headshot. People are more inclined to accept an invitation when they can see a face. If, for some reason, you don’t want to use a photograph, use an image that is closely aligned with your profession or your personality.
  • Second, customize your LinkedIn invitation. Do not use the generic, “I’d like to add you to my professional network” invitation that LinkedIn offers. Create a short personal message such as “I was reviewing my professional network on LinkedIn and realize you are not yet on my list. Please accept my invitation to connect.”
  • Third, create a Personal LinkedIn URL. When you first created your profile, LinkedIn automatically assigned you a profile URL that included letters and numbers. Change this URL to include your name. For e.g., my LinkedIn URL is www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright.

According to LinkedIn, members with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive career opportunities. Put yourself in a position for new career opportunities. Begin working on your LinkedIn profile, and have a great Monday.

Tips for Moms Returning to Work – Part VI

When you are taking time away from work for motherhood, keep networking. The single most important thing you can do is keep in touch with former co-workers and other contacts.

Stephanie AuWerter, Senior Editor SmartMoney.com

Tip # 8: Seek out family-friendly employers. Get a hold of surveys or publications of the best employers, and find out if they support family-friendly initiatives such as onsite daycare facilities, flexible work arrangements (telework, telecommuting, or part-time employment). You should also explore social media groups such as Redsphere Network (www.redspherenetwork.ning.com/), YummyMummy (www.YummyMummyClub.ca), Connect Moms (www.connectmoms.com), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), Twitter (www.twitter.com), and Facebook (www.facebook.com), and see what they have to offer. Create a profile on a couple of these sites; sign up for job alerts from different job boards, and connect and share your expertise with likeminded individuals.

Tip # 9: Sharpen your computer skills.  The Internet has made it very easy to upgrade or learn new skills, so search for free or fee-based courses offered online, via teleclasses or on CDs. A good place to start for Beginner’s Training for Microsoft is http://office.microsoft.com, and if you are looking for tips and tricks for MS Word, visit http://wordtips.vitalnews.com.

Returning to the workforce may have its challenges, but if you create an action plan, engage in professionally-related activities, and continue to upgrade and keep abreast of trends in your field, it makes your transition that much easier.