When you have hit your stride in your career, with years of experience, expertise and competence, hearing the words ‘off shoring’, ‘restructuring’ or ‘redundancy’ is likely to send a wave of anxiety your way or at least a mild shiver up your spine! Like it or not, these three simple words are enough to strike fear into even the most seasoned and experienced executive.
Even if you haven’t had to face the prospect of redundancy personally, chances are you have at least been touched by knowing someone suffering from a ‘career break’… and it hurts!
The reality is with the new age of digital disruption and cost cutting, there may come a time along your career path, where downsizing or redundancy affect you, or where you seek to return to employment either through necessity or desire.
The fact is we are all working longer and retiring later, and even the Federal government’s intergenerational report recognises that it’s an economic imperative that we must accept working into later life, to boost productivity and, as health and longevity increase, see ourselves into ‘golden years’ to ensure we are financially secure. For those of you who love a good statistic, the report backs it up with estimates an extra 3 percent participation rate in workers over 55 would account for a $33 billion boost to Australia’s gross domestic product. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
But if you find yourself at this crossroad, hovering between taking any job that comes along and making a strategic step that progresses your career, you could be forgiven for not thinking about the good of the economy! After all, at this stage of your life, with so much accumulated experience and IP, you have earned the right to be more selective, more satisfied and more valued for your contribution!
The reality is that opportunities at the top inspire cut-throat competition. People ‘of a certain age’, even at a high-calibre executive level, can face “employment discrimination” – a euphemism for ageism – particularly as the ranks of ambitious aspirants swell in number.
Compounding the challenges is the definition of an older worker, which is surprisingly young! For redundancy purposes, if an employee is 45 they are defined as an older worker. In fact as a Personal Brand Coach, I have met and worked with many extremely talented, intelligent professional women who have risen to the peak of their professions, perhaps raised families and achieved in other facets of their lives, only to be totally overcome with the prospect of involuntarily switching careers or re-entering the corporate world, which may have changed significantly in terms of technology, terminology, culture and employer expectations.
THE GOOD NEWS, REDUNDANCY CAN RE-IGNITE YOUR CAREER!
Take a deep breath. The good news is, this interlude is actually a GIFT – an opportunity to FOCUS entirely on yourself, to re-evaluate what you are GREAT at, what you are PASSIONATE about and INSPIRES you, and what gives you ENERGY, so you light up in the morning!
Redundancy or any career transition doesn’t mean you have to accept second best! To the contrary, it means you can put yourself first by acknowledging that now is your time to be seen, be heard and be noticed for who you are and all that you bring to the table, leading from a position of strength into the next new chapter of your life.
ITS ALL ABOUT THE WAY YOU LOOK AT IT!
Confidence and self-esteem is the ultimate drug for success! When you have it, you have the secret ingredient that will inspire you to Dream Big and act to achieve the greater success you deserve and desire in both life and business.
So, forget about spending hours competing for hundreds of jobs that you may need but really don’t want, against hundreds of applicants and start to think BIGGER!
Think strategically about how you can refresh and reboot your mindset so you start to attract the right jobs, the right tribe and right opportunities to you! This may sound like a glass half full approach, and it is! This is the perfect opportunity to channel your energy into rebooting your personal brand (who you are, what you stand for, how you are unique), invest in yourself, and positioning yourself to stand out among the competition for the skills, leadership and vision that you bring to the table. How many times in your career do have the time, resources and focus to dedicate to the development of ‘YOU”? To identify your truth and communicate what is important to you?
Your worth in the world is defined by more than just your experience, expertise and competence. Your journey, your story, your successes and challenges all add strength, purpose and personality to your professional profile and promote a deeper connection to your values and beliefs and those of prospective employers or organisations.
Entrepreneur Allan English says it best:
“When you get to a stage when you have a purpose that’s greater than you; when it’s not about money, it’s about something bigger and better than you; then with it comes the power to give yourself permission to be the very best you can be”.
INFLUENCE, IS THE NEW CURRENCY.
Business today is no longer looking to just plug a person into a position. Across all industries, companies are seeking people who share their vision, values and social direction, people who can not only add value to the business and the bottom line, but who also have personal brand leadership qualities and can influence and impact others in a positive way.
‘Influence’ is the new currency – businesses, Boards and organisations are looking for leaders with purpose, vision, values and influence; People who cut through the noise and clutter, and align with their core values and purpose; People who have a voice and stand for something.
It’s up to you to demonstrate, both in your online presence and in person, that you back up your CV to show them you have plenty more to give, to show them where you are going and not just where you have been. As a personal brand coach and mentor, I assure my clients, your professional profile, no matter how impressive it is, is not an obituary! It shouldn’t stop if your job ends. It shouldn’t just be a list of past jobs and awards; it should be backed up a powerful mission statement, bio, professional profile and personal brand, so businesses, employers and organisations get inspired about who you really are, what you stand for and where you are headed.
STOP. TAKE A BREATH. THINK BIGGER!
In between jobs? Don’t take it personally! I have seen even the brightest and most experienced professional woman lose their confidence and mojo when their careers stall. And in full disclosure, I have been there too – experiencing first-hand how it can affect your mindset, body language and the way you engage and communicate with others.
Initially, most of your time is spent on applying for new career opportunities with a sense of optimism and urgency that soon turns into desperation and despair when your efforts aren’t immediately rewarded and the novelty for hunting for that next career milestone wears off.
So, here’s the truth! Just stop! Take a breath and think bigger!
It doesn’t have to be all about chasing your next client, lead, job or career opportunity! Instead, how great would it be if you started to attract opportunities to you?!
5 TIPS TO REBOOT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND & GET YOUR DREAM JOB:
1. REBOOT YOUR MINDSET
Confidence is the drug for success!
Your mindset is the centre of building a powerful personal brand! It stands at the very core of your brand and is the centre from which everything radiates! Your mindset directly affects everything! Your energy, presence, attraction, impact, influence and leadership!
Diagram below: My methodology for building a powerful and sustainable personal brand all stems from your mindset. Positive or negative, we all stand for something and your mindset will set the tone for your energy and confidence, ultimately affecting the impact and influence you have on others.
A powerful and extremely valuable exercise I employ with clients, which forms the basis of their “brand”, is to thoroughly analyse their career and life milestones, how they were changed by them, the values they were honouring at the time and how they applied them, as well as the lessons they learnt. Then, we work together to understand how to apply them to change and innovate in leadership role.
Not only is this a confidence builder – people are amazed when they see their achievements and highlights in black and white – it also helps you to establish you brand voice, the key messages you want to impart to prospective employers, and clearly defines where you are headed. You are able to plan your way to success, set your own path and the steps to achieve it.
This is a truly empowering experience that will enable you to unlock your passion, purpose and vision. Organisations want to work with people who not only have the experience and expertise but also share their values, vision and purpose. Instead knocking on doors and chasing your next job or career shift – how great would it be if you start to attract people to you! Crafting a powerful personal brand that will give you impact and influence all starts from your mindset.
2. REBOOT YOUR VISUAL BRAND
No Selfie’s here!
Showcase yourself from a position of strength with updated, fresh profile images that you can use across all of your social media platforms, CV and LinkedIn profile to add consistency to your brand and image. In our professional profiles, we’re encouraged to include photographs of ourselves, especially now that social media and connectivity are more critical than ever before.
Don’t take a quick selfie with your smartphone! It is not going to send the same professional message. Your pictures are on the internet forever, you want them to be high quality. Hands up if you have professional profile shots of yourself? Do you Look the same in your profile shots as you do in person today? Are you the same age, is your hair style the same, are you in the same profession? Are you the same weight? A consistent image is paramount to earning trust! It’s your credibility, trust and authenticity that will come into question if your image is not represented consistently.
I work with my clients to update their online presence. Firstly, a fresh set of professionally shot images, starting with a profile pic and more candid shots, perhaps with other people showing them in context. Then we create a blog or a website to give them a digital portfolio. This need not be a costly exercise, thankfully, since WIX and similar ‘one stop shops’ are now so easy to use.
3. BUILD YOUR BRAND VOICE
Let people know what sand box you wish to play in!
Being able to identify your truth and communicate what is important to you is one of the secrets to influencing the way people think, feel and say, when your name comes up. You will also recognise and attract the type of values you want to attract in the market as well as people you want to work with!
It also gives you a compelling answer to the question “What do you do?”, and is the basis for your elevator pitch! Both your bio and pitch will have more impact if it is aligned to your story (leaves people feeling you were born to do this.) so you can say it with passion and conviction!
Update your bio, pitch mission statement and testimonials. Your profile should not read like an obituary, people want to know who you are, what you stand for (your values and beliefs) and your vision – where you are headed. Do your research on the businesses that share your core values and beliefs and who you would choose to work with – then communicate how you align with their vision, mission and purpose and can bring your own IP and leadership style to grow their business.
Establishing a consistent and unique personal brand voice, one that is authentic and truthful to who you are, will offer others the opportunity to read between the lines to forge a deeper connection and bond with you. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. A consistent brand voice across all of your platforms will give clarity to your message, vision and purpose and let people know what ‘sand box’ you wish to play in!
Defining your personal brand is not about ‘faking it’ or copying other people’s leadership styles or image. This is about distilling your core values and attributes and being the best version of you can be.
4. BUILD YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT:
When someone Googles you name what do they find? When people google your name, they want to see videos, blogs, photos and groups you are in. Nothing is more disappointing than meeting someone who seems interesting, but who doesn’t come up in a Google search! It makes people question your value.
During this hiatus, you can start producing quality work and thought leadership in your chosen area of expertise. The digital space is ideal for this. Your philosophy, your approach and your authority in your field will be seen by the people you want to see you. Start creating content in your niche market. On your blog, website or professional social media such as Linkedin, post case studies of how you have transformed businesses using your methodology, show people it works, through your experiences.
Update your LinkedIn profile, spring clean your social media platforms, download your data base from LinkedIn, publish – post, share and engage. You may not be working, but people’s perception of you will be that you are active and in touch with your industry. You will also start to position yourself as an authority and influencer in your niche market and when potential employers, Recruitment Agencies and organisations Google your name they will see up-to-date commentary, personal brand leadership and a multi-faceted snap shot of the depth of your voice, relationships and professional networks.
5. NETWORK. COLLABORATE. CONNECT. BOND.
Start to maximise and leverage from your networks, connection, key players and influencers that resonate with your values, beliefs and who your share your vision. To remain competitive in the new economy you must connect and build trust.
Today we have so many new technologies that make it viable for us to connect to others and build meaningful and lasting relationships. Your ability to project thought leadership and influence, depends on building personal relationships. Volunteer for roles on Boards, attend industry events and offer to mentor, coach, conduct workshops or provide consultancy services. Engage with and follow other leaders in your chosen industry and sharing other people’s insight to demonstrate your deep understanding of the issues in your field.
If you’d like help to reboot your career through personal brand leadership, Id love to help! Contact me to book a free consultation to unlock your potential for a successful career transition and mindset shift! Its takes clarity, consistency and commitment! Success is a choice! You can be whatever you want to be!