All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘job search’

Signal Versus Noise, Part II: Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid In Branding Yourself

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1368433_68468380In Part I  of this blog, we discussed the concept of signal versus noise and the questions to think about when you are seeking branding collaborative advice. Today, let’s look at what you can do to use noise to make sure your brand shines.

Growing up, I used to get frustrated when I was trying to communicate, what I felt was, a really important point. Someone would come along and interrupt me and start talking about a useless topic. I felt like I had to defend myself and my topic by getting louder and yelling. I was skinny and small and my front two teeth were missing for a couple of years (felt like an eternity). So who was going to take this little girl seriously? I felt brand-less!

As you probably guessed, my yelling never worked well. The person interrupting me (noise) drowned out my message and specialness (signal). Looking back, what I think I was missing was a way to really distinguish myself from the noise of the situation.

I see many professionals do the same things with their branding. They are trying to compete with the noise. What if instead, you chose to not compete with the noise? What if you instead stuck to your signal and message and really differentiated your brand?

How, you ask? Here’s what to avoid:

1. Talk about what you do for a living– while what you do for a living is important, it is not competitive, necessarily. In other words, everyone can tell us what a fantastic lawyer, dentist, (fill-in-the-blank professional) they are. Who cares? At the end of the day, we know you can get the job done. Don’t bore me with the “hows” until I ask. If you do, you just become part of the noise.
2. Thinking you’re not interesting as a person– most of us assume our boring lives are just that– boring. Why would others care about our stories of childhood, triumphs or failures? Don’t they want to hire us purely for our substantive know-how? I hear so many clients say this. Guess what? They all have personal stories that fascinate me. Let your audience be the judge as to how interesting you are as a person. Don’t fall for the trap. Don’t become part of the noise. Be the signal. Tell me about your personal stories.
3. Let your ego rule– Our ego plays games with us during our highs (“I’m so fantastic and smarter than others, I just beat out 3 other people for a high-paying job”) and our lows (“I am the worst lawyer, dentist, financial adviser, human in the world. I can’t seem to get prospects to become my fans and hire me. I stink”). Anytime you let your ego run away with your thoughts during your highs or your lows, your giving in to the noise and forgetting about your true signal. Your true signal is that you are a unique and fabulous human worthy of the best. You’re a top-notch brand. End of story.

If any part of this worked for you, please share this post with others and be a contribution to them!

All We Have Is Time, Right?

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In this world where we are all running around in a hurry trying to get who-knows-where, stop and think to yourself: what’s the best thing you have to give? If we look at what we know to be “for sure” in life, we’ll find that besides death and taxes, time is a sure thing.

What do I mean by this?  We only have so much life to live.  So how much are you giving to your life and where?  Your time and where you choose to put it really are in your control.  If you think otherwise, then you are getting sucked into the game of “there is never enough time”. You may be out of balance.

If you look at your career and aspirations, there are certain things that are very important for you.  For instance, if you are a lawyer, then becoming a partner is valued because not everyone can achieve it, only the “elite”.  If you are looking to get promoted within your company or get a new and better job, then that is valued because your new title/job signals something to others- that you’ve made it.

Tweet: If all we have is our time, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you.

But what have you really “made” it to?  Put another way, what are the costs of your success?   Maybe your success costs you your relationships? Maybe your happiness and joy in life?  Or maybe both?  It really can be very lonely on the top.  Is it just too painful to step back and observe?  Is that why you read this and subconsciously think it is non-sense and “fluff”?

I believe all great personal brands (and thus successful people) have balance in their lives.  Unfortunately, because of the stressors and demands of particular careers (i.e., lawyers and doctors), we are out of balance and oftentimes, not even aware of it.

Balance means that we stop and assess our lives. As Byron Katie said when I interviewed her, we stop and “sort out our lives” by sitting still.  Then we can find that we want our time to mean something.  If all we have is our time and how we give to others, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you.  For instance, doing community service that actually and truly enriches the community nurtures and enriches you, too.

If you stay out of balance long enough no one wants to be around you, much less hire you.  That’s the sign of a failing personal brand.  Eventually anything out of balance succumbs to natural forces and tips over.  Don’t let that be you.  Find your balance and center.  Now, that’s a great brand.

TELL US WHAT YOU DO TO STAY IN BALANCE.

Can Your Personal Brand Handle A Career Change?

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careersignMaking the decision to change careers and then taking the big plunge to actually change careers is hard enough.  I know what it is like. I remember it all too well.  Sometimes I look back and wonder where I ever got the nerve or the courage.  I have even asked myself if I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now.  The answer is always a resounding “yes”.

Changing careers is scary because there are so many unknowns.   We ask ourselves all sorts of questions, including:

– Will I like my new career better than my current career?

– Will I be a success?

– Will I make enough money to live comfortably?/ Can I pay the bills to survive?

Part of the difficulty in changing careers is the unsettling notion we have about how we can conform who we are, as individuals, to the new job.  The problem is that most of us identify ourselves with our careers and jobs.  If you asked me 15 years ago who I was, I would have told you I was a lawyer.

Clients often say to me that they do not know how to represent themselves (ie, position their personal brands) in networking events, on business cards and in front of others in general.  For example, one client practiced as a CPA for twenty years before switching careers to go into the mortgage industry.  Not only did she have a challenge with what to verbally say as she introduced herself and her new career, but she also had reservations around her visual brand- how does a mortgage industry specialist show up in public?  Is it the same as a CPA or not?  More conservative or less?  The list was endless, understandably.

The hesitation and confusion is understandable.  There is a very real loss of self followed by self-discovery in this process.  You have to go through the journey of figuring out how to distinguish yourself and your new personal brand within the context of the your new industry and career. This requires you to know your uniqueness and your story around it. Then you need to find the overlap in your uniqueness, talents and story between your two careers.

So ask yourself: 1) are you ready for a change? 2) would a new career make you happier possibly in the long run?  3) do you have a contribution to society that fuels your passion and purpose? 4) where are the commonalities and differences in your two careers and your skill-set and offerings- ie, where are YOU the same in each career?

Got Your “Intentional Brand” Turned On?

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So many of us expend tons of energy daily in an effort to build a successful business brand or be an effective employee in order to build a successful business brand.   The end result is that we are putting our valuable energy toward an end result without a plan for how to get there.  Even worse, we are often tired, angry and bitter- wondering why all our effort is not working and never stopping to take a breath.

In personal brand management, I’m always talking about creating an intentional brand.   Your business brand success or your position as an employee starts with YOU and YOUR personal brand.  Without having an idea of why you do what you do or what plan you have for how you want to be perceived, nothing else works.  You cannot build a house without a foundation.  Just the same, you need to first have a personal brand (along with your personal branding goals, etc) so that you have an intentional trajectory from which your business brand and your job success grows and builds.

In many ways, an intentional brand  means you allow a recovery period so you can rest, rejuvenate and reflect.  In this way, you are more creative and have time to just “be” still.

So stop and think about:

– WHY you get up each morning?

– What do you want others to perceive of you each day?

-Are you projecting out a brand that gets you seen and heard in a good way? If not, what can you change?

 

What NOT To Do During An Interview Or A Sales Pitch- tip #1

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Here at Puris Image, we work with businesses and their employees on developing their personal brands and conveying that into a successful personal brand. However, it seems we are often working on interviewing skills for our clientele, too.  So whether you are interviewing for a job or a new client/business, the tips are all the same.

In fact, I’ve discovered a pattern that happens with people who are interviewing- whether they be attorneys, CEOs, entry-level people, etc.  The list is so long that I’ll address one issue each time.

So here’s the main thing NOT to do during an interview: DO NOT be or act desperate.

The tone of your entire interview is set by your mentality.   Too often people go into interviews (or meetings with prospects for new business) with a mentality of being desperate because they need the job or need the business.  This is a perfect way to set yourself up for failure. People can sense desperation and do not like it.

You must create a win-win situation.  So remember, you are not desperate.   The best way to not be desperate is to:

A) Think to yourself, Do I want to work here?  If it is a prospect, think to yourself whether  you really like them as a potential client.

B) Create JOY as the emotional underpinning for why they should hire you or engage your firm.  As with all things related to branding, if you I cannot see you as bringing joy to our office and our clientele, then I cannot hire you or give you the business. I can teach anyone most anything, but I cannot teach joyful attitude and integrity.

C) Show your flexibility and adaptability as an employee or vendor.  Make sure your responses and questions all come across from a place of being open to new concepts and people, but NOT overly ingratiating.  For example, “I’d be open to working different hours” and NOT “I can work any hours you need for any pay.”  OR if you are a business prospecting, “We are happy to create a service package that is customized to your business needs” and NOT “We’ll do whatever you want at any price”.

Look for the next tip at a later date.

EMAIL US YOUR WORST EXPERIENCE WITH DESPERATION IN GETTING BUSINESS

 

 

 

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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.