I have found great satisfaction in providing coaching and consulting on personal brand strategy development. The idea of matching personal interests and passions with a career that is rewarding, challenging and yields a sense of fulfillment each and every day is worth the price of all the hard work. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. We live in a world where some countries have a 25% unemployment rate, poverty is at record levels, jobs are less frequent and pay even less than adequate for most and basic survival is taking precedent over pursuit of happiness.
I would be misleading you if I took all the negative economic impact that is hitting the world employment market and made it the sole blame for so many of us wandering through life aimlessly paycheck after paycheck, so I won’t.
This piece isn’t about our current economic situation or the cyclical downturns we have witnessed for hundreds of years. This is about a bigger tragedy in the true pursuit of professional happiness.
Its you!! The person that truly wants to find a career that makes them happy and impassioned.
Isn’t that just truly ironic. Alanis Morisette; you can take that to the bank.
I have been approached through referrals about helping clients find a job.
My initial response is always very similar, “Do you want a job or a career that truly defines you?” Almost 100% of the time, I get an enthusiastic yes. The next question often becomes a hiccup for most.
“What are you truly passionate about, what makes you great and what are your true talents?”
If I told you the amount of silence or how many times the phrase “I don’t really know” comes right after that question, you would be astonished.
I love taking on the challenge of shaping, engaging and building a personal brand with the ultimate goal of the perfect career fit.
Of course, I give homework and deadlines. I have to keep you on task.
Generally, here is what happens:
- Have the client define their personal passions and interests. List their talents. Identify the type of work and daily activities that keep them energized.
- Define the culture that helps them thrive
- Teaming / individual contributor
- Start up / Mature organization
- Business owner / part of an organization
- Small, medium or large company
- Local, regional, national or international
- Long term goals
- Types of products or services you want to provide the community
- List the top ten things they love about your current or previous roles / List the top ten things they did not love
- List current digital footprint – What networks do they subscribe to or are members
- How engaged are you? – Do they engage in discussions, start discussions, publish posts or share your expertise with like individuals?
- Get engaged – Join more professional talent networks, share your talents, make strong connections
Some of you are wondering why I haven’t even mentioned a resume or a CV. Pointless. It doesn’t define you, it summarizes you. That will not win your perfect job. It may not even get you in the door. You and you alone will win over your future employer because ideally, when you step foot in the door, you are the square that fits in the square hole. You just need to shine and show them why.
Back to the list….
- Obviously reviewing the resume/CV is a necessary step.
- Write a business plan for individual success. So many of us go into a job search unfocused. Many even do the throw it and see what sticks approach to applying. A little secret: Employers can see right through that. If you apply to 25 jobs, they will know and that will never goes away (applications are archived). Putting together a structured short term and long term personal business plan along with your list of passions and interests will build a case for where your journey will go.
- List the top ten companies you think you are fit for and why. That is the big one. If you know the type, size, services/products, environment and culture you will excel in, this part should be easy.
All that being said, I must go back to my earlier point of why this fails so often; yes you.
Typically, I lose 75% or more on step one. They walk away with the homework, they commit to delivering the results to me and then gone. Going, going, gone!!! I follow up and get the list of excuses:
- I’ve been really busy
- I keep setting time aside and things come up with the family
- I’m not sure where to begin
- I know I have no excuse, but I promise to do it
The moral of the story is that ideas and motivation are great starting blocks, but if you are looking to build your dream house, you have to see it through to completion.