Career changes are exciting.
You know you’re ready for a career change. You are excited for the possibility of doing work that means something to you on some level.
Career changes are also scary.
Confidence in your abilities when you haven’t had direct experience can feel inauthentic. How does the past success you’ve had prove you can succeed in a new and different environment?
Career changes tend to bring an enormous amount of anxiety.
I often get referrals for job seekers who feel apprehensive and lost. Fear of rejection, awareness of competition in the job market, and self-doubt all come into play.
For some reason, I’m really good at helping people identify and express their value.
I never chose to help people with their personal brands. But people keep asking for my help. This personal branding work, it seems, has chosen me.
I’ve decided to listen to what people are asking for, and adapt the branding process I use for organizations. I’m currently refining a branding process for individuals.
I asked my client, Lynn Burdick, if we could take a video of our first meeting. She agreed. Watch to see how we took Lynn’s personal brand collateral from unfocused to targeted and authentic.
Full 2 Minute Video Showcasing 5-Steps to Defining Your Value
Step-By-Step with Process Explanations
Forgive the video quality of the snippets. The captions ARE easy to read – and you’ve got the sound off because you’re at work, right? If you’re listening to the video, the sound is good, too.
Step One: Identify Your Strengths
“I hired Dawn to help me define my brand as I was doing a career pivot. She guided me through her process – laying a foundation based on my passion and values and fleshed out my experience to create my unique story.” ~Lynn Burdick, Personal Branding Client
When I work with both personal and business branding clients, I begin with a word association exercise. I adapted this process from the Brand Deck exercise I was introduced to by Samantha Fagan from Design It Please.
This first step never fails to reveal a client’s strengths and values. It also works to break down the barriers of self-criticism I often see. Removing barriers to what you REALLY want to do, and CAN do, focuses the conversation on the client’s TRUE market value.
Step Two: Get Connected and Confident
“I walked away from each session inspired and motivated by our progress. She truly cared about my success and was such a pleasure to work with.” ~Lynn Burdick, Personal Branding Client
I have a background in counseling, conflict resolution, and case management for at-risk teens. This skill set really comes into play in the second step.
As we review the words you chose, I look for patterns in what makes you feel confident and excited. We clarify your strengths and skills. We identify the tasks that you love and also excel at.
It is during this second step that the client really begins to commit to a direction. It’s beautiful to see them realize that they have the skills and experience necessary. They begin to get excited about presenting themselves as a strong and viable candidate.
Step Three: Get Grounded in Reality
“The benefit of working with her wasn’t just about creating a branding strategy, Dawn’s process got me to really focus and connect with my knowledge, skills and abilities and see them from a fresh perspective.” ~Lynn Burdick, Personal Branding Client
Everyone is excited in the dream phase. But all the excitement is useless if you aren’t able to show why your skills and expertise matter. This next step deals directly with how you benefit organizations.
We examine your work history from the perspective of what you accomplished AND also loved accomplishing. This is where the client really begins to focus on their most valuable skills and accomplishments.
Steps Four & Five: Position Your Value
“I highly recommend Dawn for all of your strategic communications. She will take her flair for language and editing magic and create powerful, engaging content that will increase your influence in the market and expand your brand.” ~Lynn Burdick, Personal Branding Client
Together the client and I decide on what I call their brand values. We choose three words that they feel best represent their strengths, passions, and value. Then I send them off with some homework.
At our next meeting, we position the raw data the client organized. We research industry and job-specific search terms. Then we get to work on their LinkedIn profile and/or resume content.