Welcome to the 21st Century
Change is happening – fast! From this day forward we are never going to stop learning. That’s pretty great if you’re ready for a change in your career. But even if change is happening to you, not because of you, take comfort. We’re all in this fast-paced environment of change, together.
Change is inevitable. It may not seem like you have transferable skills, but you do. You just need to learn how to position your previous experience.
Showing transferability means, first, gathering data about yourself. You won’t be able to see how you stack up until you do a complete inventory of your skills and your value.
Take some time for an analytical reality check. Take a close look at your experiences. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of choosing what to showcase and using the right words. Sometimes you’ll see where you need training. I guarantee you’ll see where you are already highly competent. And competence leads to confidence.
My last article was about the first stage of personal branding. I wrote about helping a client define her value and suitability for the next job she really wants. You can read about Lynn Burdick’s experience with this process stage here.
This article is about the second stage, choosing which accomplishments to showcase. Editing your experience down to the relevant pieces. Demonstrating your contribution and impact. Showing that you’re the right candidate for the next position. So, here we go –
4 Steps to Identifying Your Value
Step 1. List every accomplishment and achievement. This gets your head in the game. It’s also information those hiring want to see.
To develop a complete picture, cover everything in the list below.
- Career values – what are your main contributions as a person to any organization? Look at volunteer work, sports teams, and group projects, as well as job experience. What do you bring to the table?
- Work passions – what did you love doing that you were also paid to do? Why did you love the experience? How and why did it make you feel successful?
- Key skills – think about both hard skills and soft skills. Communication, organization, development, leadership, teamwork, software, building, deconstructing, analyzing, managing, creating, etc.
- Unique qualifications – what makes you standout?
- Industries you’ve had exposure to – internships, volunteer work, paid positions, in depth research
- Accomplishments – certifications, awards, recognitions, problems solved, stellar evaluations
- Promotions – raises, new positions
- Hand-picked for a project – list any times that a superior selected you, specifically, for a project. Why did they choose you? Why did you stand out to them?
Step 2. Look at your history through the lens of your personal brand values. When I worked with Lynn, we chose vision, process, and teamwork as her personal brand values. For each organization, Lynn listed projects where she created the vision, designed the process, and ensured smooth team operations.
Step 3. Look at your history through the lens of measurable results. Today’s data-driven culture likes numbers that demonstrate growth and accomplishment. Any work product you can measure helps prove your abilities.
Lynn wants to work in leadership development, so we looked for her experiences designing and implementing processes. We chose to measure projects where Lynn came in under budget. We also chose to showcase her ability to create efficient and effective processes. We highlighted Lynn’s impact by citing the number of people served by her programs.
Step 4. Look at your history through the lens of the organization’s missions and goals. This is looking at exactly how you supported the goals of the organization. What problems did you solve? How did your solutions work? Why were these actions vital to the organization’s wellbeing and growth?
Lynn wanted to show she can develop talent. We chose to focus on her experiences with recruiting, training, and evaluating volunteers, freelance labor, and on-site staff.
Have you gathered this information? Good!
Coming Up Next Time – How to Position Your Value
You’ve gathered your evidence. Feels good, right? But you’re not done. This is just a list of raw data points validating how skilled you are. The magic comes when you put all these data points into a personal brand story that shows you’re qualified and unique.
My next article will tell you how we did some basic market research to define the right keywords for Lynn. I’ll also be writing about the specific formatting we chose to make her accomplishments easy to find and understand.
Ready to Get Started on Your Personal Brand Update?