That was the overriding message delivered by the trainer in a teleseminar I attended today on the subject of personal branding. I couldn’t agree more, yet most job seekers have never taken the time to do this.
When I first began my blind date “blitz” I had one goal in mind: Secure a long-term relationship. It made sense; after all, I was lonely and wanted the company of someone who wanted me and would take care of me.
If you are currently in the job market, you have one goal in mind: Get a new or better job. You too want to secure a long-term relationship with someone who wants you and will take care of you. So what’s wrong with that?
I frequently tell job seekers, that if a job is all they want, I’m certain McDonalds is hiring. See, the reality is that I was not looking for just any long-term relationship, just as you are not looking for just any job.
Before you begin your search you need to be clear about who you are –
A.K.A: Your Personal Brand.
- What are your key characteristics – the things about your personality that you know to be true?
- What do you like and dislike?
- What natural talents and learned abilities do you use to get things done?
- What is your functional knowledge; your experience in a particular field and/or industry?
- How do you think, communicate and approach life?
- What are your values – the things that give importance to your life?
- What brings you joy and energizes you?
Since I had married my “high-school” sweetheart, I had very little experience with relationships and very little concept of who I was. In the same way, many of my clients hired on with a company right out of high school (or college) and worked for that one employer – some for 20 years or more before being “let go.”
When I am working with job seekers who have suddenly been thrust into the market because they were fired, the company downsized, or a life altering event (such as a divorce or death of a spouse) the thing I hear most frequently is “I don’t know who I am, and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
So, the first thing you need to do before you participate in the “dating game” aka “looking for work” is to take some time and find out who you are. By knowing who you are, you will recognize opportunities that are a satisfying match – and we all know that satisfaction with our work is a key ingredient to personal satisfaction.