When you decide to make a career change, how do you get started? What does the new you truly look like? Sound like? How will the new you make an impact and get noticed?
When you begin to redefine your career, redefining who you are is at the crux of the evolution. Your network’s perception of who you are and what you do – your sway factor – is what really matters for career growth.
You may not have recognized the exact moment that you decide to make a career change. But prior to that, the signs were unmistakable. Your conversations started to shift from what you do, to what you want to do. Your free time wasn’t really that free anymore because your social calendar now had fewer happy hours and more networking events. Before you knew it, you were reading up on your interests and devouring how-to blogs every weekend. And you’d finally taken the plunge to become an active memberof that association you’d been meaning to join for a while.
No matter when you arrived at the nexis of old and new, you were poised to press the reset button long before and have since passed the point of no return. You’re excited to explore every facet of your new interests and discover the “new you”. Events have been set in motion towards a new occupation. But how do you get started? What does the new you truly look like? Sound like? How will the new you make an impact and get noticed?
When you begin to redefine your career, redefining who you are is at the crux of the evolution. Your network’s perception of who you are and what you do – your sway factor – is what really matters for career growth says Sima Dahl, who five years ago, reinvented herself from a Chicago-based technology marketer into aworld-renowned social media expert, trainer and speaker.
Sima headlined our September AMADC Speaker Series event , “Achieving Career Success Through Intentional Social Networking – Mastering Your Sway Factor for Results.” The information was great, but it was Sima’s punchy personality that brought the concept of “YOU – the brand” to life. She was hilarious, really personable, and at times vulnerable yet poignant as she shared her personal journey of reinvention, weight loss, and uncertain success.
As a Marketer, she understands that a brand is a promise. And when you’re reinventing yourself by developing your personal brand, you are promising an expected experience – and you have to deliver on it.
Here are some more highlights from Sima’s presentation as she shared herdeveloping your personal brand proven tips and insights for helping professionals reinvent themselves, recharge their careers and discover their true sway factor:
Own Your Ellipsis…
When asked, “what do you do…?” be ready with the answer. Name it. Fill in that blank with an elevator pitch of strategic keywords and make them meaningful. Make sure your network understands who the new you is and how to accurately refer to you. Sima says, in the age of referral, you want a personal brand army and that it’s much easier to succeed when you’ve got raving fans cheering you on. So what better way of aligning the troops than to give them clear, concise and consistent marching orders.
Be the CMO of Me, Inc.
Why is it that as a Marketer, it can be so easy to craft just the right value proposition for a client, but so difficult to do it for ourselves? Sima says its natural to find it difficult to describe yourself, but it’s worth the effort to develop the business of You. Taking complete ownership of your personal brand – by becoming the brand – is the only way to ensure the perception of you is not left to chance. Don’t let others create your narrative about who you are.
Avoid the Void
No one has a crystal ball. And no one can predict how, when or from whom a new job lead will come. So stay top of mind and make frequent – and valuable – “digital deposits” into your social network such as commenting, referring information, or connecting people together. Sima says it’s easy to get forgotten in this digital era when information has no limits, so optimize and stand out. As the new you, create opportunities to add value and be consistent across your social platforms by using the same strategic keywords from your elevator pitch to become known for something special.
In the end, Sima said a lot. And all of it was extremely valuable. She laid out easy to follow, very realistic steps for personal rebranding and dared everyone in the room to start a 21-Day Sway Factor Challenge to take full ownership of their careers. Most importantly, she provided a new lens through which to see and perceive career growth: you have to name it, to claim it. And in the words of Sima, “you cannot get out of the universe that which you are not willing to ask for.”
Well said Sima, well said.