By Marie Zimenoff
Career Thought Leaders & Resume Writing Academy
Career Strategist for the Professional
Have you ever felt stuck in your career? Maybe the new job isn’t what you hoped for or you have too many ideas around what you would like to do that it feels overwhelming.
Maybe you feel like you are too old to start over or are tired of waiting to get where you feel like you should be in your career. Or perhaps you are part of the Great Resignation and left your job to find something more fulfilling, but are having a hard time getting to the specifics of what you want to do.
Change your mindset
The process of change creates a natural tendency to put up our defenses. A conscious focus on changing our mindset before we make a change can make all the difference. Carol Dweck came up with a growth mindset, which provides a framework for rethinking how we approach problems and novel situations.
While we might have a growth mindset in some areas of our lives, our mindset can become fixed when faced with a transition. Consider the ideas in the graphic below from Transforming Education. How can you consciously shift your mindset around your current transition?
A growth mindset is allowing ourselves to be creative and get out of the rut. It is easy to go back to what is comfortable—and be miserable but comfortable.
If you want to reinvent yourself, you have to be willing to take the risk and find the support to do it, including a great coach. Find somebody who can support you and give you that boost along the way.
Think more entrepreneurially
At some point in our careers, there is a chance at least half of us will be entrepreneurs. The independent workforce grew 34% from 2020 to 2021 and experts expect continued growth. Individuals are choosing this type of work more frequently now as they seek variety and a different type of stability in their careers.
Working independently can offer more opportunities to really hone in on doing what you are good at, to sell yourself as a specialist, and to use your strengths. Because you are contracted for a specific type of job or project to do specific tasks, you get good at recognizing those things and promoting them about yourself. You get to design a great place for you to shine.
Being a contract worker is not less than being a full-time worker. In fact, if you negotiate well, you may make more money. We have seen such a big mindset change in the U.S. with changes in healthcare systems. People used to think they needed employment for health benefits, but now they are saying they just have to earn enough to pay for those. This is going to open up the ways that we work and offer more freedom than we even realize.
Exude your brand
How will a personal brand help you move quickly between opportunities - be that jobs or gigs? Your personal brand enables you to build a reputation for your expertise. It starts with the foundation of truly understanding who you are, what you like to do and are good at, and who needs your skills.
Personal branding is an active process of communicating and exuding your brand. How do you embody your brand visually, in your words, on your social media, in your resume, in an interview, and everyday with your co-workers? It is what people to see about you that is authentic and the connection they draw to you.
Your personal brand may show up as your personality or voice on your social media profiles and posts. It is also evident in your external environment, your office (could be your house), your clothes, and the technology you are using.
Through thoughtful personal branding, you can debunk the myths and brand perceptions about your age, sex, or socioeconomic status. Figure out how to address those concerns in a way that authentically communicates your unique promise of value.
Show some enthusiasm
Personal branding is the strategy around creating a set of positive experiences that people have about you. Create a buzz and show enthusiasm for what you do. Start becoming the go-to expert. You stand out when you are excited about what you are doing. People want to get on that train. They want to feel part of that.
Smile! Although we don’t need to always be happy, many of us get in the habit of negativity. Youhave a presence when you smile and you can create a connection to people around you.
When you are reinventing yourself, there is always that place of inward thought and processes, which is super valuable. However, you do not want to stay in your little cave! Get out and talk to people. Keep a schedule for meetups, phone calls, or other activities to maintain and create relationships.
Part of reinventing yourself and easing that pain is getting out to have conversations with people about what they are doing in the world. This builds your network while helping you process your ideas.
Ease up on yourself
Our workforce induces a lot of people to have high standards for themselves. Perfectionism does not allow new things to happen. When you are in a time of reinvention or transition, nothing is really right because you are letting go of the old and trying to bring in the new. Easing up on yourself and keeping your sense of humor can help you get through many hardships.
Trust the process
We are used to almost immediate gratification, but it takes time to make a transition. It is not a linear process. Statistics show that it takes six months to a year to really make a change. You have to do your research and figure out where you are going to fit. Then you have another six months or so for the actual job search.
Many people end up with a short stint after leaving a long-term job, which seems normal. Maybe they think they needed it to move along. It is fine to get a stop-gap job as long as you do not get stuck. The important thing is you keep moving and trust the process.
What is one way that works for you to better exude and communicate your brand and reset your mindset about what is possible?
Ready to define your value differently? Find A Personal Branding Strategist!Working with clients on their personal brand? Get a process to help clients extract, express, and exude their brand