In an article in Sports Illustrated on Mike Brown, the new Lakers coach, Lee Jenkins writs about how Brown strategically prepared for his next job. “No one wants to follow a legend, but Mike Brown knew Jackson was retiring, and he found himself watching the Lakers more than the Heat. By midseason he was taking notes on them like an advance scout. When they combusted against Dallas in the playoffs, he detailed their vulnerabilities to the pick-and-roll, and when Bryant termed the season “a wasted year of my life,” he felt goose bumps. Lakers owner Jerry Buss invited Brown to his home in May for an interview, but Buss was not prepared for all of Brown’s baggage: a binder filled with more than 50 pages about the team, separated into sections, including one analyzing every Laker and another evaluating potential trades. Brown also brought four DVDs, one 49 minutes long, depicting defensive coverages. When Jim Buss, the owner’s son and Lakers executive vice president, asked to take the DVDs home with him, Brown resisted. He didn’t want them out of his hands….. When Jim Buss called Brown to offer him the job, he told him, “I’m hiring you because I want to see those DVDs.”
Brown is an unlikely coach to the stars, having never played professionally, or even stood out as a collegian. … He became a defensive specialist at San Diego and found his way to the NBA when he spotted a picture of then Nuggets coach Bernie Bickerstaff on the cover of the alumni magazine. Brown asked for an internship, and even though Denver didn’t offer any, Bickerstaff hired Brown to help run team-sponsored camps. Brown traversed Colorado in a red Nissan pickup, devising clinic schedules as intricate as his practice plans. From there, Brown had stints as an assistant with the Wizards, Spurs and Pacers before the Cavs hired him”.
After reading the article, my 16 year old son said, “Now I understand why they hired Brown. He was so well prepared, the Lakers couldn’t help but hire him.” Are you doing everything you can to ensure that your target company has no choice but to hire you? Do you have a list of realistic target companies? Are you pending hours researching them, understanding their problems and headaches? Are you preparing scenarios for their success? Are you positioning yourself as the solution to their problems? Strategically looking for your next career position is a full time job. Do not leave it to chance
In my previous post, we saw how to develop accomplishment statements into 30 word or less RA (quantified Result & Action) statements. Now that you have them, how do you put them to use? These are the foundation for building your personal brand. The RA statements are what you use to articulate your value in all your marketing collateral. They are the bullet points in your resume that demonstrate your success in leveraging your skills. They are your punch or impact of your 30 second commercial. Putting them onto index cards and memorizing them to complete ownership allow you to answer interview questions succinctly without rambling, letting the interviewer what you will bring to the table.
How many accomplishment statements should you have? As I said in earlier posts, in order to for a company to justify paying you a salary, every task or project you have worked on throughout your career should contribute to the generation of revenue, reduction of costs or mitigation of risks. You should be able to come up with at least 2 to 3 accomplishment statements per year of your career. By developing these statements, you will demonstrate what value you have given to previous employers and leverage these to indicate what value you will bring to future employers. As stated by John Hall so well, “If you want more salary, demonstrate more value!”
The first step in recognizing your personal brand identity is to understand what sets you apart from every other person competing with you for jobs. First, we are all created different. As I mentioned in the introduction we each have a unique set of skills, passions and experiences. We need to do a self-assessment to determine what those are. What are your motivating skills that really energize you when you are at work? Next, assess what your accomplishments have been throughout your career. In looking at your career, don’t think in terms of “I just did this process” or “I just did this task”. Every employee, in order to earn his or her salary needs to do one the following:
Think in terms of “In doing this task, I contributed this to the company. For example, rather than saying “I perform financial audits”, think about why the company needs you to prepare financial reports. In other words, the statement in a generic sense might change to “I reduce company costs and help the company operate more efficiently by performing financial audits”. The best indicator of success in a prospective position is past success. So, to take it a step further you need to develop specific accomplishment statements for what you have achieved throughout your career. These are often referred to as power stories or PARs (Problem, Action, Result) or STARs (Situation/Task, Action, Result), and can be generated by following:
Congratulations! You have your first PAR, or Power Story. Now repeat this process to create a bank of power stories that can be used throughout your job search as well as your career management. In my upcoming blog, I will talk about how these PARs and how you did them become the foundation for your branding.
The Ayres Hotel
4785 Chino Hills Parkway, Chino Hills, CA
Saturday, November 5, 2011
8:00 am ~ 4:00 pm
For registration contact Liz Lavaveshkul at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently in the most challenging job market of our lifetime. Job security is no longer provided by corporate America. How do we compete against the hoards of job seekers? How do we raise ourselves from being just a common commodity (job seeker) to becoming the solution to the problems of your target companies?
It is often said “It is not what you know, but who you know”. I would rephrase it as, “it is not what you know or who you know, but who knows you.” In today’s market place, it is imperative that you are able to market yourself as a solution not as a job seeker. You need to identify what you do, why you do it, and how well you do it. This is your personal branding. It is also your reputation. You have developed a reputation with colleagues at former companies, however this is not enough. Learn how to use social media to spread your reputation as a subject matter expert, creating a demand for you, and making it easier for others to be your advocate in your job search.
In our current job market and economic climate, one of the most sought after yet difficult to attain aspects of our career is job security. With the average tenure at corporate positions, especially the more senior ones lasting an average of two and a half to three years, where can we get our security? The answer lies in our personal branding. It is through Personal Brand Equity that we can establish our value to employers past, present and future. However, where does our brand equity come from? Often times at networking events, I ask people what they do, and they respond by telling me their function, or possibly defining themselves by the tasks or processes they do at work. The problem is that this does nothing to indicate how well they do those tasks and processes, and it does nothing to differentiate them from everyone else who performs the same tasks and processes. When developing our personal brand identity, it is very important to understand that each of us has a unique shape that is a blend of skills, education, experiences and passions. It is through these that, in the process of doing tasks and processes for a company, we achieve accomplishments that contribute to the bottom line of an organization’s success. Over the next few weeks, I will be writing several blogs illustrating how to identify this blend of attributes and the accomplishments achieved throughout a career. Once you have this foundation of your personal brand, we will explore how to use this information to articulate your value proposition throughout your career management.
Great article by Hank Blank. Why MBA Schools Need to Teach a Course on What to Do When You Get Fired « Thoughts on Networking, New Business & Agency Searches http://ow.ly/5OgtV
Flyer-Free Advanced Job Transition Courses
State-of-the-art course designed to help unemployed management and professional men and women find good jobs ASAP in this very tough economy
This week I will again be coaching the Advanced Career Strategies Class at Brandman University with John Hall. It has been my honor and privlage to work with John numerous times over the past year or so. I have learned so much from John, and working with the groups of extremely talented professionals and executives. Often they have come into the beginning of the class disheartened by the daunting task of getting their career back on track, and I have really enjoyed watching them get their mojo back, leaving the last day brimming with confidence in themselves and the tools they have learned that will help them get their next career position. John Hall, referred to both in the Orange County Register and Wall Street Journal as the John Wooden of career coaching, teaches that most professionals wing their job search. However in todays challenging market with downsizing, rightsizing and restructuring, it is imperative to present yourself as the A+ candidate. How do you do this? Rather than positioning yourself as a job seeker, position yourself as the solution to the problems of your target companies. We all know that most companies are not currently hiring. However, how many of you have ever worked for a company that didn’t have any problems? All companies have problems. Therefore, it is essential that you research your target companies to determine what their problems are. You then can, based on your skills and experience, brand yourself as the solution to the problems of your target companies instead of branding yourself as a job seeker. The process of branding yourself, learning to articulate and project your brand image as a solution, together with the company research is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work. That is the bad news. The good news for you is that since it is so hard, very few people are willing to embrace what it takes to do the job. If you really want your next career position, you have to be committed put the hard work and long hours into a strategic, purposefully developed advanced career plan,
As I get started in blogging, I would like to give a quick shout-out to some of the people I am indebted to for mentoring and helping to shape my career.
First to my Career Coach Mentors: John Hall, Kimberly Roush and Robert Owen, Thank you so much for your guidance and kind support. What I have learned from you is invaluable!
To my Networking & Social Media Mentors: Neal Schaffer, Tim Tyrell-Smith, Sven Johnston, Hank Blank and Ted Robison. While I still have much to learn, you have guided me so far, and I am grateful for your friendship and expertise.
Finally, to my Personal Mentors: David Weinberg, James Tehrani, Karen Vernamonti, Michael Verosky, Norman Naylor, Jeff Baker, Harry Charters, Cliff Phipps and Ted Toch, your integrity, principles of professionalism, and most of all, your faith have been a guiding light for me. Thank you all for inspiration, love and the foundation of faith and hope you have helped me develop.
I look forward to our continuing relationships, and opportunities to continue helping each other out.