*This is my first blog post on the topic of personal branding and finding your happiest career path. I’ve taught classes at the Startup Institute in Chicago at 1871 on the topic and made several career pivots, including starting a consulting company at the age of 26, and taking time off between roles to fully research the marketing industry and find the best place to apply my skill set. Between many informational interviews, to interviews that didn’t result in a contract, to building and delivering presentations as part of an interview process, I’ve picked up some tips that you might find helpful as you navigate your own career and craft a path to finding and living your passion. Thanks for reading!
So you’ve decided it’s time to look for a new job. Maybe you outgrew your current role, your wants and needs don’t align with your team’s wants and needs, you just want something new, or that ‘it’s time for a change’ lightbulb went off. It’s easy to identify why you don’t want your current role, but when seeking a new opportunity, one of the most common questions you’ll get is, “What are you looking for”? You may be reading job descriptions on companies’ websites, but what’s your job description? Whether from a friend keeping an eye out or a recruiter, you’ll need to have your ‘wants list’ ironed out to answer confidently and concisely. Plus, you can use this list to craft your cover letter, so knowing your ‘wants list’ will make the job search process quicker and simpler.
So, what’s the key to describing what you want? Try this 2 step process:
1) Create a table with 2 columns on a piece of paper or on your computer. Label the left side: ‘Dislikes’ and make a list of all of the things you are underwhelmed about in your current role. Day-to-day responsibilities, culture, team dynamics, training philosophy, leadership direction, path to career growth. These will be all of the things that have caused you to consider new opportunities.
2) Label the right side: ‘Wants’ and flip each dead end or negative into a positive.
– If one drawback to your current role is that you have a small team that prohibits creativity or teamwork, you may write as a want: To contribute to a large team with lots of collaboration.
– If another Dislike is no formal career growth path or performance review process, you may write as a want: A culture that fosters career growth with opportunities for mentorship where reviews take place on a regular schedule to set and work to achieve goals.
That’s it! Turn those lemons into lemonade. Turn those dislikes into likes. Once your list is ready, you’re ready to tell that friend keeping an eye out for job opportunities at their company, or your next interviewer, exactly what you’re looking for and why their job is the right fit for you. You’re on your way to getting hired!
What’d you think? Looking for more tips on personal branding and finding your happiest career path? Leave a comment and let me know what topics you’d like to read about next!
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