Who needs to know about you?

Checklist

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn

As the author of “Rock Your Network®,” I’m often asked  about how to network, how to network while working (aka no time to network), and who should be in your network.

Where do you begin? Begin with your career goals. 

Are you looking for a promotion? New business? More clients? Colleagues and peers to brainstorm ideas?

Knowing  your goals will help you determine who needs to be in your network. And who you may need to prune. There are now five generations in the workplace with the arrival of Generation Z. Therefore, it’s good to diversify your network across generations for lasting career management.

When one of my clients was in the market for a new gig, he tapped his college alumni – those who graduated 10 years ahead of him and those who graduated 10 years after him. This led to several opportunities. And, after he landed his new gig, he maintained those connections throughout his career, rising to his current role: vice president of business development.

Your networking criteria will help you save time because you’ll focus on only those areas relevant to your goals. And you can use your networking criteria online or off. For example, I list my personal criteria for connecting on LinkedIn in my profile under “Advice for contacting Wendy.” In my case, I accept invitations from people I know, met personally or know through another connection I respect.

As your career evolves over time,. your networking criteria evolves with it.

Be sure to nurture your network by regularly communicating with people, providing resources and assistance when they need it. Networking is a two-way street. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!

Coaching Challenge: Write down your own criteria for adding people to your online and offline networks based on your career goals.

Need help with your networking efforts? Check out my networking programs here, including LinkedIn networking.

© 1998 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Reputation = Currency

Rep = Currency

Enhancing your visibility and personal brand the right way can advance your career. Your personal brand is either by default or by design. A default brand is one that others assign to you. A default brand sounds like: Gertrude is always late. Herman doesn’t follow through on projects.

A well designed personal brand is one you choose for yourself; you control and manage your personal brand through your actions. How do you take control?

First, you’ve got to know where your brand currently stands. Google yourself. Are the search results you? Or someone with too similar a name? For those results that are you, do they reflect how you wish to be perceived today for your current career goals? If not, check out these tips.

To find out how you’re coming across at work, take a personal brand survey. Ask three people whose opinion you respect what three words come to mind when they think of you? What do they feel is one of your greatest strengths? Were the results what you expected? Do these results reflect how you wish to be perceived at work? If there were pleasant surprises, what can you capitalize on? (Check out Bob’s story.) If feedback was not what you’d hoped, what can you do to stand out and be a rock star at work?

Next, take action. What’s one thing you can do to enhance your brand this week?

Results: When I conducted my Stand Out be a Rock Star at Work! program at a young professionals organization, I got a call a few months later from the executive director.

“Wendy, I’ve got something to share with you,” she said and shared the following:

While visiting a client company’s site and a dynamic, polished woman walked up to her. She realized it was K*, a member of the young professionals organization.

“What’s with the new look?,” the executive director asked K.

K said, “It was Wendy’s personal branding workshop. When we did the branding exercise in Wendy’s class, people thought I was shy and quiet. That’s not me! I thought I had to be boring to fit in with my new corporate job.”

“This is me,” K said, grinning with confidence and pointing to her new haircut and sharp attire. “By being more ME, I’m on track for a promotion.”

A promotion also equates to higher visibility in the workplace along with a salary increase.

I love it when I hear success stories from an organizer about someone who attended my workshop. Had K not assessed how she was coming across, she wouldn’t have known to make the change. And she took action to transform her career by design, not default. You can too.

Coaching Challenge: Which of these actions will you complete in the next week?

Want to kick your brand up a notch? Let’s talk. 

*Name pseudonym.

© 1998 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

 

What Career Success Really Looks Like

 

Career Success looks like

In today’s world of work, the only guarantee is CHANGE. The old days of staying with one company for decades, working hard, and waiting to get recognized and promoted are gone. Senior leaders have more and more responsibilities – and more and more people reporting to them. They can’t possibly track all the fantastic things you do. Now more than ever, it’s important to take control of your career in order to reach your goals.

Don’t wait for someone to promote you, give you assignments or choose you. Promote yourself through your work ethic, visibility, project contributions, follow through, internal and external networks, and continuing training. Set meetings with your boss to keep them abreast of your contributions and value to the organization.

According to data from a survey by CEB, a management research firm, 6% of Fortune 500 companies have stopped using annual performance reviews and forced rankings in favor of ongoing feedback. In 2015, Deloitte and Accenture also dropped performance reviews in favor of ongoing feedback. This is a trend going forward.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the average person changes jobs 11.7 times during his/her lifetime via 2015 report. Career changes ranged from 4 to 7 depending on the survey. Now more than ever it is mission critical to take an active role in managing your career and personal brand.

Coaching Challenge: Track your hits. Set a meeting with your boss. Communicate your value. You got this!

© 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Revealing Your Personal Power in the Workplace

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1. Brand-Building Treasure Hunt

  • Ask 5 people you trust to tell you what they think your three greatest professional strengths are, and then ask them what three to five words come to mind when they think of you.
  • Choose One Word that best represents you and create a story that demonstrates one of your greatest strengths using this word. This can become a powerful networking tool for you.

2. Develop a “Me File”

  • If you’re employed, track your achievements, kudos from your superiors, projects you’ve worked on, ideas you’ve generated into fruition, programs you’re proud of, employees you’ve developed into leadership roles, and more. This will aid you’re next performance evaluation, next promotion or next career.
  • If you’re not currently employed and want to return to the workforce, track your volunteer achievements, leadership roles, fundraising events, and related activities. These can turn into valuable, marketable skills for your job search.

3. Get Paid What You’re Worth

  • Do your homework on your company.
  • Find out about your company’s competition.
  • Keep track of your achievements, projects, and other “outside the scope” of your job activity.
  • When documenting, be specific. List quantifiable results.
  • When the performance review is set, let your boss talk first.
  • Present your case diplomatically.
  • Don’t take maybe for an answer.
  • When given a time/date for the raise or “consideration” to kick in, follow up.

4. Acknowledge co-workers, customers, etc. positively for their contributions.

  • Go deeper with your compliment, instead of “Great job!” Try, “Your enthusiasm and proactive solutions will be an excellent contribution to our project.”

5. Have solutions prepared BEFORE you talk to your boss about a problem.

6. In staff meetings, actively participate, take notes, listen closely, provide ideas or solutions, and ask questions. Be visible.

7. Build your personal brand and your internal networks.

  • Who needs to know about you? Communicate your value in a positive, authentic way.

8. Smile when you speak on the telephone so the caller can hear the enthusiasm in your voice.

9. Dress professionally and carry yourself with confidence.

10. Develop your own personal sound bite (a 30-second commercial about yourself and/or your business) to use when networking or meeting new people. You can use

11. Always communicate positively, powerfully, clearly, and concisely.


© 2002—2015 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Top 10 Secrets to Turn Networking Pain to Career Gain

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It’s not what you know; it’s who you know that gets you hired or promoted. We’ve all heard this phrase so many times our ears are bleeding, right? Here are the facts: more than 70% of people land new jobs through networking. And, according to CareerXroads Source of Hire Study, 41% land through internal promotions or movement. With that in mind, here are 10 secrets to turn your networking pain into career gain:

  1. Know yourself and your personal brand: Are you hip, trendy, and cool? If you are, then the networking group you join should match your style and your attitude. Sure, you want to meet different types of people to successfully manage your career, but you also want them to “get you.” And you want them to be fun to work with, right?
  2. Know what you want: when you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? Ideas? Notice I didn’t say “job.” Unless of course you’re networking at a job fair. The goal for networking is to create relationships that can help you propel your career in the direction of your overall goals.
  3. Know what you bring to the table that no one else does– what makes you or your qualifications unique among your competitors? “I’m a people person” is not a unique skill set.
  4. Know your audience: who needs to know about you to help you reach your goals? Does this networking organization serve your audience? Does it have members who are your audience? If not, it’s probably not the group for you. What groups should you join? Join at least three types groups. 1) A peer group for brainstorming, education, commiserating, and more importantly for creating referral or alliance partners; 2) Prospects: a group that is your ideal target market or knows your ideal target market; 3) professional business group or leads group. Hiring decision-makers often Google your name before meeting with you. A professional organization can boost your online presence as they often have a membership listing on their website.
  5. Know that the more you give, the more you get. It’s not all about you. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™ How can you help your new contacts?
  6. Know how to start a conversation. Develop at least 3 open-ended questions you can ask a person in your new networking group. And it’s not: “Hey, know anyone who’s hiring?”
  7. If you’re shy, know that it’s A-OK to team up with a friend to attend events and meet new people. Networking becomes easier when you can introduce your friend first and then yourself when meeting new people.
  8. Know when a group’s a great fit for your career goals – and when it is not. When you think about writing off a group, you want to think about how profitable the group is for you. And I don’t necessarily mean in terms of revenue. With some groups you’ll know after the first meeting it’s not a good fit; others take time to gel. For example, if you’re active in the group and meeting the right people, it may be a good fit. The goal is not to collect business cards; the goal is to build relationships that grow with you, your career, and your business. It comes down to this, if you are not building relationships in the group, and you’re just going for the food, it’s not a good fit. Follow up on those business cards.
  9. Know that in order to make the most of a group you’ve got to take an active role. Networking is more than just showing up. Joining a networking group is a commitment.
  10.  Know that networking is simply having a conversation with friends. Following these steps takes away the pain for your career gain.

Keep in mind, networking is a two-way street. A good networker gives to their network, maintains their network, and builds a positive, ongoing business relationship. Enjoy building your network and taking your career to the next level.


© 1998 – 2015 • Wendy J. Terwelp • All rights reserved.
Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks™ of Wisconsin, LLC, a career management and personal branding firm that helps you get hired faster and be a rock star at work. Learn how to rebuild your network 5 minutes a day with Wendy’s book, Rock Your Network® .

Top 10 Tips to Boost Your Business Network

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  1. Know yourself and your brand. Are you hip, trendy, and cool? If you are, then the networking group you join should match your style and your attitude. Sure, you want to meet different types of people for your business, but you also want them to “get you.” And you want them to be fun to work with, right?
  2. Know what you want. When you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? People to brainstorm ideas? One colleague joined a marketing group – to learn about writing marketing copy. Then complained when she did not land new business. New business was not the focus of the group. If you want new business, join a leads group. It’s also important to go into a group with a goal. When attending your next conference who would you most like to meet? Make a plan. 
  3. Know what you bring to the table that no one else does. What makes you or your product unique among your competitors? Don’t tell me it’s your quality, service, and price. Yawn. Since everyone says this, it does not stand out. And, if you’re only competing on price, you’ll lose customers to the next guy who has a lower price than yours.
  4. Know your audience. Who is your target audience? Know that not everyone is your ideal client. At one networking event I attended, a beauty product rep said, “I work with anyone with skin.” People in the group were confused. “Anyone with skin” was too broad and unfocused so they didn’t know how  or who to refer to her. Who is your favorite customer or business and how can you find their clones? Knowing who you want to work with – and who needs to know about you – makes it much easier to attract the right clients for your business. And helps others help you best.
  5. Know that the more you give, the more you get.Networking is not all about you. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™ Keep others in mind when networking.
  6. Know how to start a conversation. Develop at least three open-ended questions you can ask a person in your new networking group. Here are a few to get you started:
    • What brings you to this conference?
    • How did you get started in your business?
    • What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you all week?

Keep your questions open and inviting. That way you can start a warm conversation.

7. If you’re shy, know that it’s A-OK to team up with a friend to attend events and meet new people. It’s much easier to introduce your friend to others and then introduce yourself.

8. Know when a group’s a great fit for your business – and when it is not. Join at least three types groups. 1) A Peer group for brainstorming, education, commiserating, and more importantly for creating alliances; 2) Prospects: a group that is your ideal target market or knows your ideal target market; 3) Professional business group or leads group. Joining a peer or professional group can also increase your search engine rankings, your visibility, and your credibility because they often publish a directory of their members on their membership website.

9. Know that in order to make the most of a group you’ve got to take an active role. Networking is more than just showing up.

10. Know that networking is simply having a conversation with friends. A good networker gives to and maintains their network.

© 1993 – 2015 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Back to Your Future After 50

Back to the Future day photo courtesy of Back to the Future II

This post is in honor of Job Action Day, which tackles the after-50 career.

In Back to the Future II, Doc Brown and Marty McFly took their DeLorean time machine to October 21, 2015. Thirty years ago, filmmakers took some giant leaps as to what would be happening this year. Some predictions almost happened, like Cubs in the World Series (they made the playoffs) and Rocky (there’s a new Rocky – and it’s Creed) and some didn’t, like faxes and the Jaws 19 sequel.

What does this mean for your career after 50?

After 50, my clients look at careers differently. Is their current profession (or former one) meaningful? Do they enjoy what they are doing? What might a new career look like? Do they have what it takes to make the leap? You do, it may look differently.

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown

New Career Direction:

While you may not need a road for your new career, you’ll want a focused career direction and a map to get there. What you wanted to be when you grew up may not be what you want now. Plus, new careers are constantly being invented. Thirty years ago, social media, blogs, and smartphones didn’t exist. How can you apply your current skills and expertise to a new field? When working with clients in career change mode, one of the action items I recommend is to make a list of your talents and check out onetcenter.org’s “My Next Move” to see careers you can explore that use those talents, skills, and abilities.

Find Meaningful Work:

According to one study, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are delaying retirement. While there was not a Rocky 19, Rocky Balboa (aka Sylvester Stallone, 69), is still going strong. Instead of being the fighter this time around, he serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed in this year’s movie, “Creed.”

Review the list of talents, skills, and abilities you created and identify nonprofits that may benefit from those skills. Or use them to see who and how you could mentor a younger employee.

One of my clients, a finance executive, left his financial career to explore his two passions, golf and nonprofit. He wanted to give back. He landed an Executive Director role with a nonprofit organization that benefits youth through the game of golf.

Create Your Own Business:

Doc Brown was not only an inventor of things, but a “re-inventor” of himself. With each Back to the Future movie, you see the Doc using whatever tools are available to create opportunities for him and Marty to escape perils and change the future for the greater good.

One of my clients, a training and development professional, retired from one gig and created her own consulting firm dedicated to transforming leaders and creating cohesive teams – the work she enjoys doing most. She also wrote a book about her experience.

Update Your Personal Brand:

Throughout the Back to the Future trilogy, Doc and Marty have to quickly adapt to whatever year it is – the future as well as the past.

One of my clients at 50+ took a risk. After being downsized, she decided to target a career and work environment she really wanted. Her “nothing is holding me back” attitude and willingness to do what it takes, helped her reach her goal.

She said, “I thought these dreams might have been way, way too big —but they’re happening! (Washington) DC called me…. Thank you for all the work and coaching. I truly appreciate the guidance and would recommend the sessions we had. YES, YES, YES, I just keep smiling.” A year later, my client was promoted.

One of the things she likes most about her new gig is that they appreciate and value older workers. Many employers do. Use your personal brand to attract right-fit employers.

Good use of social media is another way to boost your personal brand. When 86% of people Google you before ever meeting you, a strong online presence is important. And LinkedIn typically lands on page one of that search.

If you’re already on LinkedIn, take a look at your profile. Does it reflect your current brand, skills, employment, and goals? If not, it’s time to update.

Revive Your Network:

While social media didn’t exist at the time the Back to the Future series, offline networking, like Doc and Marty collaborating, did.

Networking is the No. 1 way people land new gigs, new clients, and new business. Take the time to list all the people you know in your network, including former coworkers, colleagues, friends, family, George McFly, etc. Who needs to know about you?

Does asking for help with your new adventure feel uncomfortable? It’s OK. You’ve survived many life events by now, you will again. Each time I ask my clients in workshops or coaching sessions how they feel when they help others, they use words like: wonderful, good, happy. Won’t it be great to have your network feel this way when they get a chance to help you?

Marty McFly: Doc… what if we don’t succeed?

Doc: We *must* succeed.

You will succeed when you get back to your future and take control of your career. Won’t it be great to love Mondays?

Copyright 2015 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.