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.

Best Of Holiday Networking Blog Posts

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Each year someone asks, “Are people hiring over the holidays?” Or makes a statement, “No one is hiring over the holidays, why bother?”

Yes, people are getting hired over the holidays and boosting their careers. Just last week one of my clients landed an offer AND through our coaching work together, she negotiated an even better salary and compensation package. Another client is on her second and third interviews and awaiting offers. That’s just in the past week.

Each year, I write a blog post on the topic with real people sharing stories of how they were hired and what they did to land the gig. Here are some of the best. Click on the links, get ideas, and take action. Enjoy!

Holiday Networking and Your Brand 

Holiday Networking: Pass the Nuts and Your Resume Please

Good News: Hired Over the Holidays!

Yes Virginia, Companies are Hiring Over the Holidays

Feel your holidays are too hectic to network? Here are some 5-minute tips you can do over the holidays and beyond to make your network thrive:

Easy 5-Minute Tips to Make Your Network Thrive

Have you got a holiday networking story to share? Please do! And get your chance to win my book, “Rock Your Network®,” with loads of tips, tricks, and strategies to keep your networking momentum going over the holidays and beyond. Includes a social media bio template – simply fill in the blanks and enter your new bio into LinkedIn and other social media. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2014.

© 2013 – 2014 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved. (Post was updated on 12/1/14)

Job Action Day: 5 Quick Tips to Rebuild Your Network

This year’s Job Action Day is about helping our military transition from a Military Career to a New Career.

With broad military experience that typically requires travel for extended periods while on active duty, it can be difficult to maintain a network that will be there for you when you’re ready to transition to a civilian career. Here are some tips to reconnect and rebuild your network:

1) Create a networking plan. Breaking networking down into manageable time chunks helps eliminate overwhelm. Networking does not have to be a two-hour lunch or a boring event. Choose those activities that are right for you and your career goals.
2) Design a sound bite. Be clear about your career goal, what you bring to the table, and where you might want to work. The better focused you are, the better people can help you. And they do want to help!
3) Research and reach out via social media. With social media, location is not a barrier. If you’re stationed in a different location than where you’re planning to live upon your military retirement, social media is a good way to start rebuilding those local connections. The top three tools I recommend are: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can follow thought leaders, companies, and businesses on Twitter. With LinkedIn, explore groups serving the military, college alumni, and other groups serving your target audience (type of company you wish to work for, type of career you wish to pursue). Use Facebook to connect and reconnect with family and friends.
4) Make a call. Oftentimes we are so into social we forget to pick up the phone. Voice to voice is a great way to rebuild connections. It’s more personal. Skype enables video with the call, which is almost like being there.
5) Meet in person. Already moved to your desired location? Attend local events. Explore organizations serving the military. (Not sure who serves military in your area? A quick Google search will reveal several organizations. Choose those that best fit your situation.) Volunteer for an organization you believe in. Volunteering leads to connections to local leaders and others passionate about the same things you value. Set up meetings with those in your network. Sound uncomfortable? Keep in mind, you served our country. People will want to help you. They just need to know how best to do so. Keep meetings short and on track.

After you’ve taken action on some of the above activities, follow up with those you’ve talked to and let them know how their information has helped. Stay connected. That way your network will be there for you the next time you need it. Thank you for your service to our country.

Copyright 2013: Wendy Terwelp – all rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks and author of the Rock Your Network® series. Dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru,” by the Washington Post, Terwelp provides consulting services, speaking engagements, and workshops on social media, networking, branding and career development for conferences, associations, and companies nationwide. Her private coaching clients regularly win raises, promotions, and jobs. Named one of the Top 15 Career Masterminds, Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers Must Follow, and Top 51 Job Search Blog posts, Terwelp is quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Business Journal, More Magazine, radio, TV and other media.

Is your LinkedIn bio lost in translation?

Lost in Translation

How many times have you read someone’s LinkedIn bio and wondered, “What in the world are they talking about?” It’s full of jargon, terms, and acronyms foreign to anyone outside the bio subject’s industry.

“The Curse of Knowledge” is what Chip and Dan Heath call this “symptom” in their book, “Made to Stick.” To an industry insider, these terms are common, used daily, and understood by all involved. So much so, that to anyone outside the industry, it’s confusing and just plain gibberish.

In the above picture, you see typical everyday terms used by human resource professionals (HR), eCommerce, Accounting, Marketing Communications (MarComm), and Chief Executives (any Chief-level role is considered a “C-Suite” professional). Were you lost in translation looking at the picture? While Google can help define the terms, people wanting to hire you won’t take the time to Google it. Instead, they’ll move on to the next bio whose writer makes things easy to understand.

How can you avoid the “Curse of Knowledge?” Have a family member or non-industry friend read your bio BEFORE you put it on LinkedIn or other social networks or your book jacket or use it as a speech introduction. (Can you imagine a person introducing you who is not familiar with the jargon?) If your mom has no idea what you’re talking about, you’ve got “The Curse of Knowledge” and need to reword the bio.

If you must use some jargon, spell it out first, then use the acronym afterword. Like this, Full-Time Employee (FTE). This is actually a cool benefit, because you’re using good keywords (think search terms) twice. That way, depending on who’s conducting the LinkedIn search, you’ll have a greater chance of getting the call.

Don’t want to try  this at home? Check out my LinkedIn bio-writing service. I’ll do the work for you.

Conference Networking Rock Star: Kamala’s Story

Kamala S. Robinson, M.S.Meet Kamala. She attended last week’s ASTD 2013 International Conference & Expo. She was in job seeker mode and came to the conference career center for some coaching where she was scheduled to meet me. Here’s what happened next – in Kamala’s own words – and I warn you – it’s super awesome!

Looking for a job is never easy, and it seems to be harder than ever these days.  Things have changed considerably and will continue to change, which can be truly difficult when you have always approached them in the same way.  This is where I was at when I decided to make a change in my career.  I had never had a problem finding a job before; how I did things had always worked for me.  Even though I thought I had adapted to the current ways of searching and networking for jobs, I was not confident that I had, so I was looking for expert advice.  When I looked into the Career Center at the conference, I found I could make an appointment with a Career Coach, so I did.  I had an awesome meeting with Wendy Terwelp on Monday, and highly, highly recommend Wendy and the Career Center.

Although I readily adapt to change, I found I was still approaching conversations from an awkward stance.  Wendy and I discussed how to have more natural conversations with people as people, as opposed to approaching them for what they may be able to do for you – hire you, refer you, connect you to their network, etc.

Later when I went to lunch, as I was approaching a table those thoughts were right there (bad habits!) as I saw the opportunity to meet a lot of new, potential contacts.  And I stopped.  I decided I would just have lunch.  When I made that change in my thinking, everything else began changing.  I met wonderful people, and had great conversations.  I made a lot of contacts, some of which now have great potential to become jobs.  This continued to happen throughout the conference as I had experiences I could not have dreamed of having.  I don’t believe this would have happened had I not relaxed and changed my thinking.  I met people that day at lunch and throughout the conference, not prospects, and they are priceless to me.  Thank you to Wendy, Pat Byrd from the Career Center and everyone else there.  They could not have been kinder or more supportive!  They are a great group, and I look forward to seeing them again next year.

Thank YOU Kamala for sharing your story! Just a tweak in thought pattern created big wins. Here’s a fave quote of mine from Wayne Dyer: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Kamala has proven this to be true and you can too.